Bristol Rovers v Cambridge United Match Preview

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By Simon Gray

Bristol Rovers will be looking to continue their fine run when Cambridge visit the Memorial Stadium on Good Friday.

Rovers go into the Easter weekend having won all of their five matches so far in March and find themselves in the top three of League Two but Darrell Clarke has played down talk of the automatic promotion.

“I never had my eye on chasing the top three,” Clarke told the Bristol Post.

“At the start of the season I said it would be a great achievement to finish top seven – but saying it and doing it are two very different things.

“If we had finished mid-table this season and kicked on next season then most people would have seen that as progression.

“Now we have a chance of back-to-back promotions, whether that be automatically or through the playoffs. I never would have believed I’d be sat here saying that with nine games to go, but we want that challenge and we’re enjoying it.”

Clarke will be without trio Tom Lockyer, Ellis Harrison and Oliver McBurnie after they were called up by their respective nations for U21 international duty.

Striker Rory Gaffney returned in last weekend’s 4-1 win over Newport and will be hoping to play more than the 60 minutes he had at Rodney Parade against his former side.

Cambridge begin a tough trio of matches this Easter weekend. After visiting third placed Rovers, the U’s entertain second placed Oxford on Easter Monday before traveling to fifth placed Accrington Stanley five days later.

Manager Shaun Derry has insisted that other League Two clubs are starting to take notice of them.

“As much as people will be looking at Bristol Rovers, people are starting to take notice of us as well.” He told Cambridge News.

“We’re a football club that’s actively working within a transition and we’re grabbing hold of some pretty mighty results.

We’re changing the way we play and a few things in and around the football club and we’re still fighting right at the top half of the table. I think that’s great for everybody at Cambridge United.”

Ryan Ledson and Shane O’Neill will miss the games as they are on international duty whilst duo Ryan Donaldson and Keith Keane are still recovering from injury.

Winger Harrison Dunk is available; he signed a new two-year contract this week.

Stats

Rovers Striker Rory Gaffney spent a season at Cambridge but it was plagued by injury.

Both Rovers and Cambridge share the joy of Conference play off final promotion at Wembley. Rovers overcame Grimsby last season where as Cambridge beat Gateshead in 2014.

Cambridge lie in 10th place, five points off the top seven and 11 points off third placed Rovers.

21, Bristol Rovers fan for as long as i can remember. Highlight has to be to 06/07 Play Off win. Seen Rovers at 43/92 clubs in England and counting.

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