Bristol Rovers v Scunthorpe United Match Preview

By Simon Gray

Bristol Rovers welcome fifth place Scunthorpe United this weekend hoping to put pressure on other play off hopefuls.

Rovers are 12th in the table and five points off of Charlton who currently occupy the last play off place and assistant boss Marcus Stewart has been speaking about the potential threat Scunthorpe will cause.

“Our game at their place earlier in the season doesn’t really count for anything, having said that not a lot has changed with them personnel wise and they’re generally a good, efficient 4-4-2 team.” Stewart told the club’s website.

“They opt for the same system about 90% of the time and they’re very good at it but we’ve got to try and combat that and play our game.

“They have not won in three but they’re probably due a win and there’s never a good time to play a team so we’ve just got to go out, do a job and hopefully get our fluid game going.”

Rovers may have James Clarke back after the defender completed 70 minutes in this week’s development squad game but Ollie Clarke will miss the game through the injury he picked up in last weekend’s defeat at Wimbledon.

Scunthorpe go into the game having won just once in their last eight games.

The Iron are still in the play off places though and manager Graham Alexander has spoken about how their current run will not affect his mindset for the game ahead.

“We think positively about the next game and if we keep looking back and sulking we won’t keep our eye on what is important and that is the next game,” Alexander told the Scunthorpe Telegraph.

“There are no concerns over my players’ mentality but we have to try and start better.

“We talk about not letting disappointments hang over or linger.

“If something happens you move on to the next action and that is why we come back from behind so many times. But I would like us to take lead and keep the lead.

“We need to start better and not give the opposition anything they haven’t deserved.

“I believe a couple of goals we have conceded, the opposition haven’t worked extremely hard for and that is what we have go to cut out.

“We have got to keep the charitable side down to a minimum.”

Scunthorpe’s Marnick Vermijl will miss the game with a hamstring injury and striker Ivan Toney is a doubt for the clash at the Memorial Stadium.

Illness has also swept the Scunthorpe camp over the week but it is unclear how many players have been struck down.


The reverse fixture earlier this season ended in a 1-0 Scunthorpe win thanks to a stoppage time goal from Neal Bishop.

The last time these two sides met at the Memorial Stadium ended in a 1-1 draw in February 2017.

Rovers’ second choice keeper Sam Slocombe spent 7 years at Scunthorpe, making 115 appearances for the Iron.

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