MATCH PREVIEW: Plymouth Argyle v Bristol Rovers

GasCast Match Previews by Simon Gray

Bristol Rovers travel to Devon to face Plymouth this weekend hoping to bounce back from the capitulation at Charlton in midweek.

The Gas were two up after half an hour and it’s fair to say it should have been more but they did not take their chances and soon found themselves level before half time.

This was followed up by Conor Washington’s 80th minute winner and Joey Barton’s side came away from West London with nothing and boss Barton has sent a warning to his players regarding their futures at the club.

“I’m having to say at towards the end of the game ‘who’s ready?’” he told BristolLive.

“Nobody’s ready or changed on the bench to come on, it’s frustrating because there’s a lethargy about the standard of behaviour here.

“I wouldn’t normally accept it but I have to at this moment because we’ve got nothing else. I’m turning around and saying who’s ready to go on because it’s taking that long and it cost us in the previous game.

“I don’t want to be hard on players or fire them out of the building, but unless they start learning lessons and start understanding that every very decision matters and you have to be a champion at home before you get the right to be a champion.

“You have to prepare superbly and again the league table doesn’t lie at this point. We’re slightly above the relegation zone and I don’t think we’re in the four worst teams in the division. But if you can’t pick the points up then the league table doesn’t lie in April and May.

“We’ve got 11 cup finals left, and I think our destiny is still in our hands.”

Barton will be without the suspended Joe Day for the match after the goalkeeper saw red in injury time at The Valley. With Anssi Jaakkola not quite ready for a return to first team action, Jordi Van Stappershoef is likely to start between the sticks.

Both Alex Rodman and Josh Grant are set to miss the West Country clash through injury.

Plymouth go into the game looking to stop a run that has seen them lose five on the bounce.

Argyle have lost to Rovers’ relegation rivals Northampton and Wigan during that run and although the unwanted run was extended in midweek with defeat at MK Dons, manager Ryan Lowe has said that he was pleased with his side’s response at Stadium MK.

“I thought the game plan was nearly executed,” Lowe told the club’s website.

“We’ve obviously been on a bad run of not winning. Albeit we should’ve been 2-0 up at least in the first half, we had some great chances.

“Everyone says: you score the first goal you go on and win, and nine times out of 10 that happens. That wasn’t to be, but we kept going, kept fighting for each other, kept working our patterns when we had the ball. We didn’t have much possession, but we still had good chances.

“We had 10 shots, five on target, so that’s pleasing. In terms of the overall commitment, the boys were excellent, and we’ve been done by a decision that only the referee can answer.

“We were very good in possession and out of possession. If they continue to play like that, we will be fine.”

Argyle defender Kell Watts looks set to retain his place and make his 37th start of the season. The on loan Newcastle man was substituted due to a hip complaint late on in midweek but manager Lowe has confirmed he will be fine to play.

Lineup Predictions:

Plymouth Argyle Predicted XI (3-5-2): Cooper (GK); Aimson, Opoku, Watts; Edwards, Camara, Fornah, Mayor, Grant; Ennis, Jephcott.

Bristol Rovers Predicted XI (3-5-2):

Score Predictions:

Simon and Mets: Plymouth Argyle 1-2 The Gas

Jack: Plymouth Argyle 1-1 The Gas

Max: Plymouth Argyle 2-2 The Gas