Bristol City vs. Tranmere Rovers match preview

Last updated : 11 January 2007 By Matthew Jones

A win would be nice Ronnie
It's another big game in League One this weekend for Tranmere Rovers as they travel to promotion chasing Bristol City, looking to keep up their good run away from home which sees them unbeaten in five.

It's a chance for Rovers to gain points on the other promotion chasing sides in Coca-Cola League One, with Tranmere themselves playing who lie fourth, Yeovil travelling to Nottingham Forest and the top two playing each other, as Oldham travel to Scunthorpe.

A win for Rovers could see them move up to 5th in the table, should Yeovil and Swansea lose, just one point behind Bristol City who they play on Saturday but with a better goal difference.

The game however is in some doubt after heavy rain in the Bristol area. City's Johnstone's Paint Trophy Southern Section semi-final match against Brighton and Hove Albion at Ashton gate, originally arranged for Tuesday, was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch. However, the playing area has been covered to avoid more water getting on the pitch whilst the forecast for Saturday and Friday is mainly good.

Bristol City
team profile:

Formed: 1894

Ground: Aston Gate

Manager: Gary Johnson

Nickname: City

Season Finish 2005/06: 9th (Coca-Cola League One)

Previous Meetings:

Bristol City aren't exactly a team Tranmere Rovers like playing, especially away from home, with the southern based side doing the double over Brian Little's side last season.

However, at Prenton Park earlier this season on September 8th, Rovers won 1-0 on a Friday night, one of the few times this season when Prenton Park has been rocking thanks to a fantastic atmosphere.

It was late on when Rovers got their winner, with John Mullin bursting into the box from midfield to net from near the penalty spot, sending ‘keeper Basso the wrong way, thanks to a brilliant knock down by Gareth Taylor from Shane Sherriff's long ball.

That win put Tranmere level with the league leaders Nottingham Forest at the top of League One, with the former European champions still to visit Prenton Park later in the month.

Vital Stats:

Tranmere have a terrible record at Ashton Gate, having not scored there in their last five games to Bristol's 11 goals

have won nine games compared to Tranmere's four when the two sides have met at Ashton Gate

The last person to score a winner at Ashton Gate for Tranmere Rovers was John Aldridge on April 8th 1995

Tranmere and Bristol City have never drawn 0-0

In total, in 32 matches between the two sides there have been 84 goals

The Form Book:

City last 6 home games: DWDWWW
Tranmere last 6 away games: DDDDWL

At Ashton Gate this season, Bristol City's form has been nothing short of excellent. In 15 league and cup outings in their back yard, City have picked up an impressive 11 wins, three draws and just the one defeat to Blackpool, who won 4-2 in August.

In two cup games at Ashton Gate this season, they have drawn 3-3 with Coventry City of The Championship, despite leading 3-1, in the F.A. Cup third round last weekend, and beat Gillingham 4-3 in the second round of the same competition thanks to a first half hat-trick from Phil Jevons.

In their last six games, Bristol have beaten Gillingham in the aforementioned FA Cup match and since beaten Carlisle United (1-0), Millwall (1-0), drawn with Bournemouth (2-2), defeated Port Vale (2-0) and then drawn 3-3 in that game with Coventry.

Previous to the draw with Bournemouth, City had won six in a row at Ashton Gate, beating Crewe Alexandra (2-1), Doncaster (1-0) and Gillingham (3-1) along with those victories over Gillingham, Carlisle and Millwall.

City are in fact 13 without defeat on home soil, with further victories coming over Brighton and Hove Albion (1-0), Leyton Orient (2-1) and Chesterfield (3-1) along with a 0-0 draw with Oldham Athletic on September 30th.

On the opening day of the season, Gary Johnson and his side defeated Brian Laws' Scunthorpe 1-0 thanks to a 69th minute goal from substitute Showunmi, a game watched by 13,268 fans.

On the road this season, Tranmere have been very difficult to beat and are indeed unbeaten in their last five games away from home.

However, the problem has been winning games, with Rovers drawing four of those five games, against Scunthorpe (1-1), Brentford (1-1), Huddersfield Town (2-2) and Nottingham Forest, with Rovers winning the other game 1-0 down at the Withdean Stadium against Brighton thanks to a first half goal from Chris Greenacre.

The other game in the six game sequence saw Roves lose 1-0 at Carlisle United, the last game in a run of six league matches without a win.

In their other seven away league games, Rovers have lost three, drawn two and won two matches. Rovers succumbed to Cheltenham, Rotherham and Bradford, losing 1-0, 2-1 and 2-0, drew with Doncaster (0-0) and Swansea (0-0) and they picked up the three points at Chesterfield and Northampton Town where they won 2-0 and 3-1, with Gareth Taylor scoring in both games.

Ronnie Moore's side have played two matches away from home in the cup, losing 2-1 after extra time to Hull City at the KC Stadium in the League Cup first round and winning 2-0 at Gigg Lane against Bury in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy first round.

In total, Rovers have played 15 away games, won four, drawn six and lost five. They are simply very difficult to beat, having conceded just fourteen goals on the road all season.

Double Hit:

A man who has had the pleasure, or perhaps displeasure, of playing at both Ashton Gate and Prenton Park for Bristol City and Tranmere Rovers is Rovers legend Wayne Allison.

6.01 feet tall striker Allison started his career with Halifax Town, where his ability to hold up the ball well and score crucial goals saw him become a huge success.

Allison made 101 appearances for The Town, scoring an impressive 30 goals before moving to Watford for £250,000 where he made seven appearances without scoring.

Thirteen months after moving to Watford, Allison moved to Bristol City for £300,000 in August 1990, where he was to stay for five years.

Whilst at Ashton Gate, Allison played well over 200 games for City but sadly goals weren't as easy to come by as they were for Halifax. In 225 games for Bristol, Allison scored 57 goals before leaving in July 1995.

After leaving Bristol, Allison played for Swindon Town and Huddersfield, transfering for a total of £1,250,000 and scoring 55 goals in 207 games in total for the two clubs, before he was signed by John Aldridge at Tranmere for £300,000 in September 1999, one of the biggest transfer fees the club has ever paid.

Sadly for Allison, he had already played four minutes of a league cup tie for Huddersfield that season, and so he missed out on the run to the League Cup final for Rovers that season as he was cup-tied, a run which saw Rovers defeat Premiership sides Middlesbrough and Coventry.

Allsion stay on Merseyside until the end of the 2001/02 season when he was released by then manager Dave Watson. The striker was very popular at Prenton Park and earned the nickname "The Chief" due to him scoring two goals in one match, a rarity for Rovers in those days.

He also scored a winner in the F.A. Cup against Sunderland after four minutes in the 1999/2000 season when Rovers reached the quarter final stage of the competition.

For Tranmere, Allison made 117 appearances and scored 32 goals before eventually moving on to Sheffield United and then Chesterfield, where he remains today and has scored 21 goals in 103 matches.

In his career, Allison has played 852 league and cup matches, scoring 205 goals aswell as transfering around for a total of £2,125,000.

One To Watch:

Former Everton trainee Phil Jevons has been in and around the goals all season for City since being re-united with manager Gary Johnson after the pair spent a few years together at Yeovil Town.

Born on August 1st 1979, scouser Jevons made eight appearances for Everton, where he won the FA Youth Cup in 1998, including three starts, before moving on to Grimsby Town on August 11th 2001 for £250,000. Whilst Grimsby, Jevons made 31 appearances plus eight from the subs bench, scoring just eight goals before moving to Hull City on-loan in September 2002.

At Hull, soon to move to a new stadium, Jevons made 26 appearances, of which 11 were from the subs bench, scoring only three goals and by November 2003 he was back at Grimsby again where he made a further 29 appearances and scored an impressive 13 goals.

In June 2004, Jevons made the move south to Yeovil Town on a free-transfer and became on instant hit with The Glovers. In their promotion season of 2004/05, Jevons scored 29 goals in 52 games in Coca-Cola League Two for Gary Johnson's team, whilst he continued his fine goal scoring record last season in his first year in League One, netting 16 times in 43 matches, including a goal against Rovers from the penalty spot.

Last summer, he re-joined Gary Johnson who had moved to Ashton Gate a few months earlier on a free transfer, and since moving to Bristol he has netted 12 goals in 30 start and 2 substitute appearances, leading the clubs scoring charts.

He has a keen eye for goal and a sharp turn of pace to go with it, which coupled together makes him a very good striker at League One level. In a total of 230 appearances, Jevons has scored 81 goals. Jevons wears the number 10 shirt for City and stands at 5'11 tall.

Team News:

There are a number of selection issues for Ronnie Moore, as Tranmere have five players out of Saturday's game due to injury or suspension. Olly James (foot), Gavin Ward (groin) and Jason McAteer (knee) will all miss out through injury, whilst Robbie Stockdale and John Mullin both picked up their fifth yellow card of the season against Northampton this weekend and so are both suspended for the game. They are expected to be replaced by Danny Harrison and Carl Tremarco.

Jones' Prediction:
Bristol City 0-0 Tranmere Rovers