Bristol Rovers v Millwall Match Preview

By Simon Gray

Bristol Rovers head into the final day of the League One season knowing that they have a chance of stopping their opposition from reaching the play offs.

Rovers entertain sixth place Millwall at the Memorial Stadium, who need a win to ensure a play off position.

Before defeat at Peterborough last time out, Rovers were also in with a shout of a top six finish but will have to settle for a top ten one now.

Manager Darrell Clarke is already preparing for next season, releasing his retained list this week with strikers Rory Gaffney and Ellis Harrison among those who have been offered new deals.

Cristian Montano was among eight senior players not offered new deals and Clarke spoke of his decision to let the Colombian go.

“It’s always a difficult thing to do,” Clarke explained to the Bristol Post.

“It was a lot easier three years ago after we got relegated. But it’s always difficult when you’ve spent time with the players, I want to thank them massively for their efforts, but football doesn’t stand still.

“Montano was a very tough decision, it was borderline really. But there has to be a freshness and a bigger freshness than we’ve had in the last couple of seasons.”

Clarke does not have any fresh injury concerns but may choose to only play the players that are going to be around next season, meaning Bob Harris and Luke James will miss out.

Millwall go into the game knowing that only a win will guarantee a play off place.

The Lions sit in sixth place at the moment on 70 points with Southend in seventh on 69 points and Rochdale in eighth on 68 points.

Millwall lost in the play off final last season to Barnsley and they will want to go one better but a draw or defeat could mean League One football next season and striker Steve Morison has called on his teammates to perform on Sunday.

“The big games call for big performances from big players,” Morison told the Evening Standard.

“We need 11 on Sunday. We let ourselves down against Oxford. We had a great opportunity to get into the play-offs but we ruined that with our performance. The main positive that we have to take out of it is that we have still got our fate in our own hands.

“We have now got a one-game season and we have got to stick it all out there. There is going to be a lot of pressure on us. It is a case of dealing with it.”

Shaun Hutchinson is Millwall’s only doubt ahead of the match after he suffered a cracked rib and boss Neil Harris had hoped he would be available.

If Hutchinson does not make the starting eleven then Jake Cooper will continue in the centre of defence alongside Byron Webster.

Stats

The last time the two sides met was back in November, Millwall won 4-0 at the Den.

The last time the two sides met at the Memorial Stadium was back in 2009 where goals from Jeff Hughes and Chris Lines ensured a 2-0 win for the Gas.

Rovers have won their last three home matches against Millwall, the scores being 2-1, 4-2 and 2-0.

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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