Big Match Preview Bristol Rovers PJT


By Steve Manning

Venue: The Memorial Stadium (capacity: 12,300)

Competition: Papa John’s Trophy – Round: Third Round

Previous PJT results:

The Dons swept Newport County aside at Stadiummk by a 3-1 scoreline. Bristol Rovers beat Colchester United 2-1 away.

Head to head record:

Bristol Rovers wins: 5 Drawn: 3 Dons wins: 9 Rovers goals: 13 Dons goals: 23

Last meeting: Stadiummk, league one – 11th October 2022 – MK Dons 0 Bristol Rovers 1.

Fleetwood Town in brief:

Time ran out for Liam Manning as Fleetwood Town came back from a goal down to take all three points away from Stadiummk, on Saturday afternoon.

A goal from Warren O’Hora gifted the Dons a deserved lead, before the Cod Army powered back to win the encounter in added time.

The defeat saw Dons slip to second bottom, only kept off the bottom of the League One table on goal difference.

You can read an extended match report on

How Bristol Rovers could line up?

Barton likes the 3 at the back with two wingbacks. During the 1-0 success over Port Vale at weekend he set up his side in a 3-4-1-2 formation.

Possible Bristol Rovers starting XI:

  • 1. James Belshaw;
  • 37. Bobby Thomas, 2. James Connolly, 17. Lewis Gibson;
  • 7. Scott Sinclair, 14. Jordan Rossiter, 15. Paul Coutts, 3. Liam Gordon;
  • Antony Evans;
  • 10. Aaron Collins, 40. Josh Coburn.

How Dons could line up?

Dean Lewington takes charge of the team for the second time in 14 months following the sacking of Liam Manning, and his backroom staff.

Lewie will probably keep the status quo, for this fixture reverting back to 3-4-3. This is just second guessing obviously, a fresh start awaits this set of players.

Possible Dons starting XI:

  • 23. Franco Ravizzoli;
  • 4. Jack Tucker, 5. Warren O’Hora, 33. Zak Jules;
  • 2. Tennai Watson, 14. Bradley Johnson, 7. Matt Smith, 21. Daniel Harvie;
  • 19. Louie Barry, 10. Mo Eisa, 16. Conor Grant.

One’s to Watch

Aaron Collins – Bristol Rovers:

Collins is Bristol’s standout striker this season. Barton trusts him to score goals and the Welshman has not disappointed him so far.

Collins is lethal from any range, if Dons afford him the space and time on goal – it could be a very long night in the west country.

Tennai Watson – MK Dons:

Watson was one of a few bright sparks against Fleetwood on Saturday. His running and energetic commitment to a lost cause was evident.

A fresh start beckons now Manning has gone, Tennai will be expected to put in a big performance and I expect him to deliver.

Score Prediction

Bristol Rovers 1 Dons 0

Rovers home advantage should play into their hands, the result isn’t important for Dons. It’s a chance to show the rest of the efl that the rest has been pressed.

Match odds supplied by Oddschecker:

Bristol Rovers win: 11/10 Draw: 9/4 Dons win: 9/4

Game to finish 1-0 to Rovers: 13/2.

Thank you for reading another Dons big match preview, if you are travelling to the Mem then I wish you safe travels.

Until Next Time, SM.

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