A brief introduction.
It was a grim feeling of familiarity as the first hint of the new season, the League Cup first round draw, saw the exact same outcome of last season when it was confirmed in the middle of June that Argyle would travel to Ashton Gate to face Bristol City on their own turf. City were play-off contenders for most of last season but dropped off in the season’s final third, eventually finishing in upper-mid-table. Notwithstanding the fantastic mid-season form to get there, Argyle too had a season that dropped off towards the very end.
The real significance of the game, however, comes in the fact that it is a replay of last season’s 5-0 walloping that the robins dished out to Argyle when the same fixture was drawn. City dominated the game from start to finish and the old cliche of ‘they were lucky to get none’ could not have been more aptly applied than to Argyle that day. In truth, an even wider margin of scoreline could have been justified.
City, however, are not the same outfit as they were last season. For starters, they played a fair few first teamers in the 5-0 drubbing, including their star man Bobby Reid who is now playing for Premier League Cardiff. Secondly, they fielded a good number of quality young players, including Zak Vyner who went on to join Argyle later in the season. This season, they seem to have loaned out more of their young stars. Furthermore, Argyle should be stronger with more strength in depth this year than previous seasons.
Head to head.
Argyle have only won once in their last twenty-three visits to Ashton Gate.
Argyle have been knocked out at this stage of the League Cup nine times out of the past ten seasons.
The 5-0 game sent City on the route to the semi-finals, but it was not the biggest margin between the two sides, with City having won 7-1 and 6-0 in the past.
Bristol City (4-3-3): O’Leary; Pisano, Lemonheigh-Evans, Moore, Dasilva; Watkins, Walsh, Smith; O’Dowda, Eisa; Taylor.
Argyle (3-5-2): Letheren; Edwards, Canavan, P Grant; Moore, Songo’o, Sangster, C Grant, Smith-Brown; Dyson, Ladapo.
City ought to still have the beating of an experimental Argyle side but I can see this being a much more spirited affair than the spanking of last season. City 2-1 Argyle.