Bristol Rovers – no win at The Valley for 60 years

It is hard to think of a club against which we have a better recent record than Bristol Rovers.

The last time they beat us at The Valley was on 29th March 1958. Since then they have visited 16 times, been beaten in 12 and drawn 4.  Our last ten encounters (home and away) have brought us six wins, three draws and one defeat. That is 21 points out of 30 with a goal difference of 26-11.

Since our relegation to League One in 2016 we have played them four times with three wins and a draw and a goal difference of 11-3.  Last season we beat them at The Valley playing with ten men for eighty minutes.

They arrive on Saturday in 21st place, having won just four league games this season and scored only 15 goals in 18 games. Their top scorer is Ollie Clarke with four. On Wednesday night they lost 1-2 at home to National league Barnet in an FA Cup replay and they left the field to angry chants from the home crowd. Manager Daryll Clarke still seems to command the loyalty of supporters because of his achievements over the last four years. Last season's 13th position was their highest for seventeen years but Clarke was left criticising his players' mentality after Wednesday's game. Tareiq Holmes-Dennis joined Rovers in the summer but, as a result of injuries, only made his debut earlier this month in the EFL trophy and has yet to feature in a league fixture.

Rovers' chairman Steve Hamer expressed his support for Clarke on Thursday:

"Darrell thrives on pressure. His record stands alone," Hamer told BBC Radio Bristol on Thursday. "You do not suddenly become a poor manager overnight. He has done great business for us so we are very happy with what he is doing. It is pretty obvious to everyone concerned that we have to improve our form. We don't need to have a formal conversation [with Darrell]".

Meanwhile Charlton surprisingly maintained their play-off spot last weekend without playing and saw off Mansfield 5-0 on Tuesday. The score was undoubtedly a bit flattering but the performances of fringe players like George Lapslie, Toby Stevenson and Nicky Ajose were very promising. Albie Morgan and Brendan Sarpong-Wiredu made late cameo appearances which were very impressive.

The absence of Lyle Taylor (suspended) will without doubt be a blow for Charlton but they will need to be able to overcome it if they are to maintain a serious promotion challenge.