Bristol Rovers v Southend United Match Preview

By Simon Gray

Bristol Rovers will be hoping to pick up their first home points of the season as they entertain Southend at the Memorial Stadium.

Although dominant, Rovers were beaten by second-place Portsmouth 2-1 in midweek after to a late Ronan Curtis strike in a match where Rovers midfielder Chris Lines was sent off.

That was Rovers’ third league defeat in four and manager Darrell Clarke has admitted that both he and his players are under pressure.

“It’s a results business, three managers have already gone, that’s the business at the moment,” Clarke told the Bristol Post.

“We are all on borrowed time. It is a pressure industry.

“If you can’t take the heat get out the kitchen.

“I enjoy the pressure and the players should enjoy playing under pressure. We do a lot of work with them on that and they should enjoy that challenge.”

As stated earlier, Chris Lines was sent off against Pompey so he is suspended. Sam Matthews could return though after the midfielder missed out on the defeat to Pompey with an ankle injury.

Southend go into the game after an inconsistent start to the season.

The Blues have won one, drawn one and lost two of their four matches in League One so far and manager Chris Powell has had his say on their start to the season.

“It went for us last week against Bradford, should’ve done against Plymouth, and we all know what happened against Doncaster, but you move on,” Powell told the club’s website.

“Over the course of 46 games, it’s going to happen. You have to bounce back, it’s your reaction and how you deal with it.

“We’ve got a few knocks for Saturday, some players 50/50 for Saturday. I like a settled group.

“Everyone saw how we worked as a team last year and we didn’t have too many changes because that helps to get some consistency into your team.”

Midfielder Timothee Dieng is a doubt for the match after coming off injured in the defeat to Luton last time out. Harry Lennon is out due to a broken toe while boss Powell will be absent from the sidelines as he serves a one-game touchline ban after being sent off against Plymouth.

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).


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), Sam Slocombe (Lincoln City).

Southend United INS:

Luke Hyam (Ipswich Town), Shawn McCoulsky (Bristol City U23), Tom Hopper (Scunthorpe United), Timothée Dieng (Bradford City), Harry Lennon (Charlton Athletic), Sam Barratt (Maidenhead United), Sam Mantom (Scunthorpe United).


Freddie Ladapo (Plymouth Argyle), Michael Timlin (Stevenage FC), Jermaine McGlashan (Swindon Town), Nico Cotton (Lewes FC), Daniel Matsuzaka (Kataller Toyama), Anthony Wordsworth (AFC Wimbledon), Marc-Antoine Fortuné (Chesterfield FC), Josh Wright (Bradford City).


The last meeting between these two teams was the final fixture of last season where the sides played out a 0-0 draw.

The last time these two met at the Memorial Stadium was in December 2017 where Rovers won 3-0.

Southend striker Shawn McCoulsky is currently on loan at Roots Hall from Rovers’ cross-city rivals Bristol City.

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