Bristol Rovers host promotion favourites Hull City this week after a weekend off, albeit an unexpected one.
The Gas were due to face Accrington Stanley at the weekend but eight positive Covid-19 test results in the Stanley camp meant that the match had to be postponed to a later date.
Hull will be the first of the sides relegated from the Championship last season that Rovers have faced this campaign and manager Ben Garner has had his opinion on what the challenge a recently relegated team will hold.
“They’ve got a very good squad, obviously coming down from the Championship last season,” Garner told the Bristol Post.
“They’ve retained a number of those players and they’ve added as well.
“They’ve got a very squad with some talented players and they’ve had a good start to the season. They’ve had a strong start.
“I know they lost Saturday, but prior to that they’d had a really good start and been strong in the league.
“I would expect them to do so throughout the season.”
Team news for Rovers is that Jayden Mitchell-Lawson is a doubt for the clash, the Derby loanee missed the win at Shrewsbury but boss Garner hopes for him to be fit for Rochdale at the weekend. Garner may opt to name an unchanged side once again with Rovers unbeaten in 4 league games.
Hull go into the game after a very strong start to their first season back in the third tier since the 2004/05 season, boasting a record of six wins and two losses from their first eight games.
Hull’s fine record so far is mainly down to their striking options, with former Rovers loanee Tom Eaves just one of their impressive striking options along with Mallik Wilks and Josh Magennis although boss Grant McCann insists that his frontmen could perform better.
“We’re still early into the season, but I think that’s one area where we need to be better,” McCann said.
“Although we’ve scored some goals, I still think we could be better with the players we’ve got at the top end of the pitch.
“What I also think we can be better at, is when we get up there, our delivery into the box.
“It’s a little bit mixy-matchy at the minute, it’s one good one, one bad one – we need to be more consistent when we get into the final third, whether its midfielders, full-backs, wide-players.
“Whoever it is needs to be more consistent and then we’ll score some goals.”
Josh Emmanuel is set to continue at right back, deputising for the injured Lewie Coyle whilst Mallik Wilks is set to continue upfront. The 21-year-old is the current joint third top goalscorer in League One with four goals in six matches for the Tigers. McCann has no new injury concerns.
Simon, Max and Mets – The Gas 1-2 Hull City
Alex – The Gas 2-1 Hull City
Harley – The Gas 0-2 Hull City