Bristol Rovers v AFC Wimbledon Match Preview  

 

By Simon Gray

Bristol Rovers will be hoping to get back to winning ways when they entertain AFC Wimbledon at the Memorial Stadium.

Rovers have lost their last four matches in all competitions and have won just one of their last 8 matches, losing the other seven, falling down the league table in the process.

But after Saturday’s late defeat at Scunthorpe, manager Darrell Clarke suggested that top goalscorer Billy Bodin, who has been missing for the last eight matches may be close to a return.

“The rehab has stepped up really well, and we’re hoping to push him on next week,” Clarke told the Bristol Post.

“We’ll see whether he can make contention for next week. Hamstrings can sometimes take a bit longer than we first thought, which is disappointing because he’s one of the keys to our club going forward as well.”

“Lockyer and Sweeney come back, we want a group together, we’re not a big squad,” said Clarke.

“I don’t want to be losing squad members when you haven’t got a big squad to deal with anyway. It’ll be nice to get one or two injuries back.”

Also in contention to return to the starting line up is midfielder Ollie Clarke after he missed the Scunthorpe game through suspension.

Wimbledon meanwhile go into the game having had a tough start to the League One season, sitting 21st in the table, having won just four league games this season.

The Dons’ have struggled away from home thus far, winning only two of their eight league matches so will be hoping to get a much-needed win on the road to guide them back up the league table.

George Francomb is suspended for the game after picking up his fifth booking of the season last time out but Jimmy Abdou is in contention to start after returning from international duty.

“This is the main part of the season now with games coming up thick and fast,” assistant manager Neil Cox told the club’s website.

“We have a few injuries and we are a bit down to the bare bones, but we are focused on what we need to do. We have to do our jobs in the games coming up and we are focused on how we are going to deal with it.

“It is going to be hard with a busy spell coming up, but the boys are looking forward to kicking on and moving up the table.

“The mood is very good at the moment and the boys want to get ready for the next game.

“We are only going to worry about the game against Bristol Rovers.

“We worked really hard this morning on what they are really good at and tomorrow we will work hard on how we are going to create chances.”

Stats

Rovers have lost just one of the ten meetings between the two sides.

Each of the five matches at the Memorial Stadium has resulted in a Rovers win.

Rovers were victorious in both meetings last season, winning 2-0 at the Memorial Stadium and 1-0 at Kingsmeadow.

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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