Collins starts: The predicted Bristol Rovers XI to face Port Vale on Tuesday night | OneFootball

Collins starts: The predicted Bristol Rovers XI to face Port Vale on Tuesday night

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Football League World

League Two outfit Bristol Rovers will be hoping to utilise their victory against Sutton United in the FA Cup at the weekend to improve their league form, as they take on promotion contenders Port Vale tomorrow night.

Darrell Clarke makes an emotional return to the Memorial Ground having had such a successful spell with Rovers between 2014 and 2018, guiding the Gas to two promotions as manager but will be looking to take victory over them tonight in Vale’s quest to remain in the automatic promotion race.

Currently sitting just one point off third-placed Exeter City, there will certainly be no shortage of motivation for the Valiants to claim three points in what is a winnable game for the Stoke-based outfit.

Quiz: Has Sam Nicholson ever scored a goal for Bristol Rovers at each of these 26 stadiums?

They will be encouraged by the fact Joey Barton’s men have gone winless in their last three league games, though their defeat against Forest Green Rovers in their last fourth-tier outing was understandable considering Rob Edwards side are currently flying at the top of the table.

But this tie at The New Lawn shows Barton’s side the difficulty of the task that lies ahead of them tomorrow night, even with their home crowd at their disposal.

For tomorrow’s hosts, they have struggled to gain any form of consistency this term, preventing them from elevating themselves up the fourth-tier table in their aim to achieve a respectable finish.

But who will line up for the home side as they look to send out a statement of intent to the rest of the league? We have selected our predicted lineup ahead of this tie.

James Belshaw has been ever-present during the 2021/22 campaign and has even played in all three of their FA Cup ties this term, so it would be a major surprise to see him come out of the starting lineup anytime soon, barring an injury or suspension.

Josh Grant’s absence means the back three stays the same from their cup match against Sutton – and getting consistency in both the personnel and formation should serve them well for the remainder of the campaign as Nick Anderton drops into the centre.

This means Sam Finley comes out of central midfield and into the left-wing back spot, something he should become more accustomed to as time goes on. And Harry Anderson starts once again on the right as one of the first names on the teamsheet.

For those who don’t watch Rovers in-depth, Stoke loanee Connor Taylor is one to look out for – he’s a talented young central defender.

Experienced pair Paul Coutts and ex-Republic of Ireland international Glenn Whelan sit in a deeper midfield role, giving Aaron Collins the license to push forward. It may be a risk to have the latter in the midfield how attacking he is, but Vale are reasonably solid at the back at it may take something special going forward to get past them.

Up front, Sam Nicholson did start against Sutton, but he should be managed carefully after only just returning from injury and with this, Brett Pitman is the man to start alongside Antony Evans.

With Evans often operating as an advanced midfielder and Collins playing higher up as a striker, it will be interesting to see how fluid their movement is as they link up with each other.

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