Millwall v Bristol Rovers Match Preview

Match Preview League One

By Simon Gray

Bristol Rovers visit Millwall for the first time in seven years this weekend as they hope to win back to back away matches for the first time this season.

Rovers are fifth in League One going into the game and on loan defender Connor Roberts has said that they have exceeded his early season expectations.

Roberts admitted to the Bristol Post: “I didn’t expect us to be doing as well as we are at this stage.

“I thought it would be more of a mid-table situation before I came here if I was to be totally honest.

“When I spoke to the gaffer for the first time he made it quite clear that he was aiming a lot higher than that.

“He told me that he wants Rovers to be a top six side and I think we have shown that there is enough quality in the changing room to achieve that.”

Looking ahead to the match this weekend, Rovers manager Darrell Clarke has a fully fit squad after a number of fringe players came through the EFL Trophy defeat at Portsmouth unscathed.

Roberts along with Will Puddy, Mark McChrystal, Lee Mansell and Luke James all played the majority of the match with Rovers losing 1-0 thanks to a late Kal Naismith winner.

Jake Gosling, who was on loan at Cambridge United, has returned early after only making a handful of league appearances for the U’S but he will not be able to feature for Rovers until January due to FA rules.

Millwall have won three of their last four league matches and have only lost once at home to Rovers once in their last nine meetings.

But The Lions may be without talisman Steve Morison who is a doubt for this weekend’s fixture after suffering a knee injury in last week’s FA Cup win against Southend.

Morison’s injury was a blow lessened by the outstanding performance by debutant Harry Smith in the EFL Trophy win over Luton.

The 21 year old striker, who joined in the summer from Ryman Premier League side Folkestone Invicta scored twice in the 3-1 win but manager Neil Harris has urged fans not to get carried away with the six foot-five inches forward.

“The league is completely different to the cup,” Harris told London News Online.

“Harry has got potential and ability to be a good Millwall player but we have to make sure that nobody gets carried away by a strong debut.

“It’s great for the fans, but it’s one game. Harry will have the opportunity and has got potential to be involved with our first-team. Will it be Saturday? We’ll have to see.

“I said the Luton match was a chance of youngsters and seniors to catch the eye and Harry certainly did that the other night.”

Stats

Millwall striker Steve Morison started and scored in their last meeting with Rovers, ending 2-0 to The Lions.

Rovers midfielder Chris Lines also started that match as well as scoring in the reverse fixture at the Memorial Stadium.

This will be the 81st meeting between the two sides, with Rovers winning 34, Millwall winning 26 and there being 20 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 40/92 clubs in England and counting.

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