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Match Previews

The big preview - Bristol Rovers

18 October 2013

Gareth Ainsworth’s men travel to the Memorial Stadium on Saturday in search of a third successive win.

Blues go into the game full of confidence following victories over Rovers’ fierce rivals Bristol City, and Torquay United, while Ainsworth has also been boosted by the return to fitness of Matt McClure and Gary Doherty.

Rovers, on the other hand, are without a win in their last seven games and have tasted success just twice so far this season.

John Ward’s side did earn a hard-fought point at high-flying Mansfield Town last time out though, as Alefe Santos’s late goal secured a 1-1 draw.

Gareth Ainsworth – speaking to Chairboys Player

“They did very well last season. They were bottom of the league at one stage, but John Ward went in and changed a lot.

“He’s a well-respected manager and has been around the lower leagues and done well. He knows his stuff and knows how to win games. I think they’re in a false position and I think they are better than they are currently showing.

“It will be very tough, but hopefully we can do both Bristols in a month - I don’t think many teams will do that this year!

“That’s the aim, but we have to respect them. They’re a big side and well organised and they’ll be up for it.

“It’s always a hostile atmosphere, but I’m looking forward to it. When we get there we’ll be doing it right and hopefully stamping our game on them.”

John Ward – speaking to Rovers’ official website

“While we respect Wycombe, who have some very lively players, we are OK with our home form, and we have to replicate that and improve it.

“If we play not very well and win, I would take that, but I would rather play well and win. We want to move the ball about like we did last week.

“We are creating enough chances, we just need to finish them off. We have got people who can score in the team, we have just got to be a bit more clinical.

“Gareth Ainsworth has done a great job. They are a lively team and a bright team - if they get the upper hand on you then they will make it pay.

“We know we have some work to do and that starts today. I know Gareth, he wants to attack, and I want to attack - I think it is going to be a good game.”

Team selection

As well as the aforementioned McClure and Doherty, who return after illness, Ainsworth will also be able to call upon former Rovers man Jo Kuffour after the striker recovered from the flu-like symptoms he suffered before last Saturday’s clash with Torquay. Charles Dunne is available again following his suspension.

Dean Morgan (thigh) and Steven Craig (viral infection) returned to training on Thursday and could be in contention, while Leon Johnson is unavailable due to an injured hip.

The Pirates may hand debuts to winger Alex Henshall and defender Will Packwood, who joined on loan from Manchester City and Birmingham City respectively on Thursday.

Ellis Harrison and Seanan Clucas return from international duty and Lee Brown is expected to feature after his hamstring problem was not as bad as first feared.Former Chairboy Matt Harrold is a doubt after missing the draw at Mansfield with a groin injury.

Sky Bet odds

Draw 12/5
Wycombe 15/8
Rovers 11/8

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