MATCH PREVIEW: Bristol Rovers vs Peterborough United

By Simon Gray

The new Football League season is here and two teams with ambitions of the top six go head to head at the ABAX Stadium as Peterborough United host Bristol Rovers.

Posh have recruited extensively this summer, signing a total of 15 players being brought in during pre-season including Jason Cummings from Nottingham Forest and Matt Godden from Stevenage.

Another new signing is central midfielder Alex Woodyard, who has received the captaincy upon his arrival from League Two Lincoln and he has said how much he is looking forward to the new season.

“I’ve had a great couple of years at Lincoln,” Woodyard told Peterborough today.

“There has been a lot of success and a lot of great days, but I’m confident that success will continue at Peterborough.

“It’s why I’m here and I’m delighted I made the move. The place has been buzzing this summer.

“We’ve signed some great players and some great lads and even training has been competitive. We’ve scored plenty of goals in pre-season.

“There is big competition for midfield places which can only be good for the players and the team. The manager has signed some top players in that position.

“We know we have to perform every day in training and in matches as there will always be a good player waiting to come in and take your place. There are exciting times ahead. I’m confident we can have a great year and get promoted.”

Peterborough have sold a fair few players as well though, with 13 players leaving including last season’s top scorer Jack Marriott.

Bristol Rovers head into the game this weekend with a few new boys of their own with Ed Upson joining from MK Dons and Gavin Reilly signing from St Mirren being just two of them.

Rovers may not have recruited as much as Saturday’s opponents but they have brought in five first-team signings over the summer with at least one, if not two more expected before the transfer window closes.

Rovers have seen some valuable members of the squad leave too though as Lee Brown, Ellis Harrison and Rory Gaffney have all left the Memorial Stadium over the summer.

Rovers manager Darrell Clarke has had his say on this weekends game and the upcoming season as a whole.

“They have got a very talented manager in Steve Evans who has had a lot of success as a manager so we know it is a real tough start for us,” Clarke told Bristol Live.

“The spirit, the way the lads have trained, certainly this morning was fantastic. We will have a game plan like we have always had and we will try and go out there and execute it.

“It’s a long old season. We keep working and even if we win on Saturday we get straight back to it, it doesn’t really change the way I approach it.”

“My hopes for the season are to achieve success, to achieve, to make sure we keep moving forward and that never stops. Hopefully we can be pushing towards the top end of the table.”

Peterborough INS: Rhys Bennett (Mansfield Town), Adam King (Swansea City), Colin Daniel (Blackpool FC), (Aaron Chapman (Accrington Stanley), Isaac Buckley-Ricketts (Manchester City), Mark O’Hara (Dundee FC), Jason Naismith (Ross County), Jason Cummings (Nottingham Forest), Matt Godden (Stevenage FC), Siriki Dembélé (Grimsby Town), Josh Yorwerth (Crawley Town), Callum Cooke (Middlesbrough FC), Alex Woodyard (Lincoln City), Louis Reed (Sheffield United), Tyler Denton (Leeds United).



Jack Marriott (Derby County), Gwion Edwards (Ipswich Town), Jack Baldwin (Sunderland), Adil Nabi (Dundee FC), Michael Doughty (Swindon Town), Callum Chettle (Alfreton Town), Morgan Penfold (Grantham Town), Brad Inman (Rochdale AFC,  Leonardo da Silva Lopes (Wigan Athletic) Anthony Grant (Shrewsbury Town), Andrew Hughes (Preston North End), Idris Kanu(Port Vale), Junior Morias (Northampton Town), Chris Forrester (Aberdeen FC), Liam Shephard (Forest Green Rovers), Steven Taylor (Wellington Phoenix), Alex Penny (Hamilton Academical), Ricky Miller (Port Vale), Danny Lloyd (Salford City).


Bristol Rovers INS: Theo Widdrington (Portsmouth FC), Gavin Reilly (St. Mirren), Sam Matthews (Bournemouth U21), Ed Upson (MK Dons), Alex Rodman (Shrewsbury Town), Tareiq Holmes-Dennis (Huddersfield Town).



Ellis Harrison (Ipswich Town), Ryan Broom (Cheltenham Town), Lee Brown (Portsmouth), Byron Moore (Bury), Rory Gaffney (Salford City), Kenan Dünnwald-Turan (Released), Jonathan Burn (Darlington FC).


Peterborough’s new goalkeeper Aaron Chapman spent a month on loan at Bristol Rovers during the 2015-16 season making 5 appearances.

The last time these two sides met was last season, it resulted in a 1-1 draw in March.

Rovers have lost five of their last six opening games to a season, that was a 0-0 draw with Grimsby Town in the 2014-15 Vanarama National League.

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