Barnsley v Bristol Rovers Match Preview

By Simon Gray

Bristol Rovers head to Barnsley this weekend hoping to build on their midweek win over AFC Wimbledon.

Rovers beat the Wombles 2-0 in somewhat fortunate circumstances but now head to the Tykes for their first meeting since 1999 and the first in the league since 1993.

The two sides have not met in so long mainly because Barnsley have been in the Championship and Rovers in League Two since then and Rovers manager Darrell Clarke has given his view on Saturday’s opponents.

“We know it is going to be one of the toughest games in the division on paper but nothing is won or lost on paper,” Clarke told the Bristol Post.

“They are one of the fancied teams to bounce straight back to the Championship.

“I think certainly the power of the squads that have come down from the Championship now, the gulf is pretty big from League One and I think it is getting bigger.

“When teams have come down they have obviously been pretty strong and have a depth of players who have played in the Championship so it is obviously a tough game but certainly a game I think we can go up there and win.

“We will have a game plan and try and build on the win from Tuesday night.”

Tony Craig is expected to play even after collecting a war wound on his eye in the win over Wimbledon. Other than that, there is no new injury concerns for Rovers.

Barnsley go into the game sitting in fifth place but have lost their last two matches, away at Shrewsbury and Charlton before that.

But the Tykes are unbeaten at home this season but defender Ethan Pinnock has insisted that his teammates’ heads have not dropped.

We know that Tuesday night wasn’t good enough,” Pinnock told the club’s website.

“A lot of fans travelled down and spent their money, and we know that’s not an acceptable performance.

“We’re still really confident. The last two games haven’t been good enough and we know that; there will be a reaction on Saturday. The boys are all really disappointed with how we played.”

Barnsley’s Kenny Dougall is out until the new year with ankle ligament damage but Dani Pinillos is available after suspension.


This is the first meeting between the two sides since 1999.

Bristol Rovers have not beaten Barnsley since 1991.

The last match between the two sides was in the FA Cup Fifth Round, it ended 4-1 to Barnsley.

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