Preview: Bristol City vs. Portsmouth

Preview: Bristol City vs. Portsmouth

Bristol City host Portsmouth in a pre-season friendly on Tuesday, with the visitors looking to test themselves against a side one division higher than them.

The hosts, meanwhile, are aiming to gain some momentum under the management of Nigel Pearson.

Indeed, after replacing Dean Holden in February, former Leicester City boss Pearson struggled to have any positive impact at Ashton Gate.

The 57-year-old won both of his first two matches in charge – away to Middlesbrough and Swansea City – before the Robins proceeded to draw three and lose nine of their last 12 games of last season.

Nineteenth was Bristol City’s lowest finish in the Championship since being promoted from League One in 2015, and there are growing concerns of another tough campaign ahead.

As such, pre-season takes on increased significance for them, with a 0-0 draw against Scottish Premiership runners-up Celtic on Wednesday representing a decent start to the summer.

Pearson, who signed a three-year contract at the club in April, will be hoping for a little more offensive magic against their League One opponents on Tuesday, while retaining the defensive solidity which his sides have generally been well accustomed to throughout his distinguished managerial career.

Portsmouth, meanwhile, will be aiming to return to the Championship, having failed to compete in England’s second tier since being relegated from it in 2012.

Pompey have spent four seasons in League One, narrowly missing out on the playoffs last campaign despite an improvement in form after Danny Cowley replaced Kenny Jacket in the dugout in March.

The 42-year-old would have been impressed with his side’s attacking efforts in the 5-2 victory against non-league outfit Havant & Waterlooville in their second friendly on Wednesday after kicking off pre-season with a 2-1 defeat to Queens Park Rangers.

However, Portsmouth did have to overturn a 2-1 deficit to the National League side at half time, with an unnamed trialist scoring a hat-trick.

Cowley will certainly be demanding more defensive discipline from his side against Bristol City, then, with clean sheets the main foundation of any side chasing promotion.

Bristol City Pre-Season Friendlies form:
D
Portsmouth Pre-Season Friendlies form:
LW

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