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 2016, but now it is looking more or less mid-December when he’ll return, because due to the food poising it means that he will have missed some time off of his rehabilitation.
This opens up the opportunity, however, for 19 year-old, Liam Mandeville, who came on v Exeter and scored one and assisted the other 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, thusly meaning he has more than likely played his last game for Rovers. Personally, for me 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 centre 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, overall.
- Also, 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 centre back has gone on to make 10 appearances for the Pool since.
Also, former 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.