Football – England – League Two
Tuesday 5th February 2013 – Kickoff: 1945hrs
Third placed Cheltenham Town could open up a four point cushion over fourth placed rivals Burton Albion if they see off Bristol Rovers at their Whaddon Road ground on Tuesday night.
Not quite a local derby but close to it, Cheltenham will want to secure their current league standing which puts them in the box seat for automatic promotion against their west country rivals Bristol Rovers tonight. Cheltenham’s recent form has been solid enough losing just twice in their last ten league matches with notable results such as their 3-2 win at Northampton Town in early December, a 1-1 draw with League Two leaders Port Vale and a resounding 4-0 win over Wycombe Wanderers on Boxing Day.
The Robins’ home record is also solid which stands at 9-4-2 24/13 with their defeats coming way back in September in the early part of the season (0-3 v Accrington Stanley and 1-3 v Southend United). Since then, Mark Yates’ side have embarked on a twelve match unbeaten run at Whaddon Road and the place is truly a fortress. Their success has been built upon a solid defensive line and they’ve kept seven clean sheets so far.
Perennial party-poopers Bristol Rovers will be hoping their recent upturn in form continues to Tuesday night when they make the relatively short trip to Cheltenham. Recent results against Plymouth Argyle 2-1, Fleetwood Town 3-0 away and 3-1 at Rotherham United were then followed by a 2-1 home win over relegation rivals Barnet at the weekend and The Pirates have now pulled away from the relegation zone, two points above Barnet in 23rd place.
Rovers have won four of their last five league matches which gives them renewed hope and confidence of retaining their league status, but their recent good form may be temporarily suspended as they face a strong Cheltenham outfit. However, wins against Fleetwood and Rotherham prove they are no push-overs and can compete against the better sides in the division.
Bristol Rovers’ away record stands at 3-4-7 16/27 so let’s not get too carried away with their recent progress, and the fact that they’ve kept just one clean sheet in their fourteen away matches so far.
I’m fully expecting Cheltenham Town’s class and quality to shine through here tonight though, as they continue to edge towards League One football next season. I advise small stakes though on this one as Rovers seem to delight in upsetting the apple-cart! A narrow 1-0 win for Cheltenham possibly.
Pick: Cheltenham Town straight win @ 1.91 Coral