Joey Barton has made five changes to Bristol Rovers’ starting XI for their FA Cup second round tie with Boreham Wood at the Memorial Stadium. The Gas won 2-1 against Colchester United in the EFL Trophy but have freshened things up for the visit of the National League side.
James Belshaw takes his place in between the sticks, replacing Anssi Jakkola. Jaakkola started on Wednesday but was substituted after suffering a dead leg. Jed Ward is back at the club after a loan spell at Hungerford Town.
James Connolly captains the side for the first time and is partnered with on-loan Everton man Lewis Gibson and Bobby Thomas, on loan from Burnley in a back three. Lewis Gordon and Scott Sinclair are deployed as wing-backs, with Gordon on left and Sinclair on the right.
Glenn Whelan makes his first start since the EFL Trophy win over Crystal Palace in which he was sent off. The 38-year-old has not been involved in a match-day squad since Exeter CIty on October 1. He partners Antony Evans in the midfield.
Aaron Collins is playing in the ten role, playing a supporting role to the front partnership of Josh Coburn and Ryan Loft. Coburn has been given permission by parent club Middlesbrough to play in the tie. He did not feature against Rochdale in the last round but has now been given the go-ahead.
Jaakkola is fit enough to be named on the bench along with Alfie Kilgour, Luca Hoole, Luke McCormick, Harvey Saunders, James Gibbons, Sam Finley and Trevor Clarke.
Bristol Rovers (3-4-1-2): James Belshaw; Bobby Thomas, James Connolly, Lewis Gibson; Scott Sinclair, Antony Evans, Glenn Whelan, Lewis Gordon; Aaron Collins; Ryan Loft, Josh Coburn.
Substitutes: Anssi Jaakkola, Alfie Kilgour, Luca Hoole, Luke McCormick, Harvey Saunders, James Gibbons, Sam Finley and Trevor Clarke.