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by The Rovers Review

After winning 5 of our last six games we face our toughest test yet, as we visit our promotion rivals Luton Town.

For once there are no fresh injury concerns - Mathieu Baudry and Paul Keegan look to be back looking to push for a start, after completing about an hour in a friendly arranged with Notts County on Tuesday. Ross Etheridge, Tyler Garrett, Will Longbottom, Alfie Beestin and Liam Mandeville also featured in the friendly v Notts County, suggesting they're getting game time there, because they won't start on Saturday - which makes sense.

Based off of last week's match against Newport, I think that Harry Middleton's place will be under scrutiny, after a lackluster performance. On the other hand, Marko Marosi has cemented his place in this weeks team, coming away with a clean sheet and making two or three beautiful saves.

Luton are favorites, along with Rovers,Portsmouth, Plymouth and Carlisle to finish somewhere around the top three this season, so you could say this is going to be our biggest test yet. I think a lot of the players are going to up their game for this one, well I hope anyway, because if we come away from a place like Luton with a comfortable point, or three then I will continue to be elated at our progress so far.

Luton have lost their last two games in Sky Bet League Two, and have managed to win 4 out of 8 games this season, so you could say they've had an inconsistent start, but that does see them sit in 7th in the table going into this match.

The last time we faced Luton was in 2008 in league two and that resulted in a 2-0 victory Rovers, but the last time we visited Luton it was a one all draw, with a goal from James Hayter. Overall, Rovers have won 7 out of 22 games v Luton, and I think it's about time that we change that 7 to an 8, don't you?

Predicted lineup v Luton Town:
Marosi; Blair, Wright, Butler, Evina; Houghton, Rowe, Coppinger, Middleton; Marquis and Williams.
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by The Rovers Review

After last week's exhilarating 1-5 victory away at Morecambe, Rovers will look for another win to kick off their winning run with the visit of Newport County.

Team news has come in and Harry Middleton looks a doubt for Saturday after picking up a tight hamstring. Baudry, McSheffrey and Keegan have all taken part in training this week, but most likely won't be involved on Saturday.

Riccardo Calder would look to be the favourite to replace Middleton in midfield; he came on during the second half against Morecambe did impress, but maybe could do with some work on communication because he did mis-place some of his passes. This would be make or break for Calder, because if he puts in a good shift he's going to cause selection headaches for Ferguson - especially with players returning from injury - but if he doesn't take advantage of this opportunity, players, such as, Gary McSheffrey and Paul Keegan will be pushing for their places back in the squad.

Craig Alcock has had a setback after picking up a, 'niggle', which will see him out for an extra week, and Niall Mason and Frazer Richardson, have began some training this week, but don't look like they'll be involved this Saturday either.

With all three right-backs out, Matty Blair looks like he'll retain his place at right-back instead of winger, but that doesn't concern me too much because he performed immaculately on Saturday and quite literally didn't put a foot wrong.

Ferguson has said, however that there are, "still things [he] wants to improve" on before facing Newport County this weekend, so it'll be interesting to see what these improvements are.

Newport have had a steady start to their season and haven't set the league on fire in their first seven games, but they have only lost just as many as Rovers have this season. They've drawn their last three games, and scored in all three too, and with Rovers scoring 10 goals in their last 3 games, winning two of them games too, it surely must be a game full of goals, right?

It has been a while (and when I say a while, I mean a WHILE) since we last faced Newport, dating back to 1987 in League division three, where Rovers lost 0-1. Hopefully this time round, Rovers can revenge 29 years later with a victory!

Predicted lineup v Newport County:
Marosi; Blair, Wright, Butler, Evina; Houghton, Calder, Coppinger, Rowe; Marquis and Williams.
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by The Rovers Review

After a frustrating defeat to Crewe Alexandra, Rovers look to Morecambe to get back to their winning ways. What we learnt from the Crewe game is that we need to begin to take our chances, because we dominated Crewe for most of the game, yet didn't manage to score in open play.

No one looks set to be returning from injury for this match, but Baudry and some other players are participating in training this week, so it may not be long until they're in the side.

Again, what we learnt from last weekends match, was that 3-5-2 doesn't work for us. As soon as Ferguson changed the system from 4-4-2 to 3-5-2, we conceded their winning goal.

Marko Marosi looks to keep his place in goal, however Ferguson did question whether or not he should've saved their second goal; although he's kept 3 out of five clean sheets, could Ferguson be losing patience with another goalkeeper?

After the Crewe match Tommy Rowe said, 'you win some, and you learn some'. Hopefully meaning they learnt from their mistakes from their defeat at Crewe and that they're going to go to Morecambe to bring back three points. He also went on to insist that the Rovers players have the, 'belief', to get back to their winning ways.

James Coppinger is set to make his 500th appearance for Doncaster and after winning the League Two player of the month award earlier in the week, there is no doubt about it; Coppinger will be one of the first names on the team sheet.

Last time Rovers played Morecambe was in November 2003, in the conference, and Rovers lost 3-0 away, so let's hope that it's not a repeat of that scoreline this time round!

Overall Rovers have won just 3 out of 10 meetings against Morecambe since 1998.

Predicted lineup v Morecambe
Marosi; Richardson, Wright, Butler, Evina; Houghton, Blair, Rowe, Coppinger; Marquis and Williams.
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by The Rovers Review

It's four out of four now for Darren Fergusons' men in all competitions, keeping three out of four clean sheets too, but will we be able to keep up this Saturday as we face Crewe Alexandra, who dropped down to league two with us last season?

Ferguson will be without both recognisable right-backs, Mitchell Lund and Craig Alcock, and will be looking to fill that position in with new signing Frazer Richardson, who joined on a two-month deal on Tuesday. Joe Wright will also be available after leaving the Wales U21 squad, due to, 'injury', but he still featured on Tuesday night v Mansfield Town for 90 minutes, so I presume he'll start again.

Riccardo Calder and Alfie Beestin will be pushing for a start after scoring in the win v Mansfield on Tuesday, but I can see Ferguson keeping the team in the league the same as what it was v Yeovil, obviously without the injured, Mitchell Lund.

During Tuesday night's game, Ferguson played primarily with a 3-4-3 formation, that seemed to of worked, so the question is, will he revert back to 4-4-2 or continue with the 3-4-3. Personally I think if he sticks with the team that beat Yeovil, he should stick to 4-4-2.

At the time of writing this, it's early hours into the transfer deadline day, and Ferguson is keen on bringing in a striker in on-loan, but at this moment in time I think, yes, we do need to sign a striker, but I think Marquis and Williams should start Saturday as now they have begun scoring we need to keep playing them.

Last time we faced Crewe was at the end of April when they effectively relegated us to League Two by beating us 3-1. A goal from Tommy Rowe gave us the early lead in that game, but it wasn't enough to keep us up, as Crewe hit back in the second half to send us down.  Alex, however, have only managed one win out of the first five games of the EFL season on the opening day of the season, so they may still be fragile. Meanwhile Rovers are finding their momentum, which will hopefully work in our favour. Chris Dagnall, Alex Kiwomya and Ryan Lowe are all players to watch out for, for our defence, as they've all netted three goals each this season, so one thing is for sure, they're no stranger to scoring goals.

Since 1924, Doncaster have beaten Crewe 41 times, and they've only beaten us 32 times, so as far as stats go, we have the upper hand this weekend, but will we manage to gain revenge for their victory that consequently got us relegated last season?

Predicted lineup v Crewe Alexandra

Marosi; Richardson, Wright, Butler, Evina; Houghton, Rowe, Coppinger, Blair; Marquis and Williams.
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by The Rovers Review

After a thrilling 4-1 victory at home to Yeovil Town on Saturday, Darren Fergusons' men look to make it four on the bounce with a win in the Checkatrade Trophy on Tuesday night at Mansfield.

Mansfield away is the first trip in the competition for Doncaster, as they embark on the first round of the Checkatrade trophy round 1, but all does not lie on this game, as we still have to play Port Vale and Derby Countys' academy. For this match I'd like to see some of the younger players have a run out, such as Pugh, Mandeville and Beestin, but one thing that would mean, is that Ferguson would have to dismantle a squad with a winning mentality.

One problem for sure is our defence; we now have 7 injured defenders, with Mitchell Lund the latest casualty vs Yeovil last Saturday, but now we also lose Joe Wright, who has been called up to Wales U21 squad and will miss Mansfield and Crewes' game. So that only leaves us with Evina and Butler as recognised defenders, but this could create an opportunity for youngsters Reece Fielding and Danny Amos.

I can also see goalkeeper Ross Etheridge having a chance to redeem himself during the cup, after being dropped for Marko Marosi very early on this season.

One thing is for certain and that is Ferguson will want to keep Williams in the squad, after the striker netted three goals in his last match; he'll want Williams to hopefully continuing to score to keep up the flow. No players are expected to return from injury for this match, as Paul Keegan has been ruled out for an extra month, and Baudry and McSheffrey are about 3 or 4 weeks away too.

Last time Rovers played Mansfield was ten years ago, in the FA cup. We drew 1-1 with them at their ground, but in the replay we beat them 2-0 at Belle Vue.  Mark McCammon, Paul Heffernan and Brian Stock all scoring during those two matches. Overall, Rovers have won 19 of their 65 previous meetings since 1932, but with it being 10 years since we last faced them, will we manage to make it 20?

Predicted line-up v Mansfield:
Etheridge; Fielding, Butler, Amos; Blair,  Middleton, Beestin, Calder, Evina; Pugh and Williams.

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