Bristol Rovers hope to put their FA Cup exit behind them as they travel to promotion-chasing Bolton Wanderers on Friday. The Gas were dumped out of the cup by non-league Boreham Wood after conceding two goals without reply and now face a tough trip to Greater Manchester.
Ian Evatt’s side are currently fifth in League One and are ten places higher than Rovers with seven points separating the two teams, with Bolton also boasting a game in hand. Bolton exited the FA Cup in the first round, losing 2-1 to Barnsley and so they haven’t played since their EFL Trophy win over Barrow last Tuesday.
It has allowed for players to recover, whilst for Joey Barton, he has had to deal with illness going through the squad, whilst also trying to remain competitive. Here we take a look at what the picture looks like for both teams ahead of Friday’s clash.
Bristol Rovers team news
Harry Anderson and Paul Coutts have stepped up in their recoveries from their respective injuries. Anderson injured his groin against Sheffield Wednesday, whilst Coutts hurt his ankle in a training ground injury.
Anderson resumed training last week and is working with the strength and conditioning staff and a return could happen soon.
As for club captain Coutts, he took his place in the dugout against Boreham Wood, offering support in a non-playing capacity. He didn’t resume training like Anderson last week, and the club are working closely with the medical staff before allowing him to resume training. It will be too soon for Coutts for a return but Anderson could push for a return to the side.
Last week’s defeat against Boreham Wood was frustrating as several players had felt a bout of sickness. Jordan Rossiter was not named in the match-day squad and Sam Finley could only be named as a substitute, playing the entirety of the second-half. Rossiter has not yet trained with the group but could be in contention.
John Marquis was not named in the squad and has not yet returned to training, whilst Ryan Loft was the latest to drop out, making his status for Friday doubtful.
Josh Grant is out for the rest of the season after undergoing surgery on his knee, having made one appearance this campaign.
Bolton Wanderers injury news
The Trotters have been dealt a blow after midfielder Kyle Dempsey suffered an ankle ligament tear. The Manchester Evening News reports that Dempsey is to be sidelined for four weeks after coming off injured against Barrow last week. Dempsey has played 17 times this season and has scored two goals after joining from Gillingham.
Friday will be too soon for defender Will Aimson and forward Lloyd Isgrove, but the pair are working hard to return. Aimson is back in full training after a hamstring injury, whilst Isgrove with the same problem, is ‘really close’ but just a week behind the defender.