MATCH PREVIEW: Hull City v Bristol Rovers

GasCast Match Previews by Simon Gray

Bristol Rovers travel to Hull City this weekend hoping to bounce back from another defeat against a relegation rival.

The Gas suffered a 1-0 defeat at Burton in midweek in a game which they were dominant until midfielder Luke McCormick was sent off for a second bookable offence.

The Chelsea loanee saw red early in the second half for kicking the ball away with Burton looking to capitalise on a defensive error and McCormick has apologised to Gasheads on Twitter.

“I apologise for the red card last night Rovers fans, with 11 men I believe we would have taken a positive result from the game,” McCormick tweeted.

“I’ll learn from this and be ready to finish the season strongly.”

Defeat at the Pirelli meant that The Gas have gained 9 points from a possible 27 against their relegation rivals and with just 16 games left, Rovers will have to pick up points against the teams battling for promotion if they want to remain in the third tier starting with this weekend’s trip to the KCOM Stadium.

With McCormick suspended for the weekend’s game, manager Joey Barton may turn to experienced midfielder Ed Upson. Alternatively, Barton could turn to youngsters Cameron Hargreaves or Ben Liddle to plug the gap left by the energetic midfielder.

Joe Day is still recovering from the head injury sustained in last weekend’s win over Shrewsbury so Jordi Van Stappershoef is set to retain his place between the sticks.

Hull go into the game having picked up two wins from two this week with both coming against Rovers’ relegation rivals.

The Tigers are second in the League One table after a 3-0 win over Wimbledon followed up by a 2-0 win over Rochdale and head coach Grant McCann admitted that before the win over Dale, his side held a team meeting to plan a route for an immediate return to the second tier.

“I thought we were very calm even leading into the game, the players were calm,” McCann told HullLive.

“We’ve had a couple chats in terms of the approaching the next fourteen games before tonight’s game, with a real calmness and maturity about us which we’ve shown over the last couple of games which is pleasing.
“We want to be good at home. We haven’t scored as frequently (at home) as we have done away.

“We have to concentrate on the process and the performance. When we get that right, we know there are goals in this side.

“The win [over Rochdale] puts us on the same amount of home wins as we’ve had away, so there are a lot of plus points.”

McCann may opt to play the same side that started Tuesday’s win over Dale. This will be dependent on the fitness of Northern Ireland international Josh Magennis who missed the match with a bruised ankle.

If Magennis is deemed fit enough to play, then he may start in place of Gavin Whyte. McCann could opt to play former Rovers loanee Tom Eaves up front instead of either though with a vast amount of attacking options at the former Doncaster manager’s disposal.

Lineup Predictions:

Hull City Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Ingram (GK); Coyle, Burke, Greaves, Elder; Jones, Docherty, Honeyman, Wilks, Keane Lewis-Potter, Magennis.

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

Score Predictions:

Max: Hull City 2-0 The Gas

Simon : Hull City 3-2 The Gas

Mets: Hull City 3-1 The Gas