Bristol Rovers team news confirmed as XI is named for Peterborough United clash

Ryan Loft is not included in Bristol Rovers’ match-day squad against Peterborough United.

Joey Barton has made one change to his Bristol Rovers XI for their League One clash with Peterborough United at the Memorial Stadium. It is a change in the defence with a change at centre-back which could signal a change in formation.

James Connolly starts his first league match for the Gas since Portsmouth away on August 20, after a period out with a stress fracture injury in his back. He started against Rochdale in the FA Cup but was taken out of the starting line-up and replaced by on-loan Everton centre-back Lewis Gibson. Right-back James Gibbons drops out of the starting line-up and on to the bench.

Connolly's inclusion could hint that Rovers will start with a back three, which is the change that was made last week. Gibson was replaced at half-time having started with a 4-3-3 formation, later reverting to a 3-4-3, which allowed Aaron Collins and Josh Coburn to flourish.

James Belshaw takes his place in between the sticks, with ever present status in the league. He has a defence of Connolly, Bobby Thomas and Lewis Gibson in front of him. Connolly will likely take the centre role of defence with Thomas on the right-hand side to him and Gibson to his left.

Scott Sinclair moved to the unlikely position of right wing-back last week and will presumably take that role once more. Sinclair made his first star last week and has now built up enough match fitness to start consecutive matches, rather than entering from the substitute's bench. Lewis Gordon, who endured a difficult start last week, but improved in the second-half, will play on the left-hand side as wing-back.

Antony Evans, who has taken on more defensive responsibilities this season could play a supporting role to the front two of Josh Coburn and Aaron Collins, who have forged a partnership in recent weeks.

Amongst the substitutes are Anssi Jaakkola, John Marquis, Alfie Kilgour, Harvey Saunders, Trevor Clarke and Luke McCormick. Ryan Loft misses out on a return, despite training this week.