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Match Preview: Bristol City v Sunderland - all you need to know ahead of kick-off!

Can the Lads keep the momentum going at Ashton Gate this afternoon after two quick-fire successive home wins? Here’s all you need to know ahead of kick-off.

Photo by James Baylis - AMA/Getty Images

Saturday 16th December 2023

(14th) Bristol City v Sunderland (6th)


Ashton Gate

Kick-Off: 15:00

Tickets & Match Coverage

Tickets: Tickets are available via

TV/Stream: Full live match coverage is available via

Radio: Full live match commentary available via BBC Radio Newcastle (not online)

Don’t forget to follow the blow-by-blow account of the game on the Roker Report Twitter feed (@RokerReport) and check out the player ratings after the full-time whistle at!

The build-up...

After a run of two wins in nine, we’ve picked up two in a row under new management at the Stadium of Light in the space of four days against tough opposition - not bad at all for caretaker manager Mike Dodds.

This was especially impressive when taking into account the performance and setup required to take maximum points against high-flying Leeds United in midweek. But, the Lads are back on the road today and another big effort is required to halt a run of five games without a win away from home.

Since our run of three games at Queens Park Rangers, Blackburn Rovers and Sheffield Wednesday, where we bagged three goals and all three points in three successive away games, we’ve picked up only two points from the fifteen on offer - resulting in us going just over 11 weeks since we celebrated a win on our travels.

Our recent record at Ashton Gate isn’t bad, as are without defeat there on our last four visits, meaning we have to go back to October 1993 for the last fixture where we came away empty handed, when Terry Butcher’s Sunderland were beaten 1-0 by Russell Osman’s Bristol City.

Sunderland v Leeds United - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

This is Bristol City’s ninth season in the Championship following their promotion from League One in 2014-15 and, on paper at least, they seem to have fallen into the habit of finishing in the lower half of the table.

Only once in that time have they finished in the top ten (8th in 2018-19) and in half of those completed seasons in the second tier, they have finished in the bottom eight. This may have been a driver behind the sacking of Nigel Pearson after two and a half years in charge at the beginning of November with the Robins sitting 15th in the table.

38-year-old Liam Manning was persuaded to leave Oxford United, who he had steered into an automatic promotion spot in League One in the early part of the season, to take up his fourth managerial post in three and a half years.

So far, Manning has picked up one win and two draws from his six games in charge so far, although four of those have been away from home. At Ashton Gate this season, they’ve won four and lost four of their ten games on home soil to date, but they have won three of the last five there.

Bristol City v Norwich City - Sky Bet Championship
Liam Manning, Head Coach of Bristol City
Photo by Ryan Hiscott/Getty Images

Sunderland away form...

Bristol City home form...

The betting...

The bookies have the Lads as favourites this afternoon at 6/5, while a home win is priced at around 21/10, and the draw is 9/4.

Head to head... at Ashton Gate

(All competitions)

  • Sunderland wins: 7
  • Draws: 6
  • Bristol City wins: 11
  • Sunderland goals: 34
  • Bristol City goals: 43

Last time we met... at Ashton Gate

Saturday 6th August 2023


Bristol City 2-3 Sunderland

[Weimann 10’, Martin 51’ - Simms 4’, 53, Stewart 72’]

Sunderland: Patterson, Gooch, Ballard, Batth, Cirkin, Evans, Neil, Clarke (Alese), Pritchard (Embleton), Simms (Dajaku), Stewart Substitutes not used: Bass, Wright, O’Nien, Roberts

Bristol City: Bentley, Sykes (Wilson), Dasilva (Wells), Vyner (Klose), Naismith, Atkinson, Massengo (Conway), Scott, Martin, Weimann, Williams Substitutes not used: O’Leary, Tanner, King

Attendance: 24,543

Bristol City v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship
Ross Stewart scores the third goal for the Lads when the two sides last met at Ashton Gate
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Played for both...

Gary Owers

After making his debut in 1987, Owers went on to make 320 appearances for Sunderland over the next eight years, including three appearances at Wembley.

The midfielder moved to Bristol City in a swap deal involving Martin Scott, and after spending four years at Ashton Gate, he moved on to Notts County. Spells at Forest Green and Bath City followed before a move into management.

Soccer - Sunderland
Gary Owers
Photo by Tony Marshall/EMPICS via Getty Images


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