Bristol Rovers welcome struggling Burton this weekend with the hope of maintaining their recent upturn in form.
Rovers had lost four of their opening five matches in all competitions but have since picked up two league wins in a row, over Northampton and Lincolm.
With the transfer deadline fastly approaching, clubs up and down the country are still trying to get business done before Friday evening. This includes The Gas who are set to beat both Sunderland and Charlton to the signing of left back Ali Koiki, who rejected a contract offer from Burnley in order to gain first team football.
Koiki had been on trial at Charlton in the summer and looked set to sign for The Addicks at one stage, with the club’s transfer embargo the only stumbling block but now it looks like he is to sign for Ben Garner’s side.
Whether Koiki will feature on Saturday or not is dependent on the time that Rovers manage to send the relevant paperwork into the EFL.
Further team news for Rovers is that Josh Barrett and Alex Rodman are continuing their recovery from their respective injuries which means Ben Garner could name an unchanged side for the third game in a row.
Burton go into the game sat in 23rd and still looking for their first away win of the season.
The Brewers only win out of their five games played was at home to Accrington Stanley a month ago and Jake Buxton’s men will need to improve quickly if they are to challenge for the play off places.
Burton were beaten 2-0 at Plymouth last weekend but Buxton was not overly disappointed with the overall performance of his side.
“There’s not a great deal to complain about in the first half, in terms of how we played,” Buxton told the club’s website.
“We matched them with and without the ball, but yet again we conceded straight after half-time, which is disappointing and a recurring problem. We kept trying to create chances, which we did.
“We weren’t put under huge amounts of pressure. We did a lot of work on set plays, where we looked quite structured and strong.
“But ultimately there was an individual error and a goal conceded right after half-time. To come back from two is then a tough ask.
“I’ve said to the lads in the changing room that they can’t feel sorry for themselves. There’s great character in the group and we understand where we’re at.”
Team news for Burton is that defensive pair John Brayford and Michael Bostwick will be out for at least a month after both picked up injuries in the defeat at Plymouth.
Manager Buxton revealed the news on Thursday that after both experienced pros had scans on their injuries, the were a little worse than first glance.
“They had scans on Monday morning, and both have grade two tears, John in his quad and Michael in his calf. Both will be out for four weeks plus.
“We have good personnel to come in but we clearly have had problems at the back with injuries and suspensions. But we do the work, the training and look to get that solidness in there whether it’s a back three or a back four.”
Buxton may opt to play a back four at The Mem this weekend considering this was the shape he went with after both Brayford and Bostwick came off last time out however he does have former Rovers man John-Joe O’Toole back after suspension.
Max – The Gas 1-0 Burton Albion
Mets & Simon – The Gas 2-1 Burton Albion
Harley – The Gas 1-1 Burton Albion
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