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Match Previews

Preview: Tranmere Rovers (H)

5 April 2013

Tranmere Rovers travel to the Keepmoat this Saturday for another top of the table clash in the second of a three game home stand

After finishing outside the top ten places in each of the last three seasons, Ronnie Moore’s return in March of 2012 has coincided with Tranmere’s best season since 2008/9. The club just missed out on the playoffs at the very end of the campaign losing out to Scunthorpe for 6th place.

The Merseyside club have occupied a playoff spot going into every game this season but for two fixtures including Milton Keynes Dons away and this weekend’s fixture at the Keepmoat. Tranmere will be eager to return to winning ways in South Yorkshire on Saturday to reclaim a playoff spot with only 12 points on offer to the end of the season.

Ronnie Moore’s admission that the club’s lack of goals could cost his team’s chances of promotion following defeat to Portsmouth on Monday however, has come at a time where his side has been goalless in four of the last five games while travelling badly, losing their last four games on the road. 

The slide in form of just three wins in thirteen games since January has seen Tranmere fall from a position of strength in the playoff race to one of slight desperation as the sides above hold an advantage of having points and games in hand over the Wirral club.

Doncaster Rovers endured an up and down Easter weekend which saw the club come away from Coventry with nothing to show for a good second half display, followed by resounding relief with a well earnt win over promotion rivals Swindon Town heaping the pressure on the chasing playoff pack.

One main difference between the sides who both sat in the automatic promotion places for periods earlier in the season, looking likely partners to join the Championship ranks next season, has been Rovers' ability to grind out results when it matters most, evidenced with no better example then the October meeting at Prenton Park with Iain Hume’s late winning goal.

With injuries taking their toll on Tranmere’s squad over the last few months, Ronnie Moore will again find himself short of attacking options and any hopes that loan signing Mamady Sidibe would be able to lead the attack with his first goal for the club were ended with news that Sidibe and Adam McGurk will miss the rest of the season.

Whatever the circumstances for Tranmere, with lots at stake for both clubs going into Saturday’s match up, the game promises to be another close affair with Rovers looking to extend a gap on second placed Bournemouth to edge closer to a fairytale promotion celebration in the final home game against Notts County.

Interesting Facts
Tranmere Rovers’ 13-4 victory over Oldham Athletic on the 26th December 1935 remains a league record for aggregate goals scored in one game at 17. The Nine goals scored by Robert 'Bunny' Bell for the home side, who also missed a penalty in the game was also a record but was broken in April of the following year.

Last Meeting – League – 24/10/2012
Result – 
Tranmere Rovers – 1 (Paynter 47 Mins, Hume 90+1 Mins)
Doncaster Rovers – 2 (Cassidy 86 Mins) 

Teams – 
ROVERS – Gary Woods, Paul Quinn, Rob Jones, Tommy Spurr, James Husband, David Cotterill, Paul Keegan, James Harper, Kyle Bennett; Iain Hume, Billy Paynter.
Subs – David Syers (Cotterill 60 mins), Andy Griffin (Husband 77 mins), Robbie Blake (Paynter 90+2 mins), Chris Brown, Michael Woods, Liam Wakefield, Neil Sullivan.

Tranmere Rovers – Owain Fon Williams, Danny Holmes, Ash Taylor, Ben Gibson, Zoumana Bakayogo, Abdulai Bell-Baggie, Liam Palmer, James Wallace, Adam McGurk, Jake Cassidy, Andy Robinson.
Subs – Joe Thompson (Robinson 63 mins), Cole Stockton (McGurk 77 mins), Paul Black, Ian Goodison, Danny Harrison, Michael Kay, Jason Mooney

Team News

Brian Flynn has no new injury worries going into Saturday's game. Martin Woods and Paul Keegan had scans this week and although their situation is improving they are still a couple of weeks away.

 

David Syers had an injection in his ankle on Tuesday, which has improved his situation slightly, but he is still  another week away.

 

Cameron Howieson is back from international duty and has trained  so he will be available.


Weather

Dry with broken cloud allowing for sunny spells at times.


 

Travel
Delays at the Lakeside Shopping Village roundabout due to ongoing roadworks. Access to the stadium via the Middlebank roundabout.

Rovers Player
Live and exclusive coverage of Doncaster Rovers v Tranmere Rovers at Keepmoat Stadium on Saturday 5th April 2013 will be available on Rovers Player from 2.45pm. Contact the commentary team via our official Twitter feed @drfc_official throughout the afternoon.  

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