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by The Rovers Review

After grinding out a 1-0 victory at home on Monday, Rovers face a visit from fellow league two promotion candidates Portsmouth on Thursday night.

Liam Mandeville is expected to miss this encounter due to suffering a slight 'knock' prior to the Stevenage game.

Andy Williams and John Marquis are expected to be given a chance to rekindle their partnership upfront against Portsmouth. Conor Grant is expected to keep his place in midfield with his return to the club last week.

18 year-old Tony Donaldson in the last few days signed for Rovers on an 18 month contract and he is expected to make his debut on the bench.

Rovers remain unbeaten at home this term, but will they crack under the pressure of Sky's cameras as Portsmouth have won six of their thirteen away games this season?

Portsmouth have the best defence in the league as they've only conceded 22 goals in 24 games and Rovers have conceded 31 in just as many games.

Players to watch
Midfielder Gary Roberts is the player to watch on the Portsmouth team with him being their top goal scorer with 7 goals, and threatened Rovers with an equaliser late on in the previous game, but never managed to score.
Roberts is closely followed by striker Michael Smith, who has scored 6 goals, with three coming in the league.

Previous encounters
Rovers last faced Portsmouth in October at Fratton Park, which saw Rovers be 2-1 victors with goals from John Marquis and Andy Williams. Carl Baker was the only consolation for Portsmouth that day.

Overall, Rovers have won 4 and drawn 3 out of 10 encounters against Portsmouth since 1947, so hopefully Rovers good record will continue in front of the TV cameras this Thursday as Rovers look to gain way at top of the league - doing the double over Portsmouth would definitely be a statement to the rest of  the league!

Predicted lineup v Portsmouth
Marosi; Baudry, Butler, Mason; Houghton, Blair, Rowe, Grant, Coppinger; Marquis and Williams.
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