by The Rovers Review
After a deserved 2-1 victory over Hartlepool United last week, Rovers turn to struggling Leyton Orient for three points this Saturday.
Liam Mandeville will be given another start after scoring in his last two games, and he's been set a challenge to keep Williams out of the team, who is expected return next week against Stevenage.
One player who was missing from squad against Hartlepool was Riccardo Calder, so there could possibly be an injury or illness in that area keeping him out, however you would presume that he would be on the bench.
Cedric Evina will most likely be kept out of the squad by the versatile Niall Mason, who is now adapting to life at left back after having a good performance last Saturday.
After the Hartlepool match Ferguson said Marosi should be okay for Orient, and with Etheridge suffering a broken finger against the Pool, Marosi is the favourite to get the nod.
Craig Alcock seems to have earned his place back in the squad too when he picked up 'Man of the Match' vs Hartlepool and linked up well with Matty Blair on the right.
Rovers will continue to defend their unbeaten home record in the league, which could be extended until December if we prevail against managerless Orient. Orient have picked up 50% of their wins this season away from home, which is decent considering they stand in 22nd in the league.
We've met before
One of Orients strikers, Jordan Bowery, spent a short while with us on loan from Aston Villa in 2014, making three appearances but scoring no goals. Currently for Orient, after signing this year, he has made 13 appearances, scoring one goal.
The last time we both met was in April 2015, where we beat them 1-0 at their ground with a second half goal from former defender Rob Jones. Since 1954, we've played Orient 31 times, winning just 11 of those encounters.
Predicted lineup v Leyton Orient
Marosi; Alcock, Butler, Baudry, Mason; Houghton, Rowe, Blair, Coppinger; Mandeville and Marquis.
by The Rovers Review
More injury setbacks arise this week, but Rovers look to build on their previous 1-3 comeback away at Exeter last weekend, as Rob Jones and Billy Paynter return to the Keepmoat.
Striker, Andy Williams, has been ruled out for a bit more longer, due to suffering food poison. The 30 year-old striker was due to return on 3rd December but now it is looking more like mid-December when he'll return as, due to the food poising, he will have missed some time off of his rehabilitation.
This opens up the opportunity for 19 year-old Liam Mandeville, who came on as sub v Exeter and scored one and assisted two, making it into 'EFL Team of the Week'. Mandeville I'm sure will be given a chance to start next to current Rovers top goal scorer John Marquis, who is one goal away from double figures.
Frazer Richardson looks like he has played his last game in a Rovers shirt due to him suffering a knee ligament injury, which will keep him out for the remainder of his contract. This doesn't worry me if - and that's a big if - Niall Mason or Craig Alcock don't pick up any injuries.
Andy Butler will be touch and go for the game so I'd be in favour of resting him and letting Wright and Baudry have a chance at center backs. Tommy Rowe also completed 90 minutes against Exeter last weekend without any issues, so he should be fine for Hartlepool.
Rovers are undefeated at home so far this season in the league and Hartlepool have lost 38% of their away matches so far, which sees them sitting 15th in the league. Rovers have scored 33 goals in the league, and Hartlepool are behind on 25 so far this season. In addition, we score on average 2.06 goals per match and Hartlepool score 1.56 goals per match.
We've met before
Two former Rovers players could feature at the Keepmoat on Saturday. First one is former captain and interim manager (before Ferguson was appointed), Rob Jones. The 37 year-old signed for Hartlepool as a free agent in March 2016 after being released by Ferguson a month prior; the center back has gone on to make 10 appearances for the Pool since. Dormer striker Billy Paynter, who was involved in famous 0-1 victory against Brentford for promotion to the Championship in 2013, now plays for Hartlepool and has scored 16 goals in his last 44 appearances for the club.
Previous encounters with Hartlepool
Last time we met was at the Keepmoat in 2013 in league one, where Rovers beat Hartlepool 3-0 with goals from: Iain Hume, James Coppinger, and yes, of course - Billy Paynter. Overall, Rovers have won 37 games out of 99 games v Hartlepool since 1924.
Predicted lineup v Hartlepool United
Marosi; Alcock, Wright, Baudry, Evina; Houghton, Blair, Rowe, Coppinger; Mandeville and Marquis.
by The Rovers Review
After qualifying through to the next round of the Checkatrade Trophy, Rovers look back to the league as they travel to inconsistent Exeter City.
Marko Marosi is fit again and is expected to retain the number one spot. Etheridge kept a clean sheet against Port Vale in the cup, but did make a few mistakes.
Craig Alcock and Frazer Richardson are back in contention, causing pressure on the current defense.
Andy Butler is fit for the game but may be rested, which could mean that Joe Wright is given another chance to form a partnership with Baudry, who continues to impress despite being played in midfield against Port Vale. The pressure may be on for Jordan Houghton, who is also fighting for a regular position in the team.
One thing is for sure, and that is that Ferguson has some serious selection headaches defensively now we're getting more numbers back, with Mitchell Lund and Luke McCullough being the only defensive players currently injured.
One player to watch out for at Exeter is 16-year-old Ethan Ampadu, who has impressed in recent performances. They don't seem to have a large goal threat, however, with their top goal scorers all sharing 3 goals between them. The last time we faced Exeter was in December 2004, where we lost 2-1 at St James Park to be knocked out of the FA Cup. Last time we played them in the League was way back in January 1998, where Rovers were thrashed 5-1.
Overall, Rovers have won 22 games out of 45 games played v Exeter.
Predicted lineup v Exeter City
Marosi; Alcock, Butler, Wright, Evina; Baudry, Houghton, Blair, Rowe, Coppinger; Marquis
by The Rovers Review
After exiting the FA Cup just a few days ago and exiting the EFL Cup a few weeks back now, Rovers look to the Checkatrade Trophy to try and get back to winning ways. Ferguson has already said he is looking for a win after not winning any of our last three games in all competitions, and what a way to get back to these winning ways than by progressing through the still controversial Checkatrade Trophy.
Frazer Richardson and Craig Alcock have been confirmed to be given 45 minutes this week, as they continue their recovery from injury, after playing a full 90 minutes last weekend. Paul Keegan is set for his first start of the season in the cup as he makes his return from injury too. Ferguson also hinted that all loanees (ie. Jordan Houghton, Niall Mason and Riccardo Calder) will all feature against Port Vale. Mason and Calder missed the FA Cup, due to illness, and Houghton was rested. Liam Mandeville and Alfie Beestin are set to retain their places, while John Marquis is rested, after the two youngster were the only silver lining last weekend during the disappointing defeat.
Port Vale are a 'big bogey' team for us; the last time we beat them was with a narrow 2-1 victory at the Keepmoat in League 1 in March 2008, with goals from Paul Heffernan and Mark McCammon. Last time we faced Vale was in January this year, where they beat us 2-1 at the Keepmoat, with Cedric Evina scoring the compromising goal in the dying minutes of the game.
Port Vale's player to watch is Alex Jones, on loan from Birmingham City. The striker has scored 8 goals in all competitions so far this season, just in front of our strikers, John Marquis and Andy Williams, who are both on 7.
Predicted lineup v Port Vale
Marosi; Mason, Alcock, Baudry, Garratt; Keegan, Houghton, Calder, Middleton, Beestin; Mandeville.
by The Rovers Review
After a nervy 2-2 draw with Wycombe last Saturday in the league, we now turn to the FA Cup first round where Rovers are playing Oldham Athletic.
Ross Etheridge is expected to be given a chance to redeem himself after not impressing in his previous league games that he's played in. Marosi will be fit again for the match, but I can see Marosi being rested because it looks as though he will be keeping the number one jersey after all.
Ferguson says he does want to give the competition a go, but with Rowe 50/50 from his injury last Saturday I can see him being rested so that he is 100% fit for Exeter next Saturday. This opens some possibilities for Alfie Beestin and Will Longbottom, who will be chomping at the bit for a start to try and impress Darren Ferugson and cause him selection headaches.
Joe Wright and Paul Keegan will have a look-in to start after not featuring as of late, meaning rests could be given to Andy Butler and Jordan Houghton who have played in most games this season.
Frazer Richardson may come into contention for a start, depending on how his rehab is going on his way back from injury - same goes for Alcock too.
Rovers won't just be coming up against Oldham, but we'll also be against our former midfielder Paul Green, who almost re-signed for Rovers last summer before choosing to move to the North West.
Last time we faced Oldham was in December 2015, where we won 2-1 with two goals from the currently injured Andy Williams - and one was an absolute 'belter'! Last time we faced them in FA Cup, however, was in December 2014, where won 1-0 at their place with an own goal from their defender.
Overall Rovers have a good record v Oldham: winning 8, drawing 16 and losing 8 since 1938 - not bad at all. Let's hope that dominance remains this weekend, so we can progress to the second round.
Predicted lineup v Oldham Athletic
Etheridge; Mason, Baudry, Wright; Keegan, Calder, Evina, Blair, Beestin; Mandeville