Dotted in amongst all the international fixtures this midweek there is one match in Sky Bet League 1 on Tuesday evening as Doncaster Rovers take on Bristol Rovers in a contest where both sides will be eager for the points.
Doncaster have seen themselves fall out of the top six with an indifferent recent run of results while Bristol Rovers are currently surging up the league table, but after a poor beginning of the season, they needed to.
After a strong start to the season, Doncaster Rovers are now without a win in some seven matches and have been ejected from the play-off places as a result. I saw them at first hand on Saturday and they looked to have a soft centre and a lack of creativity in their side, neither of which is a particularly good thing at any time, least of all at this stage of a season.
Despite all this I’ve seen two comments from their players about how they are the best team in the league. Clearly that is absolute nonsense but if they do think that then it could explain why complacency has set in and may well explain the last month or so. They could do with getting down and working hard rather than trying to make themselves feel good with crazy talk that actually only puts more pressure on them.
Over the first half of the season, Bristol Rovers looked absolutely doomed but they made the brave decision to part with Darrell Clarke and since Graham Coughlin has been in charge they have delivered promotion form. The Gas men have lost just one of their last 10 matches and only two of their last 16 and are undefeated in eight on the road to pull themselves away from immediate danger.
The thing with this division is that if you are in the bottom half of it you are only a bad week away from being sucked right into the deep end of things once again so there is no way that the Pirates can let up here, especially with the leaders Luton heading to the Memorial Stadium on Saturday. Plymouth on Saturday were the first team in five to score against this Rovers outfit.
Herbie Kane and Ben Whiteman both missed the mauling at Kenilworth Road and they are going to be on the sidelines here as well. It will be interesting to see if Grant McCann makes wholesale changes after that match.
Bristol Rovers boss Graham Coughlin will be hoping to have Wales international Tom Lockyer available. He did not feature for Ryan Giggs’ men while he was away so he should play here if Rovers get FIFA clearance to play him.
Based on what I saw on Saturday I couldn’t be backing Doncaster at odds on or even money in this one. They were given a right run around by Luton and haven’t had much time to get over that. I guess the concern is that Bristol Rovers have had a couple of lengthy trips recently but they are very much the form side of the two.
If Rovers can continue to keep John Marquis quiet, and the forward hasn’t scored in seven so will be low on confidence anyway, then their path to success will be that much easier. We can actually get just under evens ourselves for Rovers to win or draw via the Asian lines and that looks good to me. Bristol Rovers are proving tight to break down and are scoring more than enough goals. I can’t ignore them here.
Back Bristol Rovers (+0.5AH) to beat Doncaster Rovers for a 4/10 stake at 1.95 with Betfred
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