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Match Previews

Emirates FA Cup Preview: Walsall v Bristol Rovers

6 November 2020

The low-down on Saturday's Emirates FA Cup First Round fixture.

Rovers face a trip to Walsall this weekend in the First Round of the Emirates FA Cup.

The Gas will be looking for a positive reaction from our midweek defeat at the Mem to Peterborough.

Rovers have both Luke Leahy and Erhun Oztumer preparing to face their former club, while in the Walsall ranks, the likes of James Clarke and Stuart Sinclair represent a cohort of former Gas players who could face their old team this weekend. 

Manager's Preview...

Ahead of the tie, the Rovers Manager discussed the prospect of facing Walsall with the local press via Zoom on Friday afternoon.

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Manager's Preview - Ben Garner on Walsall

View from the Opposition...

Former Gas boss Darrell Clarke is preparing to face his former club for the second time this season, following a meeting between the two sides in the Papa John's Trophy earlier this campaign.

Focusing on Saturday's encounter, Clarke told www.saddlers.co.uk, "I've always loved the FA Cup growing up and it's a tournament we want to do well in."

"We're at home against higher opposition and we're looking forward to it.

"We know it's going to be a tough, difficult game, especially with the injuries I have at the minute, but we'll be looking to be very competitive.

"We'll try and get on the front foot to cause a bit of an upset."

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Former Rovers midfielder and current Walsall player, Stuart Sinclair has also been speaking about the prospect of facing his old side.

Speaking to saddlers.co.uk, Sinks said, "They're a club (Rovers) close to my heart and I had amazing times there, I loved every minute of it."

"To be able to play them in the FA Cup is definitely something I'll look back on when I finish my career. I’ll reminisce on playing in a tie that is so close to me.

“Walsall and Bristol Rovers are two massive clubs steeped in history and it's so nice to be involved."

Form Guide...

Walsall have picked up 10 draws from their opening 14 fixtures across all competitions. 

Clarke's side have only lost once in Sky Bet League Two this season, with a tally of 16 points leading them to a mid-table spot. 

Caolan Lavery has three goals to his name this term, with two of those strikes coming in 2-2 draw against Barrow .

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Last encounter...

You only need to look back to September for the last cup meeting between the two sides. On that occasion, it was a Papa John's Trophy encounter that ended 2-2. The highlight of the evening came from a superb strike from debutant Tom Mehew. The game also saw Jonah Ayunga grab his first Gas goal with a neat finish from the edge of the area. 

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Match Action: Bristol Rovers 2 (2) - 2 (4) Walsall

How to watch...

Saturday's game is available to watch on iFollow - but due to broadcast regulations, only UK based iFollow users will be able to watch.

The below link has all the details on how to purchase a match pass to watch the encounter. 

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Your weekend iFollow guide!

Around the grounds...

A full schedule of FA Cup First Round fixtures takes place this weekend, stretching across the weekend. Harrogate Town v Skelmersdale United takes center stage on Friday evening, with Tonbridge Angels' tie at home to Bradford City on Saturday catching the eye. Eastbourne Borough v Blackpool and Hampton & Richmond Borough v Oldham Athletic are the broadcasted games on Saturday afternoon. The action concludes with Northampton Town travelling to Oxford City on Monday evening. 


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