MATCH PREVIEW: Bristol Rovers v AFC Wimbledon

GasCast Match Previews by Simon Gray

Bristol Rovers take on relegation rivals AFC Wimbledon this weekend looking to build on the 4-1 triumph over Accrington last time out.

The Gas had been beaten 6-1 by Accy five weeks ago but a new and improved Rovers under Joey Barton made lightwork this time around.

Rovers were dominant throughout and thanks to goals from Luke Leahy, Alex Rodman, Sam Nicholson and Zain Westbrooke they were able to climb out of the relegation zone.

Westbrooke ghosted into the box and had an easy tap in for his goal, which was Rovers’ fourth and the former Coventry midfielder had his say on the impact the new manager has had on the side.

“I think it’s been coming since the gaffer and his team came in,” Westbrooke told BristolLive.

“They’ve been really positive each day and it’s quite infectious, that’s probably what we’ve needed, a confidence boost to pick ourselves back up. It’s only us who’s going to get us out of this situation right now and performances like that are going to help us out.

“I know it was 4-1, but it could’ve been five or six for us because we had a lot of chances.

“We still conceded so that shows we’ve got room to improve and we know that today should’ve been a 4-0 game for us. Wimbledon come here on Saturday and we’re going to make sure it’s three points for us again.”

Barton is expected to field the same side that thrashed Accrington after The Gas came through the match unscathed. Both Anssi Jaakkola and Josh Grant remain out.

AFC Wimbledon go into the game winless in four, with their most recent result being a 1-0 defeat to fellow relegation threatened Burton Albion.

The Dons last played Rovers with Glyn Hodges in charge, but his tenure came to an end in January, with long term coach Mark Robinson taking charge of the side on a permanent basis.

Robinson has been tasked with keeping the Dons in the third tier and they will be desperate for a win this Saturday with them sat in 23rd place with less than a third left of the season.

The midweek defeat to Burton left Robinson frustrated by Wimbeldon’s forward play. He spoke to the press after the game to give an in depth account of why they are where they are in the league.

“They don’t concede the goal that we’ve conceded,” Robinson told the club’s website.

“That’s something we’ve said to the lads in the dressing room and the lads agree. That’s the biggest difference. They haven’t had to work hard enough and our quality in the final third wasn’t good enough.

“I will have to look at the crosses again, but it seemed as though they either didn’t beat the first man, swung away from danger, or they went to the keeper.

“We’ve got to give people a chance, especially when we went two up front. When we do get into the final third we have got to have more purpose, that’s what I’ve said to the lads.”

Lineup Predictions:

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


AFC Wimbledon Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Walker (GK), Alexander, Heneghan, Johnson, Guinness-Walker, Woodyard, Dobson, Rudoni, Reilly, Longman, Pigott.

Score Predictions:

Simon: The Gas 3-2 AFC Wimbledon

Max: The Gas 3-1 AFC Wimbledon

Jack and Mets: The Gas 2-0 AFC Wimbledon