MATCH PREVIEW: Scunthorpe United v Bristol Rovers

GasCast Match Previews by Simon Gray

Bristol Rovers travel to bottom of the league Scunthorpe United hoping to kick off the Christmas period with a win.

Rovers go into the game having enjoyed two wins from two in December so far. A FA Cup Second Round triumph over Sutton was followed by a 4-2 win over Rochdale in the League last time out.

One player who has started to shine in recent weeks is forward Aaron Collins. The summer signing from Forest Green took a while to get going at his new club but has now scored five in his last six games and Collins has been speaking about who he is styling his football on at the moment.

“I’m a Liverpool fan, so I love Mohamed Salah at the moment,” Collins told BristolLive.

“I can’t exactly compare myself to Salah, he’s next level, but I’ll watch Salah a lot and I like what he does.

“When I watch him the main thing he does is drive at the goal when he has the ball, so I try to take a bit of what he does into my game.”

“I can’t actually remember the first goal.”

“I just remember releasing it and knowing it was going in. The stuff I need to bring into my games though is the tap-ins and being a number nine.

“I think a couple of weeks ago I might’ve taken that first time or rushed it, but once you get a couple of goals you have confidence.”

Rovers will be once again without midfielder Sam Finley and defender Cian Harries for the match as they continue their suspensions. Josh Grant remains sidelined so manager Joey Barton may opt to name the same side that beat Rochdale last weekend.

Connor Taylor came off at halftime in the win over Dale but should be fit for this weekend’s fixture.

Scunthorpe go into the game winless in nine in all competitions with new manager Keith Hill being in charge since early November.

Hill has steadied the ship somewhat in his short time at Glanford Park so far, with the Iron drawing five of his six league matches in charge including the last four and the former Rochdale and Bolton boss believes a win is not too far away.

“I see change and a real identity starting to form,” Hill told the Grimsby Telegraph.

“I’m reasonably happy and pleased for the players who showed a bit more belief.

“The effort was there, the honesty was there and so too core values what supporters want. If they make mistakes working hard I will forgive them, but I expect my team to be the hardest working team in whatever league we are in.

“We tried to play football in severe conditions and if we continue to make this type of progress we will start to win games.”

“I’m seeing patterns developing and players building relationships. The jigsaw is coming together I believe.

“I want to train and play a different way to previous and I am seeing an improvement.

“We could have had it at the end, but we can’t take anything away from the opposition who are in good shape. We nullified their threat, but they had one or two close moments and we looked reasonably comfortable defensively.

“We lack a bit of a cutting edge and we are getting into a position where we can go on and win that type of game.”

Hill has no new injury concerns and could name the same starting lineup that held Hartlepool to a 0-0 draw last time out.

Lineup Predictions:

Scunthorpe United Predicted XI (4-1-3-2): Watson (GK); Millen, O’Malley, Taft, Onariase; Beestin; Pugh, Hippolyte, Rowe; Jarvis, Loft.

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

Score Predictions:

Jack: Scunthorpe United 1-1 The Gas

Mets and Simon: Scunthorpe United 0-2 The Gas