Checkatrade Trophy: Bristol Rovers v Yeovil Town Match Preview

 

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By Simon Gray

Bristol Rovers face West Country rivals Yeovil Town at the Memorial Stadium this week in the second fixture of their Checkatrade Trophy campaign.

Rovers lost their last match in this competition 3-2 to Reading U23’s but have since been in good form, losing just one of their last seven.

Darrell Clarke should have a fully fit Matty Taylor back after the forward made a substitute appearance in their impressive win against Northampton on Saturday. Rovers will however be without Ellis Harrison, Tom Lockyer and Connor Roberts and Jake Clarke-Salter who are all away on international duty with Wales U21’s and England U20’s respectively. Jermaine Easter is available for selection though as his three-match suspension he is currently serving does not include matches in the EFL Trophy.

In the match against Reading U23’s at the Memorial Stadium, Rovers actually recorded a financial loss; this is due to the B team boycott movement by many fans.

The whole competition has come under scrutiny by fans, players managers and coaches and its no different with Rovers, with coach Steve Yates insisting that although he respects the rules of the former Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, he does not agree with them.

Rovers and their opponents Yeovil could face a fine of up to £5000 should they choose to make wholesale changes from their previous match.

Yates told the Bristol Post, “We make five or six changes for every game and we call that our strongest available team.

“I think we should be able to play any member of our squad that is registered, the choice should be yours, whether you make one change or ten changes.

“We value every member in our squad and they are all worthy of a place in the starting line-up, I respect the rules of the competition, but that doesn’t mean I agree with them.”

The rules state that a team must field at least five of the players that started the match preceding OR following the Checkatrade Trophy game.

This means that Rovers must field at least five of the starting XI that beat Northampton or they must field five players that are set to start their next EFL match against Gillingham on the 15th October.

Yeovil go into the game having lost their previous two matches but are top of the Checkatrade Trophy Southern Group A after they won their previous match in this competition, beating Portsmouth 4-3.

Stats

The last time these two sides met was in April this year in which Rovers helped their promotion bid in a 2-1 win.

This fixture as only produced one 0-0 in its 16 matches.

These two sides have now met 16 times in their history; there has been 6 Rovers wins, 5 Yeovil wins and 5 draws.

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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