Bristol Rovers entertain MK Dons this weekend raring to go after their week off.

The Gas were due to play Bury last time out but due to Bury’s financial situation off the pitch, they were expelled from the football league in August.

The free weekend meant that Rovers could look ahead to their next opponents and also hope that they did not fall down the League One table too much.

Rovers did slip a place to eighth after not playing but would have been pleased with most of the results going in their favour as they try to maintain their recent form.

Rovers defeated Rotherham 1-0 last time out which saw star striker Jonson Clarke-Harris score his seventh of the season and Rovers legend Ian Holloway has insisted that his former club has to reward their star man.

“Bristol Rovers must pull out all the stops to agree terms over a new contract with Jonson Clarke-Harris and keep him at the Memorial Stadium.” he told the Bristol Post

“It heartened me to read that the club are in discussions with their top scorer over an improved deal, even though he still has two years remaining on the agreement he penned when moving from Coventry City last January.

“Players need to be rewarded when doing as well as Clarke-Harris has done since donning the blue and white quarters.

“His transfer value has soared with the goals he has scored for Rovers and I have no hesitation in forecasting that if Jonson departs, the team’s hopes of challenging for promotion in League One this season will go with him.”.

Rovers face one of Clarke-Harris’ former teams in MK Dons this weekend hoping to have a few players back from injury, including club captain Ollie Clarke and full back Mark Little.

Left Back Tareiq Holmes-Dennis is close to a return but Josh Hare remains on the sidelines.

Rovers will also be without goalkeeper Anssi Jaakkola after he was called up to the Finland Squad for the Euro 2020 Qualifiers against Bosnia and Armenia, this means another start for Dutchman Jordi Van Stappershoef.

MK Dons go into the game having had an inconsistent start to their first season back in League One since promotion.

The Dons are 17th in the League after losing their last four matches but manager Paul Tisdale has asked his side to relax and calm down following the 3-0 humbling at home to Burton last time out.

“I’m asking the players to take a deep breath on the pitch and relax because it has been so hard,” he told the MKCitizen

“I’ll have a chat with myself and tell myself to take a deep breath as well.

“We’ve got good players on the pitch, but of course we have plenty missing too, which does not help with changes and options for me.

“We have enough good players and we have got to get them playing to their strengths and believe in themselves - at the moment it looks like they’re trying too hard and their confidence is knocked.”

MK Dons will be without striker Sam Nombe after he was left out of the defeat to the Brewers, he joins fellow frontmen Rhys Healey and Joe Mason in the treatment room.

Bristol Rovers:

MK Dons:


Simon Gray