Rovers take on Lincoln City in their third home league game of the 2019/20 season.
Darren Moore’s side go into the game on the back of a 3-2 victory at home to Fleetwood Town, with a last minute own goal from Wes Burns making the difference after strikes in the first-half from Cameron John and James Coppinger.
Lincoln suffered their first defeat of the season on Tuesday night after a 2-1 defeat at MK Dons. Prior to that they had won their opening three games of the campaign, beating Accrington Stanley, Rotherham United and Southend United respectively, scoring eight goals in the process.
Brief history of Lincoln City
Lincoln play at the 10,120-capacity Sincil Bank, which has been the club’s home since 1895.
The Imps helped to form what was then the Second Division ahead of the 1892-93 season, with their first game in the Football League being a 4-2 away defeat to Sheffield United in September 1892.
City dropped out of the EFL following relegation at the end of the 2010-11 campaign, and it would take them six seasons to win promotion back from the National League. An FA Cup run in 2016-17 which saw them beat the likes of Ipswich, Brighton and Burnley lead them to a quarter-final away at Arsenal, where despite a spirited performance they were beaten 5-0. The cup run inspired their league form though and they would go on to claim top spot and win promotion in the same season. Their first season back in the EFL was another impressive one, as they reached the Sky Bet League Two play-offs as well as winning the EFL trophy with a 1-0 victory over Shrewsbury Town at Wembley.
Boss Danny Cowley continued to improve the squad and they would go on to win the title with a few games to spare securing their status as a third tier club.
Who’s the gaffer?
After an impressive year at Braintree Town in the National League, Danny Cowley was appointed as Lincoln City manager in May 2016.
Cowley has guided the Imps to two promotions in three seasons at the club, while also reaching the Emirates FA Cup quarter final in his first season in charge as well as winning the EFL Trophy a year later.
Ones to watch
The vastly experienced defender started his career at Norwich City and played more than 100 times for the Canaries before a £1 million move to Wolverhampton Wanderers. It was during his time with Wolves that Shackell enjoyed a season-long loan with Rovers, making 21 appearances for the club before joining South Yorkshire rivals Barnsley on a permanent deal at the end of the 2009/10 campaign. He spent just one season at Oakwell before two spells at Derby County either side of a three year stay at Burnley where he captained the side to promotion to the Premier League. The 35-year-old signed for Lincoln at the start of last season and played a key role in their promotion to Sky Bet League One.
Born in Lincoln, Frecklington came through the ranks at his home town club and played more than 100 times for the Imps before moving to Peterborough United, initially on loan, in 2009. The central midfielder impressed at London Road in his three full seasons at the club, and was part of the side which won promotion to the Championship with a 3-0 win over Huddersfield Town in the play-off final at Old Trafford in 2011. He moved onto Rotherham United in 2013 and helped the Millers win back-to-back promotions from Sky Bet League Two to the second tier, and would go on to add a further promotion to his CV in the 2017/18 campaign. He returned to Lincoln in January 2018 and was named as club captain in the process.
Son of former Nottingham Forest and England centre-back Des, Walker is product of the youth system at the City Ground. He has had a number of loan spells away from the club to aid his development over the past few seasons, with stints coming at the likes of Burton Albion, Port Vale and Bolton Wanderers. It was a temporary switch to Mansfield Town in the summer of 2018 though which saw the forward burst into life in the EFL, averaging a goal every other game as he struck 22 times in helping the Stags reach the Sky Bet League Two play-off semi-final. He joined Lincoln on a season-long loan in the summer, and has already hit the back of the net twice in four appearances for the Imps.
Who’s the ref?
Referee Craig Hicks will be the man in the middle when Rovers take on Lincoln on Saturday, and you can find out more about him here.
Last time out
The last time the two sides met competitively was in the League Cup first round back at the start of the 2007/08 campaign. Rovers ran out comfortable 4-1 winners at the Keepmoat Stadium, with goals coming from James Hayter, Richie Wellens, Paul Heffernan and Mark McCammon.