Bristol Rovers host Peterborough United this week with a familiar face returning to the Memorial Stadium in the form of Jonson Clarke-Harris.
It’s been just over two months since the 26-year-old joined Posh in a rumoured £1.25million deal and it’s fair to say the former Rovers talisman has continued his impressive goalscoring form.
Clarke-Harris is the joint league top scorer and with Posh the top scorers in the league, the Rovers back line have their work cut out to keep them out.
Ahead of the return of Clarke-Harris, Rovers manager Ben Garner has heaped praise on the frontmen brought in to replace him, Brandon Hanlan and James Daly.
Daly and Hanlan both have three league goals to their names so far this season and Garner is expecting even more improvement from his strike partnership.
“James is only 20 years old still, so he’s only going to get better with games and experience,” Garner told BristolLive.
“Brandon’s really improved since coming through the door. We’ve done a lot of work with him technically and tactically and areas we feel we can improve, and he’s doing that. He’s been a handful in every single game and I’m really pleased with those two.
“They’ve taken the burden on because unfortunately the injuries and setbacks we have had have tended to be the more attacking players. We had Sam Nicholson and Jayden Mitchell-Lawson out for a period and Jonah Ayunga’s still out.
“Those two have picked up the mantle and we’re really happy with them.”
Rovers go into the game having picked up a point at the weekend away at Rochdale.
Luke Leahy may come into replace David Tutonda after replacing him on the hour at Spotland. Sam Nicholson, who scored the Rovers goal in the 1-1 draw should retain his place in the side after being recalled to the starting lineup but the match will come too soon for Jonah Ayunga as the striker continues his comeback from a hamstring injury.
Peterborough go into the game top of the table having thumped Shrewsbury Town at the weekend.
Siriki Dembele scored a hattrick as Posh ran out 5-1 winners over the Shrews and the in form forward has spoken of how he’s constantly looking to improve his game.
“I’m just enjoying my football,” Dembele told the Peterborough Telegraph.
“I’ve developed since I came to the club. I try to get better every day and in every game and that means scoring goals and creating goals for my teammates.
“I just love playing football. Anything positive that happens in the future is just a bonus.
“This is a very happy club. The players get on great and we are playing well, but we’ve been top of the table early in a season before so we need to keep going.
“Football changes quickly so you need enjoy the ups and try and avoid the downs. I’ve enjoyed some great moments since the Lincoln game and the team have done great even though we lost Ivan Toney.
“Any club would miss Ivan, but Jonson Clarke-Harris holds the ball up well and is great at bringing others into play.”
Posh manager Darren Ferguson has no new injury concerns ahead of Tuesday night’s match but he may opt to make a couple of changes to ensure fitness levels remain intact with the ongoing busy schedule.
Harley: The Gas 0-3 Peterborough United
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