Rovers return home this weekend in Sky Bet League One as they host Plymouth Argyle on Saturday.
Rovers will go in search of a fourth win in a row at the weekend, with the latest coming in a 1-0 victory away at Bradford City last Saturday, with Mallik Wilks scoring the winner.
The visitors will be looking to get back to winning ways following their 2-0 defeat at home to Charlton Athletic last weekend.
Brief history of Plymouth Argyle
Plymouth play at the 12,800-capacity Home Park stadium, with the capacity currently limited as the old Mayflower Stand is under redevelopment for the entirety of the 2018/19 campaign.
Their nickname is the Pilgrims, which is taken from an old English religious group that left Plymouth for the “New World” in 1620, leaving on the Mayflower ship from which their stand was named after too.
The city of Plymouth is the largest in the country to have never hosted top-flight football, with Argyle being as high as the Championship in 2010, finishing in 11th two seasons prior to their relegation.
Like Rovers, this will be the Pilgrims second season back in Sky Bet League One, having won promotion as runners-up from the fourth tier in 2017, and they narrowly missed out on the play-offs last season, finishing in seventh in their first season back in the division.
Who’s the gaffer?
Derek Adams is the man at the helm at Home Park, having been in charge of the Pilgrims since June 2015. His first season saw him take Argyle to the League Two play-off final for the first time in 20 years, before his second campaign saw them finally achieve promotion from the EFL’s bottom tier.
He previously managed Scottish side Ross County in two spells between 2007 and 2014, guiding them to the Scottish Second Division title in 2008, before leading them to the Scottish top-flight in 2012, after which he would be named as the PFA Scotland Manager of the Year for that season.
So far, he has taken charge of 209 Plymouth Argyle games, winning 90 of those, whilst drawing 45 and losing 74, leaving him with a win percentage of 43.1 per cent.
Ones to watch
The Irish midfielder joined the Pilgrims in 2015 after spending much of his early career playing in the Scottish leagues. Carey began his career with Celtic, making his debut against Rapid Vienna in the Europa League in 2009, also spending time on loan at Bohemians in his native Ireland, as well as spells as St Mirren and Huddersfield Town. St Mirren would be the destination for his first permanent move in 2011, helping them to win the Scottish League Cup in his second season before going on to join Ross County in 2013. It would be with the Staggies where Carey would first link up with his current boss Derek Adams, and those two would link up again when Carey signed for the Pilgrims in 2015, helping them to the League Two play-off final in his first season before being named in the Team of the Year in 2017, alongside James Coppinger and John Marquis and they were promoted to League One alongside Rovers.
The Pilgrims’ attacking focal point is a man bang on form this season, being one of the leading goal scorers in Sky Bet League One this season. Ladapo began his career with Southend United and Colchester United before going on to join Kidderminster Harriers in 2014. A move to Margate the following year would be a very successful one, scoring 23 times in the season which would see his talents picked up by Premier League side Crystal Palace, making his top-flight debut against Manchester United in September 2017. After loan spells with Oldham Athletic and Shrewsbury Town, Ladapo would re-join Southend on a permanent deal in 2018. He signed a contract with the Pilgrims upon his release from Roots Hall last summer, and after a slow start, six goals in five games across the month of October really saw Ladapo really kick on.
The Liverpudlian centre-back bravely returned from testicular cancer over the summer, scoring on his return to league football on the opening day of this season. Edwards began his career with Blackburn Rovers, enjoying loan spells at Rochdale, Fleetwood Town and Chesterfield, before making a permanent move to Morecambe. He would spend three years at the Globe Arena, making over 100 appearances for the Shrimps before his move to Devon. Edwards made 30 appearances for the Pilgrims in his first season, scoring four times, including the equalising goal in a 1-1 draw at the Keepmoat Stadium against Rovers in what would turn out to be his final game of last season. After his spell away, Edwards came back stronger and scored the opening goal in a 2-1 defeat away at Walsall to cap off a remarkable return to the game.
Who’s the ref?
Ollie Yates will be the man in the middle when the two sides meet on Saturday, and you can read more about him here.
Last time out
Rovers came out on top when the two sides met in Devon at the end of September. John Marquis put Rovers in front before Ruben Lamieras’ curler from the edge of the box put the sides level at the break.
Rovers took control in the second half though, with Matty Blair putting them back in front before Marquis scored his 50th goal for the club on 90 minutes, with Graham Carey pulling a goal back for the Pilgrims deep into added time.
We're into the final five games of the season, and Saturday’s game with the Pilgrims is one of three chances to be the difference in Rovers play-off push at the Keepmoat Stadium!
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