Preview: Bristol Rovers v Southend United

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The Gas’s final home game of August sees them come up against Southend in a game they need to get three points from.

Rovers have suffered two 1-2 defeats at home to Accrington and Portsmouth respectively.

You can’t help but feel this is a must-win for the home side given the fact they have lost three of their first four league games.

Southend has taken four points from their first four games with their only solitary win coming against Bradford on Saturday.

Chris Powell’s team and Rovers both finished in mid-table last season, and both are very much predicted to finish in the same positions this season.

Darrell Clarke was unhappy with the fact his Rovers team let slip a result against Portsmouth and he will hope his team can bounce back.

Rovers will definitely make the changes after Tuesday’s defeat.

He may look like to put Alex Rodman in out wide and possibly place Liam Sercombe in the middle to partner either Ed Upson or Ollie Clarke.

Those two in the middle of the park haven’t done anything wrong in particular, but with Rovers needing to win, Darrell may look to go for a more attacking line-up.

Unfortunately for Sam Matthews, injury stopped him playing any part in midweek and Rovers will hope he is fit for the upcoming match on Saturday.

Matthews has looked good so far in just three appearances as a Bristol Rovers player and if he is available don’t be surprised to see him start.

One player who won’t be available is Chris Lines, he was sent off in Tuesday’s defeat and will have to watch his team on from the sidelines.

Rovers boast a good record over the past four meetings against Southend.

All four of the last four meetings have come in League One with Rovers winning two and drawing two.

Last season’s meeting at the Mem, saw Rovers run out 3-0 winners back in December of last year with Liam Sercombe, Ellis Harrison and Billy Bodin scoring in a comfortable win.

Predicted XI:

GK: Adam Smith

RB: Daniel Leadbitter

CB: Tom Lockyer

CB: Tony Craig

LB: James Clarke

RM: Alex Rodman

CM: Liam Sercombe

CM: Ollie Clarke

LM: Kyle Bennett

ST: Stefan Payne

ST: Tom Nichols

Substitute:

Alexis Andre Jr, Tom Broadbent, Michael Kelly, Ed Upson, Bernard Mensah, Gavin Reilly, Alex Jakubiak

 

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