Two changes for Bristol Rovers as former Stoke City man shoved in at centre-back for Lincoln clash

Joey Barton names an attack minded side for the visit of Lincoln City to the Memorial Stadium
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Joey Barton has made two changes to his Bristol Rovers XI for their match with Lincoln City at the Memorial Stadium.

Glenn Whelan comes in for the suspended Bobby Thomas whilst Ryan Loft makes his return for Alfie Kilgour.

The Gas were successful in their appeal to overturn Kilgour’s red card against Ipswich Town on Tuesday but the 24-year-old is only named amongst the substitutes.

Player-coach Whelan starts as a centre-back and partners Luca Hoole who moves from right-back into the centre.

Harry Anderson, who had been a doubt after coming off in the first 15 minutes at Portman Road, has overcome an injury to start, where he is likely to play at right-back.

Lewis Gordon, signed from Brentford earlier this summer, will start on the left-hand side of the defence.

Luke McCormick has been given his first start at the Mem since rejoining from AFC Wimbledon. He started against Ipswich but was withdrawn after the hour mark.

It is expected that he will play alongside Sam Finley in the centre of the park, alongside talisman Antony Evans.

Trevor Clarke, who was told to find a new club in August, has forced his way back in to Barton’s plans and earns a successive start. Clarke was one of Rovers’ better performers against the Tractor Boys on Tuesday and will play on the left-hand side of a three-man attack, though it could be fluid.

Ryan Loft, who scored three goals in as many games, missed the trip to Suffolk with a training ground injury, but starts ahead of John Marquis, who is only on the bench again.

Rovers’ most creative player Aaron Collins, who boasts the most goals and assists this season, is on the right-hand side of Loft, though he could play alongside him as a two-man partnership as the game goes on.

As for substitutes, Zain Westbrooke is back in contention and is named on the bench, having been unused in midweek.

Summer signing Sylvester Jasper is also on the bench, as well as club captain Paul Coutts, Harvey Saunders and Anssi Jaakkola.

Bristol Rovers v Lincoln City (4-3-3).

GK: James Belshaw, RB: Harry Anderson, CB: Luca Hoole, CB: Glenn Whelan, LB: Lewis Gordon, CM: Luke McCormick, CM: Sam Finley, CM: Antony Evans, RW: Aaron Collins, ST: Ryan Loft, LW: Trevor Clarke