Doncaster Rovers kick of the 2013/14 season this weekend as Paul Ince brings his Blackpool side to the Keepmoat Stadium.
The game will represent manager Paul Dickov’s first league fixture in charge at the club since his appointment earlier this summer. The summer period has been a busy one for Dickov, as he worked tirelessly to build a squad capable of competing in the Sky Bet Championship. In addition to the seven out of contract players re-signing Paul has also added eight further players to bolster his squad.
Rovers enter the league campaign after enjoying an unbeaten pre-season campaign and will be looking to carry that through to the all-important game on Saturday.
Former Real Madrid midfielder Marc De Val was the first to join the club and was later joined by former Manchester United U18s captain Luke McCullough.
Dean Furman made his return to the club, on a permanent basis, after his successful loan stint towards the end of the last campaign and Mark Duffy made the move from local rivals Scunthorpe United.
And this week highly rated South African international captain Bongani Khumalo joined Paul Dickov’s side on a season long loan deal from Tottenham Hotspur whilst former Chelsea ‘keeper Ross Turnbull joined on a permanent contract. Former Brentford star Harry Forrester was also confirmed this week and Richie Wellens made his return to the club.
Stats V Blackpool
Rovers and Blackpool have only met once on the opening day of the season in Doncaster, resulting in a home victory by 2-0.
Rovers highest win over this weekend’s opponents came in the FA Cup in 05/06 4-1, two goals each for Paul Heffernan and Michael McIndoe.
The last two games between the sides have seen ten goals scored, so expect more of the same this weekend.
Rovers have only been defeated once in the last four games at home against the Seasiders.
On home soil Rovers have the advantage in the head to head record by two games, it could be said they are favourites to take all three points again going into the game this weekend.
The highest scoring game between the sides in South Yorkshire was a 3-3 draw in October 2009 with Billy Sharp netting in the final minute to grab a draw for Sean O Driscoll’s men.
Rovers will be without long-term absentees Marc De Val and Jamie McCombe. Jamie is still in a back brace as he continues to recover from a hairline fracture in his back.
Marc will be missing for another 10 weeks as he recovers from the knee injury he suffered in the pre-season friendly game against Motherwell.
Harry Forrester will also miss the game as he steps up his recovery from a tear in the ligament in-between the tibia and fibula.
Goalkeeper Ross Turnbull looks set to make his Rovers debut.
Blackpool could hand loan signing Jack Robinson his debut in the game after the young defender made the move from Premier League Liverpool FC.
Sunny spells and showers expected across the region. Feeling a little cooler than recently with a southwesterly breeze.
No scheduled road works. It is advisable to allow extra time for your journey to avoid any unexpected delays.