Bristol City boss delivers an injury update and pre-match verdict on Sunderland

Nigel Pearson says he is anticipating a difficult game when Sunderland travel to Ashton Gate on Saturday.

Bristol City are expecting a crown in excess of 24,000 for their opening home fixture of the Championship season, after falling to a narrow 2-1 defeat against Hull City last time out.

Pearson felt his side were unfortunate in that game, given that Hull were awarded a dubious penalty and then scored a late winner with a deflected strike.

Pearson says he has watched Sunderland's opening-day draw with Coventry City and while he felt Mark Robins' side were deserving of their point, he said it demonstrated that the Black Cats will pose a threat for his side.

Bristol City boss Nigel Pearson

"I saw the game, it was quite a scrappy game," Pearson said.

"They'll have been disappointed not to hold on for a win but I though that overall Coventry certainly from the second half deserved to get something out of the game.

"What bearing that has on our game I don't know, I'm really thinking about how we get our players to get the performance right. "Teams that get promoted from League One have the added buoyancy and confidence, so I would expect it to be a tough game.

"Alex has had some success as well in terms of promotions and setting up sides that are difficult to play against. I don't expect an easy game, put it that way."

Pearson expects to field a similar side to last Saturday, with former Sunderland loanee Antoine Semenyo still absent through injury.

The Bristol City head coach does however expect defender Zak Vyner to be available.

"It'll be very similar [to last weekend]," Pearson said.

"Zak Vyner trained today and did some of the session yesterday. He has lost a bit of weight through being unwell but he is feeling a lot better within himself. I haven't spoken to him since training but I would imagine he'll be in contention."

Pearson is weighing up whether to hand Kane Wilson a debut at right wing back, and also heavily hinted that influential defender Thomas Kalas will not return to the squad.

He said: "At the moment he's not going to be in contention, we need to take a longer view on that, that's important."