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by Rich Colby

After spending last weekend without kicking a ball due to the international break, Rovers are back in action on Saturday as they travel to Lancashire to face Fleetwood Town.

The ‘Cod Army’, as they like to call themselves, had an excellent start to the season and occupied top spot at the end of August, but they have stuttered a little in the last month or so winning just once in their last nine games. Rovers will want to take advantage of that, but in order to do so, they’ll have to stop striker Stephen Dobbie. His experience and craft will count for a lot for the opposition and he is the one to watch for them.

Paul Dickov’s men went into the international break on a high following the league victory against Scunthorpe and beating Burton Albion in the JPT.  Rob Jones remains out with a knee injury, but Curtis Main could feature. One man bang in form at the moment is midfielder Dean Furman, but its 50/50 whether he’ll start the game having just returned from South Africa.

Rovers will probably field a side very similar to the one that beat Scunthorpe two weeks ago with hopefully the same outcome. This will be Doncaster’s first ever visit to Fleetwood, and they’ll be looking for a result to push them into the top half of the table. The fans will be back on the terracing in the Percy Ronson Stand behind the goal making plenty of noise as usual. Hopefully the players can give them something to shout about in this interesting League One clash.

Come on you reds!
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by Rich Colby

Rovers fans traveling along the M1 will still be singing renditions of ‘Nathan Tyson baby’ as they travel to the Pirelli Stadium to face Burton Albion in the Johnstones Paint Trophy. A much better display against Scunthorpe in the M18 derby has made the season look a little bit brighter, and Paul Dickov’s men will be chomping at the bit to make it two wins on the bounce.

Their opponents, Burton Albion, currently occupy third position in League 2, but have stuttered a little over the last few weeks with defeats to Wimbledon, Bury, Brighton (League cup) and Cambridge.  The Brewers will still be confident though, after all they have home advantage and it’s a cup-tie where form counts for nothing. Top scorer and striker Lucas Akins will be the one to watch for them.

At the time of writing, Doncaster have no new fresh injury worries. Rob Jones will still be absent after a knee op, and will remain so for the next couple of weeks at least. Curtis Main is back training with the squad and could also feature. Midfielder Dean Furman will also be absent after joining up with the South Africa squad, so expect Paul Keegan to take his place.

Hopefully Paul Dickov will keep a very similar side and formation to the one that beat Scunthorpe at the weekend. Following the Burton game Rovers have an 11 day break after next weekends game against Notts County was called off due to international call-ups, so they’ll want to go into the break on a high.

The two sides haven’t met since the conference days of 2003, over 11 years ago. Hopefully Rovers will have that little bit of extra quality and qualify for round 3 on the road to Wembley!

Come on you reds!
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by Rich Colby

A miserable defeat in the midlands last weekend has hopefully come as a wake-up call to the Rovers players and management.  Paul Dickov’s men will look to get their season back on track with a victory over one of their biggest local rivals Scunthorpe United at Glanford Park.

To lots of Rovers fans (myself included), Scunny in the big game of the season.  If we beat Scunny, everything is all right with the world again.  I’m sure most fans of other clubs say the same about their local rivals.  Luckily for me, I have many happy memories of Scunthorpe away.  Names such as Mickey Norbury, Leo Fortune-West, Graeme Lee and Billy Sharp bring back fond memories of thrashings, last-minute draws and last-minute winners.  Rovers need that good feeling back this weekend.

Captain Rob Jones remains out for Rovers after having an exploratory knee op this week.  Curtis Main and Nathan Tyson should be back in the fold for Paul Dickov’s men.

Scunny have been hit with a bit of an injury crisis and have 7 players out, including Rovers former midfield maestro Dave Syers.  The Iron have picked up just 2 wins so far this season, but another former Rover and now Iron manager Russ Wilcox’s men mustn’t be taken for granted.  If Rovers want the points from this one they’ll have to dig deep and raise a bit of confidence.  Recent acquisition Billy Kee is my man to watch for them.

Rovers have won the last 4 in this fixture, let's get behind the lads and the manager this weekend and make it 5 in a row over The Iron!

Come on you reds!

Overall record Vs Scunthorpe:   P 60/W 23/D 20/L 17
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by Rich Colby

An admiral defeat in the League Cup during the week won't have done Rovers confidence any harm as they travel to the Midlands to face Walsall.

Paul Dickov's men played with much freedom in the second half, and many say if Theo Robinson had managed to tuck away a late penalty they would have gone on to win the game.  Rovers will be hoping for a similar play style but different result from their game at the Banks's Stadium this weekend.

Minds will be firmly focussed on Rovers league position of 15th, just 3 points outside the drop zone, but on the plus side they are also just 3 points off the play-off places with a game in hand.  Victory against Dean Smiths side should help put more optimism on the season so far as Rovers will look to break into the top half.

The Sadlers haven't had a great start to the season either picking up just 8 points from their 9 games so far and winning only once.  Dean Smith has gone out of his way to tighten up their leaky defence by re-signing former captain and Doncaster born Andy Butler.  Hes the man to watch this weekend.  Excellent in the oppositions half from a set peace and strong in defence.

Rovers will be without striker Nathan Tyson who suffered a concussion in the week at Fulham.  Curtis Main is also close to full fitness but probably needs another week so could well miss out.  Rob Jones could feature.

Rovers won 3-0 on their last trip to the Banks's Stadium back in August 2013, heres hoping for more of the same tomorrow.

Come on you reds!

Overall record Vs Walsall:   P 56/W 21/D 9/L 26
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