Wycombe Wanderers v Bristol Rovers Match Preview

By Simon Gray

Bristol Rovers head to another newly-promoted side in the form Wycombe Wanderers this weekend hoping to pick up their first points of the season.

After Rovers lost to Peterborough in their first game of the season, they were beaten at home to Accrington in their last league game due to a late Sean McConville strike. Manager Darrell Clarke spoke to the Bristol Post after their victory over Crawley in the Carabao Cup and insisted that although they have lost their first two league games, there is no need to panic.

“I thought it was a better performance on Tuesday, albeit not perfect, and that will build throughout the season. It’s a marathon not a sprint, it is where you finish at the end of the season,” Clarke said.

“We have got to keep working hard and striving to be better, working hard in our training, working hard in our matches and see where we come at the end of the season.

“It is a tough place to go, any away game is. We have got to improve on our away form from last season.

“I always like to think can we get towards that double figures of away wins which we have got nowhere near in the last two seasons so it is trying to improve that and kick on and get more wins away from home, anyway we can.”

Rovers will be without full backs Joe Partington and Tareiq Holmes-Dennis as they continue to recover from injury. Midfielder Stuart Sinclair is also out.

Wycombe go into the game having not won in the league this season either, although they are one place and one point better off than their opponents this weekend, having drawn their first game of the season before losing to Doncaster last time out.

Manager Gareth Ainsworth has a whole squad at his disposal and has spoken of his selection dilemma after everyone who played in Tuesday night’s Carabao Cup win against Northampton ‘put themselves into contention for Saturday.

“It’s up to me now to pick the team and I’ve got some real decisions to make from position 1 to position 11, because they’ve all put themselves in contention,” he told the club’s website.

“There’s real good competition for places now whereas maybe in the past we’ve had players in the squad who came in to cover for injuries, but now every player can deserve to play on merit.

“Rovers have done really well in the past years – they’re a big club with big support and we know they’ll travel in good numbers, so we’re hoping to put 6,000 fans on the gate which would be fantastic.

“We had a blip against Doncaster last week and that was a rude awakening for us, but we’re hoping for the win and that’s what we’re going for. My confidence is high from Tuesday and it’s important that we now get some more league points on the board.”

Wycombe have no new injury concerns ahead of the match. Scott Kashket is fit again while ex-Rovers man Paris Cowan-Hall, with Nathan Tyson and Darius Charles also nearing a comeback.

Wycombe Wanderers INS: Curtis Thompson (Notts County), Darius Charles (AFC Wimbledon), Ryan Allsop (AFC Bournemouth), Randell Williams (Watford U23), Jason McCarthy (Barnsley FC), Bryn Morris (Shrewsbury Town).

Outs: Will De Havilland (Maidstone United), Scott Brown (Port Vale), Max Müller (FC-Astoria Walldorf), Henry Newcombe (Margate FC), Luke O’Nien (Sunderland).

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), Stefan Payne (Shrewsbury Town), Alex Jakubiak (Watford).

OUTS:

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)

Stats:

The last time these two sides met was in a Checkatrade Trophy match where Rovers won 5-1 at Adams Park.

Wycombe winger Paris Cowan-Hall made three appearances whilst on loan at Rovers in 2015.

The last time these two sides met in the league was in 2016, Wycombe won the match 1-0.

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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