MATCH PREVIEW: Harrogate Town v Bristol Rovers

GasCast Match Previews by Simon Gray

Bristol Rovers make the long trip up to Yorkshire for the second time in three weeks as they take on fifth place Harrogate Town this weekend.

The Gas drew 2-2 on their last trip up to Yorkshire at Bradford a fortnight ago but have since picked up one point from a possible six.

A draw at Colchester was followed by a home defeat to Newport and the defeat to the Welsh side led to manager Joey Barton making a controversial analogy regarding his side’s defending which has made national headlines.

Barton used the term ‘holocaust’ when talking about how his side defended and since his post-match interview, nothing has come out of the club channels to attempt to explain or apologise for his phrasing.

Barton will be sure to face a series of questions on it during his pre-match press conference as well as other news at the club including if anyone on the injury table is ready to return but defender Cian Harries is likely to come straight back into the team after serving a one-game ban.

Rovers will be without Sam Finley who will miss one game through suspension. Anssi Jaakkola remains sidelined meaning that James Belshaw will face his former club between the sticks.

Harrogate go into the game looking to maintain their unbeaten home form.

Town are now 7 unbeaten at the EnviroVent Stadium and will be counting on this home form in order to maintain their early season standing in League Two.

Harrogate have had the goal involvements of midfielder Alex Pattison to thank for their early season form but the former Wycombe man missed the defeat at Hartlepool with an Achilles problem and manager Simon Weaver has confirmed that he and defender Connor Hall may return this weekend to face the Gas.

“They’re both touch and go,” Weaver told the Harrogate Advertiser.

“They didn’t train at the start of the week, we wanted them to focus on their rehab.

“They’ve got to join in with the group on Thursday and Friday in order to be in contention for Saturday, so we will have to assess them at the end of the week.

“Alex hasn’t needed another injection, he’s had tablets instead but we’ll just have to wait and see.”

Further team news for Harrogate is that they will still be without the services of long-term absentee Rory McArdle.

Lineup Predictions:

Harrogate Town Predicted XI (4-4-2): Oxley (GK), Fallowfield, Page, Hall, Burrell; Thomson, Pattison, Falkingham, Muldoon; Diamond, Armstrong

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

Score Predictions:

Max: Harrogate Town 2-0 Bristol Rovers

Mets: Harrogate Town 3-1 Bristol Rovers

Simon: Harrogate Town 2-1 Bristol Rovers