The summer lowdown from Ashton Gate
The 2013-14 campaign proved to be a tricky one for the Robins after relegation from the Championship.
They made a dreadful start under Sean O'Driscoll and the team went 12 league games without registering a win before a 4-2 victory against Carlisle at the end of October. Following O'Driscoll's departure in November 2013, Steve Cotterill took over the reigns and managed to keep City in the division. Despite some decent form in the second half of the season, they left it a little too late to mount a late charge for the play-off places but Cotterill did safely lead his troops into mid-table by the end of the campaign. City will be looking to build on that and aim for the play-offs at the very least in 2014-15, especially if Sam Baldock can replicate his goals haul from last season.
THE MANAGER – STEVE COTTERILL
An experienced manager, Steve Cotterill cut his teeth in management with Irish side Sligo Rovers in 1995. He spent a season there before returning to English shores and taking over as manager at his home town club Cheltenham Town.
Cotterill enjoyed plenty of success with the Gloucestershire side; winning the FA Trophy in 1998 and winning the Conference a season later. In 2002, Cotterill guided his side to Third Division (League One) play-off glory before moving onto Stoke City.
The 49-year-old spent six months in the Potteries before spells as boss at Burnley, Notts County, Portsmouth and Nottingham Forest prior to moving to Bristol last December. During his playing career, Cotterill played for Wimbledon, Brighton & Hove Albion, Bournemouth and Hereford United.
VISITING THE GROUND?
Ashton Gate has been the home of Bristol City for over 100 years. The ground is another big one that Reds will visit and it holds 21,500 fans. Crawley supporters will likely be placed in the Wedlock Stand, which is behind one of the goals.
SUMMER BUSINESS SO FAR
Steve Cotterill has decided to wield the axe on a few players that have been at the club for a number of years.
City's highest appearance holder – who has played 646 games for the club - Louis Carey has departed, as has Stephen Pearson and fellow midfielder Marvin Elliott. Defender Liam Fontaine has also been released after making just seven appearances for the Robins last season.
Goalkeeper Elliott Parish has been placed on the transfer list at Ashton Gate but fellow 'keeper Dave Richards plus Joe Bryan, Bobby Reid and Wes Burns have been offered new deals.
The two teams have met each other three times in recent years with a win each and a draw. In the first fixture between the sides, Matt Tubbs was the hero as his goal booked Reds' place in the fourth round of the FA Cup when he scored the solitary goal against City in January 2012.
Last November, City won their first home match since March that year. Jay Emmanuel-Thomas punished a slip by Kyle McFadzean to put his side 1-0 up and, with Crawley searching for an equaliser, Joe Bryan added a second in the final minutes to add gloss to the scoreline and secure a 2-0 victory.
Crawley played host to Bristol City on the final day of last season. Jamie Proctor's close-range flick got the ball rolling for a Reds side that were fluid in the first half. However, after the break, Simon Gillett's razor sharp reactions saw him cut through the Crawley midfield and unleash a superb strike that shaved the post before finding the back of the net.
THEY PLAYED FOR BOTH
Tyrone Barnett had a loan spell with Bristol City last season after switching from Peterborough United in Janary 2013. Tyrone enjoyed six months with Crawley during the 2011-12 season and scored 14 goals for Reds which earned him a move to Peterborough for a record sale for Crawley believed to be over £1m.
Striker John Akinde originally joined Crawley in 2011 from City, whilst Elliot Benyon joined Crawley on loan from the Robins back in 2007 and scored three times in 15 outings. Going back further and Dwayne Plummer made three appearances for Crawley under Francis Vines during the 2003-04 Southern League championship season. Plummer came through the youth academy at Bristol City and appeared 14 times for the club.
WHAT THE BOOKIES THINK
Bristol City are 11-2 with Sky Bet to win promotion from League One in 2014/15.