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Bristol Rovers (A) match preview

10 January 2020

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Rovers look to make if three league victories in a row when they travel to take on Bristol Rovers this weekend.

Darren Moore’s side backed up a New Year’s Day victory over Oxford United with a 2-0 win at home to Shrewsbury Town on Tuesday night.

Bristol Rovers sit two points above Rovers and level on points with the play-off places in Sky Bet League One after an impressive first half of the campaign.

Bristol Rovers’ recent form

Since beating Ipswich Town on the road in the middle of December, the GAS have failed to win any of their past four league games over the Christmas period.

A goalless draw at home to Peterborough was followed by a 2-1 defeat to AFC Wimbledon on Boxing Day. They then earned a 0-0 draw away at Fleetwood, before being beaten 3-0 at MK Dons in their first game of 2020.

They have been successful in the cup competitions, and face an Emirates FA Cup third round replay against Coventry City on Tuesday after playing out a 2-2 draw at the Memorial Ground last weekend.

Who’s the gaffer?

Ben Garner was named as the club’s new manager on December 23 after the departure of Graham Coughlan to Sky Bet League Two side Mansfield Town. The 39-year-old has worked with Darren Moore during his time coaching at West Bromwich Albion, with Saturday’s game being the first time they will have come up against each other while operating in opposite dugouts.

Ones to watch

Tony Craig

The experienced central defender came through the ranks at Millwall and made more than 200 appearances at The Den across three spells. Prior to his final stint there, Craig spent three seasons with London rivals Brentford, helping the Bees gain promotion to the Sky Bet Championship. He made the move to Bristol Rovers in the February 2018, and has become a pivotal figure in the back-line ever since.

Abu Ogogo

The experienced midfielder joined Rovers in January 2019 from fellow Sky Bet League One side Coventry City. Despite coming through the ranks at Arsenal, it was with Dagenham and Redbridge where he made his name in the EFL.  After making the transition from full-back to the middle of the park, he moved to Shrewsbury in 2015 and impressed as they reached the play-off final, only to be beaten by Rotherham United. He moved to Coventry in 2018 but spent just six months at the club before moving to the Mem.

Jonson Clarke-Harris

A former Rovers loanee, Clarke-Harris has found his feet with Bristol Rovers since joining the club last January. The former Rotherham United and Coventry City forward bagged 11 goals in 16 appearances in the second-half of last season. Despite an injury keeping him out for a few weeks of the current campaign, he has carried on his fine form with 12 goals to date, making him the club’s leading goalscorer.

Who’s the ref?

Brett Huxtable will be the man in charge when Rovers take on Bristol Rovers this weekend, and you can find out more about him here.

Last time out

Rovers ran out 2-0 winners when the two sides last met at the Keepmoat Stadium in October. Kieran Sadlier put his side 1-0 up at the break, before Jon Taylor secured the victory 11 minutes into the second-half.


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