The first Bristol derby in six years is the pick of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy second round matches, although neither side has performed especially well in their respective leagues thus far.
Even though they haven’t won a match in League One this season, hosts Bristol City remain favourites at 3/4 to win this derby, whilst League Two side Rovers are at 10/3 after an average start in League Two.
City were relegated from the Championship in May and haven’t found life in the third tier much easier, drawing three and losing two of their opening five matches, despite scoring in every game.
They have found some success in the Cup however, reaching the third round of the League Cup after wins over Gillingham and an impressive scalp-claiming victory against Crystal Palace.
Despite their league issues, the team still boast plenty of high calibre players, including experienced hand Marlon Harewood, and Sam Baldock who has netted four times this season already, form which makes him favourite at 9/2 to score first.
Jay Emmanuel-Thomas scored in that Crystal Palace victory, and both he and Harewood are 6/1 to open the scoring here.
Bristol Rovers endured an average campaign last season, ending nine points adrift of the play-offs, but also nine points above the drop zone, and John Ward’s side have begun this year in much the same vein, with two wins and two defeats from five.
History at City’s Ashton Gate venue is against them however, with the Pirates scoring just once in their last six trips across the City – a run stretching back to 1997 – and are without a win there since 1996.
Their last two matches have resulted in victory, but both came at the Memorial Stadium, and Rovers have picked up just one win in nine away games since February.
A derby match often throws the formbook out of the window, and Bristol City’s quality up front should prove too much for a Rovers defence which is frequently suspect on the road.
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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing