Bristol Rovers face Swindon Town at the Memorial Stadium this Saturday. Their last match was at the County Ground, back in September, where Jermaine Easter’s pass to Ellis Harrison was accidentally blocked by Swindon Town defender, Rossi Branco, which put the Pirates 2-1 up in the 84th minute, two minutes after Matty Taylor’s penalty.
Bristol Rovers have won just two of their previous five fixtures and are currently 10th in the league. However, Swindon Town are in worse form and have only won one of their last five games; a 2-1 win against Bolton Wonderers and currently sit 19th in the league.
The Pirates have secured four new signings so far in this window. One being Queens Park Rangers goalkeeper, Joe Lumley. Lumley’s position at the club is crucial since loanee goalkeeper, Kelle Roos, was recalled back to his parent club in December and Steve Mildenhall remains injured after an operation to rectify a patella tendonitis condition in his knee.
With defenders Jake Clarke-Salter and Peter Hartley recovering from a broken arm and a foot injury respectively, the three new faces at the club have got an opportunity to show the club and the fans why they were signed. Those faces are defenders, Joe Partington from National League side, Eastleigh, Ryan Sweeney from Stoke City and recent signing, Jonathan Burn from Middlesbrough.
The Robins have said that striker, Jonathan Obika continues to recover from a hamstring injury that he obtained during the match against Shrewsbury Town on 7th January. Full back, Brandon Ormonde-Ottewill and midfielder, Ellis Iandolo are both recovering from ankle injuries suffered back in December. The pair has started to slowly train with the team again but are still unlikely to play in matches until they complete full training.
Swindon also seem to have become a fan of Premier League leaders Chelsea after recently signing a fourth player from the club, 21-year old defender Dion Conroy on a permanent deal until 2019. On 11 January, Charlie Colkett, Fankaty Dabo and Islam Feruz all signed a loan deal until the end of the season.
This isn’t Colkett’s first time in League One, the midfielder made 15 appearances at Bristol Rovers until he was recalled back to Chelsea at the start of the January transfer window.
I personally think that Darrell Clarke should have played him a lot more as he was benched for a few matches. The 20-year-old has scored some amazing goals at the club and will progress to become a well-known player who I’d like to see in the first team squad at Chelsea some day.
Considering that Bristol Rovers won against Swindon Town in the previous fixture, I think that it will be an easy 3-1 win for the Pirates. The Robins last clean sheet was back in November when they won 1-0 against Bradford City. Since then, they did not win a game until the beginning of January.