MATCH PREVIEW: Bristol Rovers v Forest Green Rovers

GasCast Match Previews by Simon Gray

It’s the start of the new EFL season and two of the promoted sides from League Two face off on the opening day as Bristol Rovers take on Forest Green Rovers.

After a jubilant final day in BS7, with The Gas sealing the final automatic promotion spot with a 7 (SEVEN) – 0 win over Scunthorpe, confidence will be high going into the new campaign and Rovers boss Joey Barton is glad that his side were able to return to the third tier at the first attempt.

“We’re back at level par after getting promoted last year,” Barton told BristolLive.

“Obviously, we were in situ when the club got relegated so it was important for us to get League One status back and we managed to do that at the first attempt.

“We get an opportunity now to build a club the way we want to build it.”

With Paul Coutts serving the second of a four game suspension due to a red card picked up at the end of last season, Barton will have to call upon Josh Grant or new signing Jordan Rossiter to partner Sam Finley in the centre of midfield. Fellow new arrival John Marquis should lead the line with Aaron Collins and Harry Anderson supporting him.

It’s also been a summer of change for Forest Green, with the manager who led them to promotion to the third tier, Rob Edwards moving to Watford and a host of players that helped them to the League Two title moving onto pastures new.

Two standout performers have been rewarded with Championship moves. Kane Smith has moved to Bristol City, Ebou Adams to Cardiff City but new boss Ian Burchnall has brought in some new faces in order to bolster their ranks, particularly in midfield.

Armani Little has arrived from Torquay alongside Reece Brown from Huddersfield whilst David Davis has joined from fellow League One side Shrewsbury.

Burchnall will be without frontman Matty Stevens as he recovers from an ACL injury picked up towards the end of last season with Jamille Matt being the likely lone man up top.

Lineup Predictions:

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

Forest Green Rovers Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): McGee (GK); O’Keeffe, Cargill, Godwin-Malife, Moore-Taylor; Stevenson, Hendry, Little, McAllister, Brown, Matt.

Score Predictions:

Max: The Gas 3-1 FGR

Mets: The Gas 1-2 FGR

Simon: The Gas 2-2 FGR