MATCH PREVIEW: Bristol Rovers v Shrewsbury Town

GasCast Match Previews by Simon Gray

Bristol Rovers host Shrewsbury Town this weekend hoping to bounce back from the injury time defeat to Wigan last time out.

Goals from Callum Lang and Scott Wooton provided new boss Joey Barton with a loss in his first game in charge of The Gas.

Barton joined The Gas last weekend on a two and a half year deal and even though his first match in the dugout ended in disappointment, the scouser is confident in his ability to keep Rovers in League One.

“I’m here to make this club as good as it can be,” Barton told BristolLive.

“When I see the potential of the place and the size of the city, it’s strange that a city this big hasn’t had at least one dominant, top-flight team.

“City have had huge investment and are pushing the top end of the Championship for a while, whereas Rovers haven’t quite had that day in the sun so the key for us is getting a stability in this campaign.

“We need to stay up and then the possibilities after that open up. But I can’t talk about them because it’d be rude to do so when we’re in the midst of a scrap.

“We’ll evaluate the group, put the structures in place for the short, medium and long term and it’s inevitable that we will be successful here.

“You’ve seen what we did at Fleetwood with average attendances of 2,500, you give us 10,000 in here, we’ll build a football team that’s very difficult to play against.”

Barton has no new injury concerns ahead of the game however he may now have a better idea on who may be up for a relegation scrap after Tuesday’s defeat.

Shrewsbury go into the game having lost just two of their last 14 league games. The run is mostly down to the performances of the team since Steve Cotterill took charge of the team,

Cotterill a former Bristol City manager has been in hospital over the past few weeks though after coming down with a nasty case of Covid-19 but the manager’s illness has not affected the team’s run as they’ve managed to leapfrog Saturday’s opponents and climb away from trouble.

First team coaches Aaron Wilbraham and David Longwell have been leading the team on a  temporary basis and Longwell has spoken of how disruptive an opposition club changing their manager ahead of a game can be for preparation.

“Joey Barton is working with different players and they will play different systems,” Longwell told the club’s website.

“What Joey did at Fleetwood won’t necessarily happen at Bristol Rovers. All you can really do is look at their last game, but there is very limited footage we can look at.

“It’s a little bit of an unknown but we are preparing ourselves the best we can. We know it’s going to be a tough game because Bristol Rovers have some really good players. They’ve brought Joey in because they think he can improve them and they will come after us.”

Donald Love’s fitness is touch and go after coming off in the first half of the win over MK Dons last time out. If Love is not fit to start, Josh Daniels could replace the full back for the match.

Lineup Predictions:

Bristol Rovers Predicted XI (4-3-3):

Shrewsbury Predicted XI (4-3-3): Matija Sarkic (GK), Daniels, Ebanks Landell, Williams, Ogbeta, Vela, Norburn, Goss, Chapman, Main, Whalley.

Score Predictions:

Mets: The Gas 1-3 Shrewsbury

Max: The Gas 2-3 Shrewsbury

Harley: The Gas 2-0 Shrewsbury

Simon: The Gas 1-1 Shrewsbury