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by The Rovers Review

Darren Ferguson now only has one out of five available senior strikers to his use as Portsmouth visit the Keepmoat this Tuesday night.

Following Saturday's 1-0 defeat away from home at Charlton Athletic, Darren Ferguson has lost three of his usual starting players in Alfie May, John Marquis and James Coppinger - who are all ruled out for this mid-week-clash. This means a return to the starting 11 for Liam Mandeville as he's the only available striker out of the five senior ones. Liam's last start for Rovers came in the Checkatrade Trophy win against Sunderland's U21s.

On a brighter note, defender Mathieu Baudry and midfielder Alfie Beestin are now completely available for Ferguson after recovering from their respective injuries. Beestin also has the ability to play up front too, so that could be an option for Ferguson going into the game too.

In Pompey's last match, they were the 2-0 winners against MK Dons with Oliver Hawkins bagging himself a double for Pompey.

The last time these two clubs faced each other was in League Two last season where Rovers triumphed 3-1 with two goals from John Marquis as well as a contribution from Tommy Rowe, helped void Kal Naismith's equalizer on the 41st minute.

At the current moment in time, Darren Ferguson's men are only accumulating 0.92 points per game, whereas Portsmouth is on 1.54 points per game with 33% of their wins so far this season coming on the road.
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by The Rovers Review

Darren Ferguson will certainly be brimming with confidence this weekend, as his side look to earn back-to-back league wins for the first time this season.

Andy Williams and Luke McCullough are now Ferguson’s only injury woes as they’ve both got a week left until they can come back into contention after suffering their respective injuries.

Mathieu Baudry and Alfie Beestin are both fit and available for selection after recovering from injury too. They've both completed 60 minutes in Rovers’ development game on Tuesday afternoon vs Walsall and they both came through the game, “very well”, according to Darren Ferguson where Rovers' reserve side triumphed 4-0.

Ferguson’s injury list has been dramatically reduced, but his injury frustrations will now turn to selection head ache's as he’s now developing an ever-growing squad of players pushing for a start. Rovers will have to be cautioned and disciplined as striker, John Marquis and versatile defender, Niall Mason have both accumulated 4 yellow cards, meaning if they pick up another yellow card then they will face suspension.

Charlton are a team certainly aspiring for promotion from League One under Karl Robinson, and one player in particular who will play a huge part in their promotion push will be winger Ricky Holmes. Since signing from Northampton Town in 2016, the 30-year-old has played 45 games and scored 17 goals and has received unprecedented amount of praise from Robinson in the past for his performances and spirit.

The Addicks are on admirable form, earning 14 points from 8 games, while Rovers have the fifth worst form in the league earning a dismal 7 points in as many games.
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by The Rovers Review

No home league wins this season means Rovers have endured a frustrating return to league one which leaves them eighteenth, ten games in.

Rovers are becoming renowned for their miss-fortunes on the injury front, but as things begin to look up with Mathieu Baudry on the road to recovery and Luke McCullough not far behind him after picking up a knock in his thigh, Rovers will now be without their fourth-choice striker in Andy Williams as he picked up an injury on Tuesday night vs Sunderlands U21s.

Ian Lawlor endured a late injury against Scunthorpe a few weeks ago, resulting in Marko Marosi making a return to the team ever since, but Darren Ferguson confirms Lawlor has now recovered and will be available for selection this Saturday.

With no wins at home so far this season, Ferguson is calling for everyone’s belief, “We’ve just got to keep believing and I think in performances, we’re not too far off.”
He then followed up with the area where he thinks Rovers have failed, “We have to improve at the top end of the pitch for me, we’ve had too many blanks, there’s reasons for that: the final pass, shot, cross, finish – got to improve – that’s the area we worked on this week.”

Rovers go into this game with the joint-worst home record along with Plymouth and Oldham. Meanwhile, Southend's away form is rather inconsistent too, with them only picking up four points on the road so far.

Form-wise, Rovers are excellent against Southend, with no losses since 22nd September 2007 where Rovers narrowly lost 3-2. The last time United came to the Keepmoat it ended in goalless draw back in August 2015.
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by The Rovers Review

It may be early in the season, but Rovers' next contestants come up in the form of table-toppers, Shrewsbury Town - who are yet to lose this season!

Rovers come into this game in high spirits after beating Plymouth Argyle 3-0 away from home on Saturday. If Rovers are to claim a win on Tuesday night then not only would it be Rovers' first league win at the Keepmoat this season, but it'd also be the first back-to-back league win too for Ferguson's men. But it's certainly not going to be easy, as Rovers come up against a side who are yet to lose a game this season.

There's only one fresh concern for Darren Ferguson and that is Matty Blair, who requested a substitution during the second against Plymouth after Ferguson said he was, 'shattered'.

Rodney Kongolo will certainly be pushing for a start after a strong 90 minutes against Arsenal last Wednesday then having a fantastic impact as a substitution on Saturday will mean he's certainly breathing down the neck of the Rovers midfielders.

Out of their four away trips this season, Shrewsbury have won all of them baring their visit to Oxford United that finished 1-1.

Rovers may have scored three last weekend, but at home, three is the dismal amount of goals that have been scored at the Keepmoat across the four home league games played so far this season, where as Shrewsbury have netted six times on the road this season.

The last time Shrewsbury came to the Keepmoat stadium was in March 2016, where Rovers fell to a deflating 1-0 defeat thanks to the single effort of Shaun Whalley.

Predicted line-up vs Shrewsbury Town
Lawlor; Mason, Wright, Butler, Blair; Houghton, Whiteman, Rowe, Coppinger; Marquis and May.
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by The Rovers Review

It's back to reality for Rovers who are back down South to face their former League Two colleagues, Plymouth Argyle.

One Rovers player, Liam Mandeville, has suffered as a result of playing against Arsenal on Wednesday night, who injured himself while getting a shot on goal - only for Per Mertesacker to block.

Ferguson doesn't seem to think the game will be any different to what they were last time Rovers faced Derek Adams' side in terms of how they're going to set-up, but seems more confident in his own ability for what he's going to do to counter their tactics.

Captain James Coppinger is expected to be left out of the starting eleven; Ferguson has stated before he wouldn't usually like to play him in cup competitions but felt it was a good opportunity for Coppinger to play against Arsenal at this point in his career.  It would also mean Coppinger will have started three games for Rovers in the space of six days.

Plymouth sit 23rd in the league table just eight games into the season; one main fault which is letting them down as of late is discipline. Adams has said the number of red cards the Pilgrims are picking up is "killing" his side, after Ryan Edwards was their third player of the season to see red last Tuesday evening.

Last season, in League Two, Rovers lost 1-0 at the Keepmoat in March 2017, and prior to that at Home Park Rovers lost 2-0 thanks to goals from Graham Carey and Jake Jervis. During that game Coppinger also got shown a red card after he stuck up for Liam Mandeville, who was taunted by Argyle's keeper McCormick after Mandeville missed a penalty in the 90th minute.

Predicted line-up vs Plymouth Argyle
Lawlor; Mason, Butler, Wright, Toffolo; Houghton, Rowe, Blair, Whiteman; Marquis and May.
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