Fleetwood Town welcome Doncaster Rovers to Highbury Stadium on Boxing Day for their penultimate game in 2018.
With fixtures coming thick and fast for all the teams over the next seven days, Joey Barton’s side will be looking to bounce back from a narrow 2-1 defeat away at Bristol Rovers at the weekend.
Joey Barton spoke to the media ahead of the match, and here is what he had to say…
Town boss Joey Barton said…
!We are keen now to approach the next game as everything depends on it, as for us as a group, that is how they look at games. I have told the lads after the game that football is a cruel game, and you don’t always get out of it what you put in on the day, but over the season, you do.
“If we keep turning up and rallying around each other whilst defending in that manner too, you can see that we are a proper team and we have good character as we have been in this situation before when Wes Burns got a red against earlier in the season.
“We have usually responded well from disappointments, and now we have a great opportunity to do that in just three days’ time, but it’s important that we rest and refuel ahead of the match.”
Doncaster manager Grant McCann spoke after their 2-2 draw against Oxford…
“We’ve got some really good characters in the squad and when you’ve got a big run of fixtures they play a big part. We’re unbeaten in eight games now and in a good position so we won’t let a disappointing result get to us.
They are one of the best teams we’ve played at home this season, we tried a few things but they didn’t quite come off. We probably didn’t deserve to go in front at the end but we showed a ruthless edge to score with our only real chance.
“They were the better team today but we’ve come away from it with a point, we didn’t get beat which is a sign of a very good team.”
Last five results in Sky Bet League One (from the left):
Fleetwood Town: L W L W L (Currently 12th on 30 points)
Doncaster Rovers: D W W W D (Currently 7th on 39 points)
Last time we met…
The last time Fleetwood and Doncaster met was in October, on Saturday 6th, and what a game it was for the Cod Army.
Joey Barton’s side won 4-0 at The Keepmoat Stadium and it all started off well with Ched Evans scoring from the penalty spot after just four minutes. James Wallace scored his first of the season ten minutes before the half-time break, with Ash Eastham adding one just before the referee’s whistle.
Ash Hunter made it 4-0 in the second half after a defensive mistake allowed the 23-year-old to be one on one with the goal keeper, and Hunter did what he does best and found the back of the net!
The two sides have met seven times in Sky Bet League One with both teams winning two games each, meaning there has been three draws, with two of those coming at Highbury Stadium.
One to Watch
John Marquis is the man to watch for Doncaster when they make the Boxing Day trip to the Fylde Coast.
Marquis finished as the club’s top goal scorer last season with 14 league goals. The forward is a key figure in the Rovers side and when given the chance, he tends to take them in front of goal.
The 26-year-old started off his career at Millwall in 2009, and spent seven years at The Den. He was send on loan to various clubs such as Portsmouth, Torquay, Northampton and Gillingham, before moving to Doncaster in 2016.
Marquis was named in the PFA League Two Team of the Year in the 2016-17 season, as he helped Doncaster win promotion to the League One, where he scored 26 goals in 45 league appearances.
He has 15 goals in all competition this season, with five of those coming In his last six appearances for the club. Can Town keep him quiet like they did last time out?
Town head into this game as slight underdogs, and even despite their form at home in the last six matches, the odds of Fleetwood picking up all three points is currently 9/5.
Rovers are favourites to take all the points away from Highbury, and you can get them at 11/8. The odds are 9/4 for the game to be a draw come the final whistle.
For Fleetwood to win the game and for both teams to score in the match, the current odds are boosted to 11/2. Or if you fancy the home side to beat Doncaster 4-0 in the reserve fixture (just like they did last time out), you can a Fleetwood 4-0 win at 80/1.
You can find more odds on the Sky Bet market here. Please remember to bet and gamble responsibly.