Rovers head into Saturday's local derby against Swindon Town at the Mem off the back of last week's away victory against Walsall.
Rovers return to the Mem this weekend as they prepare to face former Rovers boss, Ben Garner and his Swindon Town team in the Sky Bet League Two. The last meeting between Rovers and the Robins came in March with Swindon coming away with a 0-1 win at the Mem. Below is all you need to know ahead of Saturday's tussle at the Mem.
Joey Barton spoke to local press on Friday morning at the Quarters Training Ground, ahead of Saturday's local derby at the Mem. The Rovers boss was keen to reiterate how important the Gasheads will be ahead of Saturday's big fixture.
'We're hoping that they turn up with the energy that the fans who travelled to Walsall turned up with last Saturday. They showed our players what an incredible fanbase we have and hopefully we will have 5,6,7 thousand more in the stadium on Saturday.
'Hopefully, they can drive the lads on because they must realise that they are the 12th man. Over the COVID period, I think everybody in football has realised how important it is to have a passionate fanbase and I certainly we suffered from not having the Gasheads in the stadium.
'I've mentioned multiple times that they are worth nine to twelve points a season and we've got to give them something to shout about. Hopefully, the fact that it is Swindon and an old Manager returning on Saturday will bring the Gasheads out in numbers and they'll get right behind the lads because these players are desperate to do well for the fans and I think the fans are desperate for these players to do well as well.'
Swindon head to the Mem on the back of two draws in Sky Bet League Two - sitting in 9th place in the league standings.
The Robins last league win came at the end of August, a 1-0 win over Mansfield Town. Ben Garner's side has picked up eight points on their travels so far this season. Rovers have two wins and two defeats from four home games this season. Last Saturday's at Walsall was the Gas' first win on the road since December 2020.
View From the Press Bench
'Town’s season has been far brighter than most would have expected, especially given the chaos that ensued over the summer. A few early wins caused sights to be set a little higher than staying up, although the lack of goals in recent weeks has perhaps caused fans to take a reality check.
'The squad is beginning to hit its straps in terms of fitness, and everyone is available to face Rovers on Saturday. Brentford loanee Alex Gilbert will cause the Gas some problems going forward while former Bristol City goalkeeper Jojo Wollacott has been outstanding between the sticks so far.
'If this game wasn’t a derby, I’d strongly fancy Town to come away with another away win. However, with it being arguably the biggest game of the season for the fans, I’m a little less confident. Regardless, I remain hopeful for a narrow Swindon victory.'
Rovers have scored in stoppage time for the past two fixtures (Brett Pitman v Leyton Orient and Sion Spence v Walsall). In comparison, Rovers scored two goals between the 75th-90th minute in the entirety of last season.
Harvey Saunders and Harry Anderson are the two members of the Rovers squad that have featured in every league game so far this season. Anderson has totalled 722 minutes of league action this campaign, the most of any member of the Rovers squad.
Rovers have eight league goals this season, each being scored by a different goalscorer.
Swindon have scored 6 goals in their 4 away games this season to date - all of which have come in the second half. Tyreece Simpson and Jack Payne lead the scoring charts with 3 goals apiece. Saturday's opponents are ranked as the highest in the division in terms of average possession during games.
Robert Lewis has been assigned Saturday's fixture. The Shropshire official has taken charge of 6 games this season, handing out 20 yellow cards. His last game in charge of Rovers was our defeat at Accrington Stanley last season, with his last game at the Mem coming on Boxing Day 2019, in our 2-1 defeat to AFC Wimbledon. Strangely, Lewis was also in charge of our Boxing Day win at Walsall in December 2018. He officiated 23 Sky Bet League Two games, averaging 25.26 fouls per game and 3.13 yellow cards per fixture.
EFL sponsors Sky Bet have Rovers priced at 11/8 for the win on Saturday. On the goal scorer markets, Brett Pitman is offered at 9/2 to be on the scoresheet at any time, while Aaron Collins is at 11/2 to open the scoring on Saturday. On the scoreline front , a 2-1 in favour of the Gas can be backed at 8/1.
To bet with Sky Bet please click HERE. Please bet responsibly.
The game against Swindon Town this weekend is all ticket. This means there will be no on the day tickets available for fans to purchase. Tickets are on sale on non-matchday's from the club Superstore (10am-4pm) and can also be purchased online.
Print at Home tickets are the easiest way of securing your match ticket. When purchasing via this method you will receive a printable PDF, which when printed becomes your match tickets. Print at home tickets should be printed prior to arrival at the ground, however, these can also be scanned from a smartphone, but the success of this depends on things like screen quality, cracks, brightness, size on screen etc. Our team will be on hand to assist with any issues with Print at Home tickets on Saturday.
Online tickets will be available up until midnight on Friday, 1st October.
The matchday ticket office will be open from 10am on Saturday for ticket collections and future fixture ticket sales.
To avoid queues, we advise supporters to proceed through the turnstiles in good time ahead of kick-off.
To purchase online tickets, please click HERE.
How to Follow the Match
Overseas fans can watch Saturday’s game live on iFollow – with a match pass costing the equivalent of £10. Supporters based in the UK can purchase an audio match pass for £2.50. To find out more about iFollow, please click HERE.