Date: 31st August 2017 at 7:59am
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Doncaster Rovers and Blackburn Rovers both at home resulted in losses, so will Bristol Rovers make a hat trick of Rovers losses at Valley Parade at this early stage?

Poleon Dynamite?
City have scored 7 goals in the previous 2, so our strikers are clamouring for the starting berth, competition is rife and McCall has done wonders upfront with the squad. Jones has scored a brace in the midweek trophy and will be high in confidence, Poleon will want to keep his place in the team and already with 3 goals in 5 appearances, Poleon is Dynamite at the moment and I wouldn’t bet against him adding to his tally at home. City have only suffered 1 loss at home in the league in the regular season for a longer period than Teresa May has been Prime Minister, so VP is still a bit of a fortress.

No Poleon Dynamite
Bristol have won their last 4 games and there are many questions about City’s defence that need answering and Bristol is more than capable of questioning most defences as they beat Fulham away in the league cup on their last road trip but 1. City are not the only ones that can score, Bristol have scored 3 goals or more in 4 of their 7 games so far with their only blank on the opening game of the season away to Charlton, the Pirates’ last outing was a 1-5 win away to Wycombe. City’s defence needs to be focused for about 95 minutes if we want the 3 points no matter how many we score. Billy Bodin has already scored 5 times this season and from the end of November scored 13 last season so is a player we need to maintain.

Head to head
24 games and 4 wins the Bantams have to our name and 7 draws, Rovers definitely have the man’s portion of the feast with 13 wins. Last season both fixtures ended all square, previously we had grafted 4 points from 6 thanks to a 4-1 victory at home in April 2013. Bristol Rovers last won at Valley Parade just shy of 22 years ago making 1 win from the previous 5 visits. The biggest win was a 7-1 thrashing dished out by Rovers back in September 1971, thankfully not a single City player will be able to remember that. Last meet at Valley parade was September last season a 1-1 affair with a late Charlie Colkett goal cancelling out a 2nd half goal by James Meredith.

Boz’s match verdict: Home Win

5 Fun facts

1. The last time Bristol Rovers finished above Bradford City in the league was back in 2011/12, since then Rovers have had a spell in the Conference coming back into the Football League at their first attempt finishing 2nd in 2014/15 and the following season finishing 3rd in the 4th division, now spending their 2nd season in League 1.

2. Bristol Rovers currently occupy 11th in the 3rd division, just 2 places below City, the last time Rovers finished this high in the league was back in 2009/10 for a 2nd consecutive season. The last time Rovers finished higher than their current position was back in the 1999/2000 season. There you go, we have experienced finishing in the Premiership more recently than Rovers have of finishing in the top 10 in the 3rd division.

3. The last Bantam to turn out for Bristol Rovers was Ollie McBurnie back in the 2015/16 season, making 5 loan appearances in March and April that season. McBurnie failed to find the net during his spell, but did help the Pirates to sneaking into the last automatic promotion spot on goal difference.

4. Rovers are nicknamed The Pirates due to Bristol’s maritime history. Did you know Blackbeard is a son of Bristol, real name Edward Teach. Next year will mark the 200th anniversary of his death.

5. This current week the city of Bristol has announced they will get £5m to spend on gas busses, Bristol Rovers were given a derogatory nickname ‘The Gas’ by Bristol City fans due to the proximity of the local gas works to Rovers’ old stadium, Eastville Stadium which was demolished in 1998. To the annoyance of Bristol City supporters, the Rovers team accepted the nickname and made it their own. Good on you lads.

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