MATCH PREVIEW: Bristol Rovers v Exeter City

GasCast Match Previews by Simon Gray

Bristol Rovers welcome Exeter City this weekend looking to break into the play offs for the first time this season.

Rovers have been nothing short of sensational in their last few games and are now one of the most inform sides in League Two.

The Gas were victorious in midweek away at Leyton Orient in a match that resulted in the O’s sacking boss Kenny Jackett.

Rovers are in full flow now in terms of matches coming thick and fast and manager Joey Barton has spoken of his squad’s fitness in his pre match press conference.

“Everyone’s fine,” Barton told BristolLive.

“The lads have come through the game on Tuesday night really well. There were a couple of knocks and niggles that we’ll assess in the morning.

“The lads are in good fettle. We’ll assess a few in the morning and we’ve got to wrap a couple in cotton wool today because of the amount of games and a few bumps and bruises, but hopefully we’ll have a big squad to choose from for Saturday’s game.”

Nick Anderton and Elliot Anderson are doubts for the starting XI however January signing Jon Nolan could be in line for his debut. Alfie Kilgour is back training but Saturday’s game will come too soon for him.

Exeter go into the game on a fantastic run of their own.

The Grecians are now eight unbeaten in the league and have propelled themselves to fourth in the league, three points behind third place Tranmere with three games in hand.

One of the stars of Exeter’s season so far has been goalkeeper Cameron Dawson.

Dawson, on loan from SheffIed Wednesday has been become a fans’ favourite during his time in Devon and has spoken of his future this week.

“I am loving life down here,” Dawson told DevonLive.

“Of course it helps when the team is doing well and winning breeds confidence and puts smiles on people’s faces, but it has been a great place to be all season, particularly at this stage of the season.”

“There has been no discussion and I have not spoken to anyone.

“I signed on loan here for the season and that is the job I am here to do. I signed for Exeter City and I am fully here this season for the promotion push, and I will give it my all and hopefully it will be a successful season.

“I can’t speak highly enough of the fans and they have taken me in wonderfully and I love playing my football in front of them. I am not a social media man but I do appreciate all of it and it’s been fantastic so far.”

On this weekend’s fixture, Exeter manager Matt Taylor has spoken about how he is looking forward to the occasion.

“We travel to a team in good form, who are keeping clean sheets and scoring goals at will,” he told the club’s website.

“They have some outstanding players at this level, but we’re in good form ourselves coming off the back of the win over Harrogate.

“I know we sold out weeks ago, and I’m sure as a reflection of their good form, the home fans will fill the stands as well. Hopefully it’s a fantastic atmosphere.

“It’s always a good pitch and a big pitch, and a good place to play football, so hopefully as always it’s a good reflection on two good teams.”

Taylor has no new injury concerns for the match.

Lineup Predictions:

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


Exeter City Predicted XI (3-4-1-2): Dawson (GK), Sparkes, Sweeney ©, Stubbs, Caprice, Collins, Atangana, Dieng, Jay, Brown, Phillips

Score Predictions:

Jack: The Gas 2-1 Exeter City

Mets: The Gas 1-2 Exeter City

Simon: The Gas 2-2 Exeter City

Sam: The Gas 1-0 Exeter City