MATCH PREVIEW: Bristol Rovers v Crawley Town

GasCast Match Previews by Simon Gray

Bristol Rovers welcome Crawley this weekend looking to climb up the League Two table.

Rovers drew 1-1 to Barrow in the their last league outing and found themselves edging closer to the bottom two so a positive result this weekend is needed to avoid them slipping into the bottom two after five games.

The transfer deadline has come and gone and Rovers managed to bring in three players on deadline day with the option of a fourth to follow.

Junior Brown, Antony Evans and Leon Clarke all put pen to paper this week and manager Joey Barton spoke of how pleased he is with his signings. He also confirmed that fellow free agent Glenn Whelan could follow them in through the door.

“It’s just a lot of experience. Junior (Brown) is someone who’s had promotions in the past,” Barton told BristolLive.

“I felt like we had a little bit of a problem in the squad if we were to pick up a couple of injuries in those slots.

“He’s been with us for two weeks and worked enormously hard to earn himself a contract. Obviously Leon (Clarke) is somebody who has got a wealth of experience higher up the pyramid.

“We needed somebody in the frontline to get us a platform to get up the back. Obviously, we’d have liked to do another in that space but the market is really scarce, in terms of the number nine types.

“So we’re delighted to have Leon because we think he can add a lot to the group and certainly the way we want to play he gives us a good solid platform.

“We’re trying to work on Whelo (Glenn Whelan), because he’s 198 you have to make sure you do a thorough medical on him, so it’s just the stages of that.”

Barton will be without Anssi Jaakkola who has had a flare up of a long lasting achilles injury, he is expected to miss the next couple of weeks. New signing Antony Evans’ involvement at the weekend is subject to international clearance.

Crawley go into the game having had a difficult couple of away days recently.

The Red Devils have conceded six goals in their last two away games and will be hoping to bounce back this weekend.

A 6-3 defeat at Forest Green in the league was followed by a 0-0 draw at home to Northampton in the league but on Tuesday, Crawley were beaten 6-1 at League One Charlton in the Papa John’s Trophy and manager John Yems only had praise for the traveling fans.

“The fans make the day,” Yems told the Crawley and Horley Observer.

“They are singing, they are dancing. I can’t wait to see them when we win things if we get the right way I want to do something.

“We can only compliment them [the fans. I think most of them know it hurts me just as much as it hurts them.”

Crawley go into the game with a lengthy injury list which was added to at Charlton with Tom Dallison picking up an injury early on. Former Rovers players Sam Matthews and Tom Nichols are out of contention against their former club but former captain Tony Craig is set to face off against his previous employers.

Lineup Predictions:

Bristol Rovers Predicted XI (3-4-2-1):

Crawley Predicted XI (4-4-2): Morris (GK), Davies, Francillette, Craig, Tsaroulla; Powell, Hessenthaler, Frost, Ferry; Ashford, Nadesan.

Score Predictions:

Max: The Gas 2-0 Crawley Town

Sam: The Gas 2-1 Crawley Town

Simon: The Gas 3-1 Crawley Town