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Preview: Bristol Rovers (H)


Alan Navarro (right)

By Oli
April 13 2009

Dons welcome Alan Navarro back into the side after his two-match suspension for ten yellow cards, but are expected to be without Peter Leven who missed Friday's win at Southend with an ankle injury.

Stepping in for Leven on Friday was Luke Howell and he will compete for a place in central midfield with the returning Navarro. One of the two will partner Stephen Gleeson, who should keep his place in the first eleven after setting up both of Mark Wright's goals in the Southend match.

In attack Aaron Wilbraham has sat out of the last two matches with a back injury but could return for Monday's match. If not Ali Gerba and Sam Baldock will continue in attack, with Tore Andre Flo fit and most likely starting on the bench.

Shaun Cummings is fit and there's always a chance that he will replace Carl Regan at right-back, but on form you would expect the back four to remain the same.

Bristol Rovers boss Paul Trollope could have a fully fit squad to choose from, with only midfielder Ryan Green a doubt with an ankle injury. 25 goal man Rickie Lambert will start and will be the biggest threat to the Dons back four.

Rovers have had a very tough run of fixtures lately, losing to Peterborough United, beating Stockport County but then falling to two further losses against Huddersfield Town and Tranmere Rovers. Last Friday they picked up a 1-0 victory against our neighbours Northampton Town at the Memorial Stadium. They currently sit 11th in League One and are playing for pride, with the playoffs out of reach but relegation not an issue.

The two sides last met on Boxing Day at the Memorial Stadium, with Dons emerging 2-1 victors in front of 9,002 fans, Rovers' third highest home attendance this season. Wilbraham gave Dons a 14th minute lead but Jo Kuffour equalised almost instantly. Miguel Llera was then sent off for two bookings in the 37th minute, but Dons produced another superb away display and got a second half winner through an own goal from Byron Anthony.

Prior to that the two sides met last in 2006/07, in League Two. The Dons picked up a 2-0 victory in the opening month of the season at home, and took a point in a 1-1 draw on the road, but Rovers ended up the side promoted as they won the playoffs, with the Dons knocked out in the semi-finals against Shrewsbury United.

There will be no ex-Dons returning to Milton Keynes in the Rovers team, and no former Gasheads facing their old club.

The referee for Monday's match will be Mr Andy D'Urso, the former Premiership referee who last officiated us away at Swindon Town. He will be assisted by Mr J Busby and Mr O Saliy. The fourth official will be Mr B C Holderness.

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Preview: Bristol Rovers (H)
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13/04/2009 11:36
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