Three changes as Liverpool man absent - Predicted Bristol Rovers XI to face Charlton
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The Gas play two games in four days after almost three weeks since they tasted defeat to Portsmouth. Rovers are not yet guaranteed survival and this double-header against two sides in mid-table is important as they do not want to get dragged in to a relegation battle at this stage of the season.
The break, owing to international call-ups and Plymouth’s EFL Trophy involvement, has allowed for injured players to recover with Harry Anderson pushing to be involved. Joey Barton will be unable to call upon Jarrell Quansah however after the on-loan Liverpool defender was banned for three matches after his red card against Pompey.
Here’s how we think the Gas will line up against the Addicks in front of a near sold-out Mem:
GK: James Belshaw
Things could change but you’d expect Belshaw to start the last few matches. Ellery Balcombe had a spell in the side, but Belshaw is the goalkeeper under contract next season so Barton will need to run the rule as to whether he should consider signing a new goalkeeper in the summer.
CB: Lewis Gibson
He was captain against Portsmouth last time out and is someone we believe should be the first signing of the summer at Rovers.
CB: James Connolly
A big chance for Connolly who will get an opportunity because of Jarrell Quansah’s suspension. He could be in the centre of a three which is a big role as everything Charlton throw at Rovers will come through him.
CB: Luca Hoole
Enjoyed a positive performance for Wales’ Under-21’s at centre-back. Hoole could work as a right sided CB, and will be a player that Barton may tinker with in terms of his position.
LWB: Lewis Gordon
Left-back is an area of the pitch Rovers will need to strengthen in the summer and so Gordon needs to deliver a few good performances. Calum MacDonald is his competitor for his position but Gordon has the edge at the moment.
CM: Grant Ward
Ward is a player playing for his future and so far he’s done well since joining on a short-term deal. He’s not afraid of making a tackle and makes for a good blend of experience and youth with Bogarde.
CM: Lamare Bogarde
Bogarde’s loan spell from Aston Villa has mainly been positive and he returns from international duty which not many players get to do in their career. He did make an error against Wycombe which he can pick himself up from.
CM: Sam Finley
Finley had a bout of illness before the enforced break but he should be back and ready. It’s good to have a three-man midfield and Finley is good defensively as well as going forward.
RWB: Scott Sinclair
It does leave Rovers light at the back if they do go for wing-backs but Sinclair has coped well with a role he’s only faced recently in his long career.
ST: John Marquis
Marquis deserves the nod up front again. He’s been leading the line well and was rewarded with a brace against Forest Green.
ST: Aaron Collins
Collins has been everywhere across the front line over the last few months but maybe the best decision is to go back to basics. If he can go up top in a central position he can position himself in the box to get on some good passes.
Bristol Rovers (3-4-1-2): James Belshaw; Luca Hoole, James Connolly, Lewis Gibson; Lewis Gordon, Grant Ward, Sam Finley, Lamare Bogarde, Scott Sinclair; Aaron Collins, John Marquis.