Luton Town v Bristol Rovers Match Preview

By Simon Gray

Bristol Rovers head to newly promoted Luton Town this weekend looking to lift themselves out of the League One relegation zone.

Rovers are now winless in five matches in all competitions but manager Darrell Clarke claims that the position they are in is a “false” one.

“We don’t like not winning games but the group this side of the building has always been well looked after,” Clarke told the Bristol Post.

“There’s a game plan, work hard, certainly the boys the way they approach the week.

“They’re a great bunch to manage, without a shadow of a doubt and I don’t say that lightly and I’d like to think I don’t talk much rubbish so I’m being truthful in the fact that they apply themselves very, very well but that’s the bare minimum that we have at this club and we’ve got to get better as the season goes on.

“It is a tough division. Certainly, I’d like to be on more points than we’re on now and certainly the performances should have been a lot better than where we are now.

“Like I say, I’m the one that fronts that up, takes full responsibility. Certainly, hoping now we’re getting one or two back, lads are starting to gel together a little bit more, the results and performances will come on a more consistent basis.”

Rovers are boosted by the returning Stuart Sinclair, Joe Partington and Rollin Menayese who all featured for the development squad in the week but midfielder Liam Sercombe is still out.

Luton go into the game having had a reasonable start to life back in the third tier of English football.

The Hatters are 11th in League One, boasting wins over Southend and Shrewsbury whilst picking up a point against Sunderland so far this season.

Luton’s two wins this season have been at Kenilworth Road and manager Nathan Jones has spoken of how important their home form will be this season.

“We want it to play a big part, but we want our away form to supplement that excellent home form,” Jones told the club’s website.

“We can’t just rely on winning games at home, we’ve been excellent at home in all competitions in terms of three wins and a draw, then away from home we’ve had three defeats and a draw.

“So there’s a stark contrast. What we have to do is make sure we maintain our home form, because we are good at home and eradicate the away form, because the away form will stop up from doing whatever we want to do.”

Luton striker Danny Hylton remains a doubt for the Hatters, with Marek Stech expected to miss out. Luke Berry faces some time on the sidelines with a knee injury.

Stats

The last time these two sides met it finished 2-0 to Rovers.

The last time these two sides met at Kenilworth Road it finished 1-0 to Rovers, Stuart Sinclair scored a stoppage time winner that night.

Luton have only beaten Rovers once in the league since 1998.

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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