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Bristol Rovers v Charlton | Sat 16 Mar | 3pm KO | Match Preview, Predictions, News & Views

Bristol Rovers v Charlton Athletic
Saturday 16th March 2019 ... 3pm Kick-Off
Referee: Dean Whitestone (Northamptonshire)

Maximum points from the last two fixtures held at the Valley and you cant ask more from that... Wins over Portsmouth and Burton Albion have without doubt, cemented our place in the Play-Offs making it extremely likely that our season will once again be extended - Still we cant start making plans for away trips in May until its absolutely certain, games against those at the bottom end of the table (like our opponents tomorrow: Bristol Rovers) will be just as hard as those against teams at the top, we're at the stage of the season where every point will be fought for until the full time whistle!!

The Opposition
Name: Bristol Rovers | Manager: Graham Coughlan
Ground: Memorial Ground

Its remarkable in a way at how competitive English Football is outside of the Premier League; many would argue that the Championship is without doubt the hardest league in Europe but delve further into the English Pyramid and you could stake a claim for the majority of Divisions having that tough edge to it and League One is no different.

The reason being is the fact that Bristol Rovers currently find themselves in 16th position, its a respective place for a side who despite being at their natural level, found themselves in the Conference only a few years ago... Yet ask Pirates fans and they'll no doubt be unhappy at their position, with defeat this Saturday could leave them out of the relegation zone purely on Goal Difference and with just nine points separating the bottom TWELVE teams!!

As Lee Bowyer commented in his Press Conference this week though; Bristol Rovers is not an easy venue to visit - In the relegation zone just three games ago; the Pirates have gone on to record a maximum of nine points to claw themselves to safety... Sunderland just about managing a win (Rovers last defeat) is proof that we shouldnt expect an easy afternoon when we travel to the West Country!!

Charlton Team News
Just had to say it didnt I!!... In my last Match Preview I commented on how we may have seen our first choice Midfield for one of the rare times this season and the result is that three many now be absent for tomorrows match - Jonny Williams is definitely out injured (hamstring), whilst Krystian Bielik remains a doubt after also being taken off against Portsmouth...

Joe Aribo is the latest, having been taken off against Burton (illness) it would be a surprise for him to miss out yet wouldnt be unexpected... Thankfully the Addicks appear well stocked within the midfield and can rely on the likes of George Lapslie or Ben Reeves to step up, the latter having finally found his shooting boots, with four League goals this season has already beaten what he achieved last season.

Solly | Bauer | Sarr | Purrington
Lapslie | Cullen | Aribo
Taylor | Vetokele

Substitutes Bench: Maxwell | Dijksteel | Pearce | Fosu | Pratley | Marshall | Parker

Under the current coaching staff we're witnessing a Charlton who refuse to accept defeat in a way that we've not seen since under Chris Powell's stewardship... In recent years; Bristol Rovers have been a side who have ruined our promotion hopes and could prove troublesome this time again. With a week off coming up, you'd hope that we see the display of a side knowing they're about to have a break, rather than already on that break


  • Thanks to CharltonMan2016 for saving me the hassle of having to find out the Referee for this week
  • I’d drop Reeves back into the three and put Fosu behind Taylor and Igor. Reeves work rate is underrated but I have a feeling Fosu is going to flourish just at the right time.
  • cafc_se7 said:
    I’d drop Reeves back into the three and put Fosu behind Taylor and Igor. Reeves work rate is underrated but I have a feeling Fosu is going to flourish just at the right time.
    I wouldnt be surprised if thats what we see... I dropped Fosu as wasnt impressed with his work rate on Tuesday; in a way though Bowyer has to show a bit of faith in him to bring his confidence back and playing one game, dropping the next isnt the way to get Tariqe back to his best - Really hope he does flourish at the right time yet at the moment it feels like he's going to be a bit like Theo Walcott

    i.e. he will be 30 one day and we'll still be waiting for him to come good at whatever club he's at
  • Are we on a roll?

    That worries me if we are...  should be expecting a good away win BUT
  • Another excellent preview FA.
    I can see a hotly contested game in difficult conditions tomorrow  but one I think we will win to keep our promotion  push on track. 
    2.1 Charlton 
  • I worry that the conditions will be a bit of a leveller.
  • Rugby pitch.
    Essential to grind out a result and try to get something.
  • edited March 2019
    I think the absence of Williams, Bielik and Aribo if that proves to be the case, might be more of a leveller against home advantage. Another close encounter COYRs.
  • The 2 - 1 victories continue , Taylor and Bauer with our goals.
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  • The 2 - 1 victories continue , Taylor and Bauer with our goals.
    I think we would all take that.
  • Great preview as ever @ForeverAddickted
    The Pirates are in good form and have dragged themselves away from the relegation zone, though like 6 or 8 other clubs along with the present bottom 4, they are not out of the woods yet, that's if pirates ever do get lost in the woods ..
     we're still struggling for goals and will have yet another weakened, injury struck midfield .. thankfully the defence is settled and playing well.
    Parker deserves another go alongside Taylor

    I'll be happy with a boring rubbish draw from this one

    Bristol Rovers 0 v CAFC 0

    P S .. Doncaster/Barnsley on the telly tonight

  • I worry that the conditions will be a bit of a leveller.
    According to BBC weather: rain and strong winds during and before the game
  • Tough game. Rovers have hit a bit of form, and the conditions will be horrible, both for the players AND for the supporters on the open terrace. Not unhappy to miss the game tomorrow!

    Some tough choices for Bowyer in midfield and up front. Neither Igor nor Parker have made themselves automatic picks, while in midfield there are a number of options. Personally I'd pick Pratley ahead of Lapslie.
  • This fixture was a nightmare last year. BR stopped us playing at all and broke fast. Here's hoping well be too strong for them this time. As I am attending we'll probably lose.
  • Tricky one, Rovers are a physical side and I'm not sure our midfield are strong enough. Would take a draw - but wouldn't be surprised to see us get out-battled and come away pointless. Going for 1-1.
  • This might be the game to experiment with Sarr up front? ;)
  • Dyksteel in midfield for me. Has both the height and physicality we will need.
  • Agree Anfernee is a strong contender in these conditions against muscular players. Could do with Belik. 
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  • edited March 2019
    So looking at the last 8 games Bristol Rovers are 3rd in the current form table but yet they have only won 4 matches at Home all season and are bottom of the home form charts!! Strange stats so what a contradiction all round.  One could say lucky we are away but then bad timing on current form.  
  • Great review as always, Tip of the hat to our away support, Think we have some momentum. Win (but no an easy one!)   2-0 COYRS!!!!!!
  • edited March 2019
    2-0 win. 

    Bristol Rovers have the worst home record in the league one by only picking up 16 points at home this season.

    Hopefully, results above us will go our way and we can start to put the pressure on those clubs above us.
  • clive said:
    It would be a real blow if we're missing all 3 of Williams, Bielik and Aribo... but at the same time it would be a big mistake to rush Bielik back too soon and risk a longer injury layoff.

    A tough call for Bowyer if he's marginal
  • I’d rather take a loss here than lose any one of Aribo, Bielik or Williams for more than 2 games.

    as tempting as it is to want to push second place, it’s too much of a risk. Play it safe and give Lapslie etc minutes.
  • Lots of yellows and a red as Charlton say sod football, if you want a fight we'll give you one.

    Two nil to the Addicks and lots of moaning from Rovers fans about our tactics.
  • cafc_se7 said:
    I think it’s a decoy.... my luton mate at a service station earlier sent me this.....
    Good that Aribo has at least travelled. 
  • cafc_se7 said:
    I think it’s a decoy.... my luton mate at a service station earlier sent me this.....
    Men in tights.  FFS
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