Bristol Rovers v AFC Wimbledon Match Preview

By Simon Gray

Two teams in the League play off places go head to head on Tuesday night as Bristol Rovers in sixth entertain seventh placed AFC Wimbledon at the Memorial Stadium in the rearranged fixture from last month.

Rovers are full of confidence following their impressive 2-0 victory away at Notts County on the weekend and are unbeaten at home since beating Wycombe 3-0 on December 1st last year.

But in Saturday’s win, midfielder Liam Lawrence became the latest Rovers man to join the already lengthy injury list, picking up a calf injury in the first two minutes and manager Darrell Clarke has dipped into the loan market already this week with the signing of Oliver McBurnie on loan from Swansea until the end of the season.

“I’m delighted to be able to bring Oliver to the club and wish him every success while he’s with us.

“He is a highly rated young player and has had brief experience of playing in League Two this season with Newport.

“He was recalled early from that spell in order so that he could train with Swansea’s first team squad and it’s really pleasing that they have allowed him to join us on loan until the end of the season.

“We have picked up a few injuries of late and his arrival will not only enable to cover the absences of the players involved, but also add to competition for places in our first team squad.” Darrell told the club website.

McBurnie will go straight into tomorrow’s squad, subject to international clearance. Clarke will be without Lawrence, Stuart Sinclair and Rory Gaffney with the match possibly coming to soon for striker Ellis Harrison.

Wimbledon meanwhile are unbeaten away from home since the middle of October and picked up a point in their last away game against league leaders Northampton.

The Dons’ home game against Accrington Stanley on Saturday was shrouded in controversy as Accrington striker Billy Kee’s goal was ruled out after referee Trevor Kettle was judged to have blown the whistle for half time.

Manager Neal Ardley’s only injury worry is midfielder George Francomb after the former Norwich youngster sustained a dead leg in the goalless draw at Kingsmeadow.

“George has a dead leg,” Ardley told getwestlondon.

“Their guy has come through won the header and smashed George at the same time. They can be quite painful, so we’ll see where he is on that.”

Stats

Just three points and one place separates the two sides going into the match.

Prior to the postponement last month, Rovers were fourth after 29 games on 47 points with the Dons sat in 11th after 28 games with 42 points.

Three is also the magic number in the top goal scorer chart as Rovers striker Matty Taylor (17) is three in front of his namesake Lyle (14).

21, Bristol Rovers fan for as long as i can remember. Highlight has to be to 06/07 Play Off win. Seen Rovers at 40/92 clubs in England and counting.

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