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Match Previews

Match preview: Bristol Rovers v Fleetwood Town

25 August 2017

The Cod Army are aiming for their fourth straight Sky Bet League One win when they travel to Bristol Rovers on Saturday (3pm).

Fleetwood are yet to concede a goal after three league matches, after wins over Rotherham United, Northampton Town and AFC Wimbledon respectively.

Inconsistent Rovers

Bristol Rovers have had an inconsistent start to their season, but have impressed in the Carabao Cup. A shock 1-0 win at Championship side Fulham on Tuesday night followed a 4-1 drubbing of Cambridge United in the previous round. Elliott Harrison’s goal won the tie at Craven Cottage.

An opening day defeat at Charlton was followed by a heavy 4-1 defeat at home to Peterborough at the Memorial Stadium, but the Gas did pick up their first three points of the season at Bury last Saturday. Rovers soared into a 3-0 lead at Gigg Lane thanks to a Tom Lockyer and a Billy Bodin brace. Two stoppage time goals from Jermaine Beckford and Nicky Ajose reduced the deficit to just one goal but Rovers held on for the win.

We’ve Met Before

Fleetwood and Bristol Rovers have met six times in the past, with Town picking up three wins, with two for Rovers and one goalless draw.

Last season, the home side won both fixtures. Rovers won 2-1 at the Memorial Stadium despite an early Ash Hunter goal, and Town won 3-1 at Highbury with Hunter, Cian Bolger and David Ball getting on the scoresheet.

Ones To Watch

Striker Billy Bodin has already had an influential part in Rovers season, scoring four times (two braces) in the wins against Cambridge and Bury. Bodin started his career at Swindon Town where he stayed four years. After loan spells at Torquay and Crewe, he signed for the Gulls permanently where he made over 70 appearances. From here he signed for Northampton before his move to the south west.

Bodin’s partner up front, Ellis Harrison is another name Fleetwood should be wary of on Saturday. A product of the Rovers youth set up, Harrison made his debut in 2011 against Southampton at St Mary’s and has since become a constant name on the team sheet. In 2016, he spent a month on loan at Hartlepool and last season he scored 4 times in a 5-0 victory over Northampton.

Midfielder Liam Sercombe signed for Rovers in May and was another name on the score sheet against Cambridge. Sercombe had been at Exeter City from the age of ten, until he left to sign for Oxford in 2015. Sercombe was ever-present in the Grecians line up during his time there and featured in their famous two year spell when they gained double promotion from non-league to League One. In his first season at Oxford he scored a career high 17 goals including a penalty in the famous 3-2 FA Cup win over Swansea City. He also scored in consecutive Checkatrade Trophy finals, in the 2016 3-2 defeat against Barnsley, and in last season’s 2-1 loss to Coventry City, both at Wembley.


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