Soccer AM/MW - the home of lively and humorous discussion from the Football and Non Leagues

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Big Match Preview

League One
Bristol Rovers vs. Swindon Town
Saturday December 12, 15:00, Memorial Stadium

There's more than just local pride at stake this weekend as play-off chasers Bristol Rovers and Swindon meet at the Memorial Stadium for a Westcountry derby.

Just goal difference separates the League One rivals in 6th and 7th in the standings, with the Robins holding sway over their opponents, as well as having a couple of games in hand.

All of which means Danny Wilson's visitors could further strengthen their own play-off chances as well as denting one of their challengers' hopes as they seek a fourth successive victory.

It's been a strong campaign to date from the Wiltshire outfit who, after being drubbed 5-0 by Gillingham on the opening day, have lost just two of their last 17 league games.

Their away form has also been impressive, with wins chalked up at the likes of Brentford, Yeovil, Carlisle, and Tranmere.

Much of Town's hopes rest on the form of striker Billy Paynter, the former Hull man has found the back of the net nine times already this term, with Charlie Austin the next top scorer on four.

Trollope and Wilson are both aiming for the play-offs

Other notable names in the Swindon team include ex-Leeds pair David Lucas and Jonathan Douglas, and Scottish midfielders Jon Paul McGovern and Craig Easton.

For Rovers it's been a season of ups and downs with their play-off challenge constructed on a policy of winning and losing games - only one of their 20 league games has ended all square.

Victories have been registered against Millwall, Southampton, and Huddersfield, however, they've also suffered heavy losses to Norwich and Leed - the latter one of three defeats on home soil this season.

However, when you consider the club were forced to sell Rickie Lambert,
League One's top scorer last season, to Southampton, then Gas manager Paul Trollope has worked wonders to get his side competing towards the top.

He's been able to call upon a clutch of players to help fill the void left by Lambert including midfielder Jeff Hughes with seven goals to his name, and the likes of Jo Kuffour, Daryl Duffy, and Chris Lines have chipped in too.

It's a free-scoring approach which has seen games involving the Pirates including 61 goals, compared to the 46 goals which have been witnessed by Swindon supporters this season.

It adds up to an intriguing encounter between the two sides. The Robins have been difficult to beat this season and that will probably add up to a tight derby affair.

That defensive steel will be needed against Rovers and, if they can hold tight, they have enough on the break to take all three points back with them.

Nobes' Prediction: Bristol Rovers 0 Swindon Town 1

No comments:

Post a Comment