After beating promotion favorites on Saturday, Rovers look for a quick turn around as Derby’s reserves visit the Keepmoat this Tuesday evening.
Team news wise, Darren Ferguson said after the Portsmouth game that he will be looking to give game to players, who haven’t had a lot, and have both been injured.
Frazer Richardson is a doubt, after coming off v Portsmouth on Saturday with an injury, and judging by what Ferguson said post-match, it doesn’t look like Richardson will be staying after his contract has expired.
So, I would expect the following players would come into contention for this game: Etheridge, Mason, Baudry, Garrett, Middleton, Beestin and Mandeville.
John Marquis will more than likely start, due to him being suspended for the upcoming league two fixture against Barnet, so I presume Ferguson would look to give him game time this Tuesday, so he doesn’t lose any match sharpness.
Gary McSheffrey won’t be close to starting, due to being set back on his recovery, but Craig Alcock could come into contention for being on the bench, because he was reportdly at the same recovery stage as Niall Mason was.
However, I would opt to not involve Alcock, because I think that when he does come back, he is going to be a vital part in our defense, because right-back seems to still be a weak area of our team with all three right-backs out, and Matty Blair having to temporarily constantly drop into right-back (not that I’m saying Blair isn’t doing a good job, but I think he’s more useful to our team attacking).
With this being the first time our senior team have met Derby Countys U23s in a profeesional match, there is no history between the two teams, but I expect that we’ll confidently win, especially with there being a number of players in our team, such as Mathieu Baudry, who will want to impress, so that they can have a valid argument for breaking into the first team when the chance arises.
Predicted lineup v Derby County U23s
Etheridge; Mason, Baudry, Fielding, Garrett; Middleton, Calder, Longbottom, Beestin; Mandeville and Marquis.