Portsmouth v Bristol Rovers Match Preview

By Simon Gray

Bristol Rovers head to Portsmouth this week hoping to get back to back wins that will propel them into the top half of League One.

Having beaten Blackpool 3-1 on Saturday, Rovers currently sit 14th in League One and travel to Fratton Park to face 15th place Pompey but manager Darrell Clarke knows that it will be no easy fixture for his side.

“It’s a great game under the lights at Fratton,” Clarke told the Bristol Post.

“I think it’s a great football club Portsmouth with fantastic fans, similar to our fans in the way they get behind the club, so it’ll be a good game.

“It’ll be nice to get that win, but it’s a tough ask as it always is in this division.

“Portsmouth are finding their feet at this level, they’ve got a manager in Kenny Jackett who’s been there and done it, got the t-shirt.

“I’m sure they’ll improve as the season goes, which we’re hoping to do as well.”

Rovers have captain Tom Lockyer returning from his suspension; meaning Tom Broadbent is likely to lose his place in the team.

Danny Leadbitter is still a doubt for the match; James Clarke is still out after his injury on the opening day.

Portsmouth go into the game having had an inconsistent start to life back in the third tier.

Pompey were promoted as Champions of League Two last season but have struggled, mainly away from home so far this season, winning just once away but losing just once at home.

Manager Kenny Jackett has been discussing Saturday’s defeat at Scunthorpe and why they have been inconsistent so far this season.

“It’s naivety, a bit of naivety,” Jackett told Portsmouth News.

“With the first goal on Saturday, we’ve overcovered and then left ourselves wide open.

“Then it’s the header from the second goal which has cost us.

“We’ve made two mistakes down the left-hand side which have cost us. It’s been a problem area for us this season.”

Portsmouth will be sweating on the fitness of strikers Conor Chaplin and Brett Pittman ahead of the match after both picked up knocks on Saturday.


Rovers have beaten Pompey just twice in their previous 12 meetings.

This will be the 40th meeting between the two sides. Rovers have won 10 times, Portsmouth have won 21 with there being eight draws.

Rovers have not won at Portsmouth since 1975.


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