MATCH PREVIEW: Swindon Town v Bristol Rovers

GasCast Match Previews by Simon Gray

Bristol Rovers head to local rivals Swindon Town in a bid to make it three consecutive league wins.

The Gas left it late against Hartlepool last time out but managed to come away with all three points thanks to a 2-0 win.

Rovers were not at their best in the win though with boss Joey Barton giving an honest review of his side’s performance following the match.

“We know we’ve not been anywhere near the standards that we expect from ourselves,” Barton told BristolLive.

“I don’t think we created an awful lot of pressure but we also knew it was going to be a tricky game. Hartlepool haven’t got the best away form but they’re no mugs by any stretch of the imagination, as Blackpool, who are a comfortable Championship team, found out only last week.

“In the build-up you’re watching it and you know they’re going to be a threat.

“For us at home the nervousness kind of creeps in if we’re not playing well or if we’re not on the front foot because the Gasheads expect us to turn up and blow Hartlepool, who are a really good side, out the water.

“I love that about them. I love that intensity. So, we picked an attacking team from the lineup and we just didn’t get a foothold in the game that we would have expected.

“We were restricted to half chances and set-plays, then you have to rely on your goalkeeper and defenders to step up at key moments, and that’s football.

“We’ve not been anywhere near our best but we’ve managed to win and I’m not sure the club has been able to say that for a long period of time.

“I always thought the sign of any good side that I played in was when you didn’t play well and you managed to take points or you managed to pick up results.”

Barton will welcome the return of midfielder Sam Finley who has served his three-match suspension. He could also welcome back forwards Harvey Saunders and Leon Clarke in the coming weeks as they are in the final stages of recovery from injuries.

Swindon go into the game

After the crucial win at Port Vale last time out, club captain Dion Conroy gave his thoughts on the victory.

“Obviously a massive win,” Conroy told the club’s website.

“Obviously for me, we haven’t won – obviously, the boys won against Northampton but I wasn’t a part of that.

“The form hasn’t been too great as of lately so, yeah that was a massive win. I think they’ve got a few games in hand as well so we knew before the game, I said to the boys this is really a must-win game so we went out and performed even while they had eleven men.

“Their man got sent off right at the end of the first-half. We dominated them even with eleven men, so the boys put in a really good shift today. I think it really suited us how big the pitch is, we could play through the spaces and yeah, there was a bit more confidence in the performance today, so onwards and upwards.

“We’re looking forward to Bristol Rovers.”

Swindon boss Ben Garner has no new injury concerns to worry about however goalkeeper Joe Wollacott remains on international duty with Ghana meaning Garner could line up with the same side that came away from Vale Park with all three points last time out.

Lineup Predictions:

Swindon Town Predicted XI (5-3-2): Ward (GK); Odimayo, Iandolo, Conroy (C), Gladwin, McKirdy, O’Brien, Williams, Hunt, Reed; Simpson, McKirdy.

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

Score Predictions:

Max and Simon: Swindon Town 2-1 The Gas

Mets: Swindon Town 3-1 The Gas

Sam: Swindon Town 2-2 The Gas