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EYE ON THE OPPOSITION | Bristol Rovers (H)

21 April 2023

Club News

EYE ON THE OPPOSITION | Bristol Rovers (H)

21 April 2023

Our penultimate home game of the season will see us face Bristol Rovers on Saturday afternoon.

Rovers gained promotion from League Two last season, and they now lie in 15th in League One on 52 points, and they have shown their quality against some strong sides this season.

However, in their last game against Sheffield Wednesday they came out on the wrong side of a 2-1 scoreline at the Memorial Stadium.

Meanwhile, Vale also fell to a 2-1 defeat on Tuesday night away at Ipswich Town, leaving us 18th in League One on 46 points.

This weekend’s match will be an interesting clash, so here is what you need to know about Rovers before we lock horns with them on Saturday.

ONE TO WATCH: Aaron Collins

Rovers’ star player so far this campaign, Aaron Collins, currently sits fifth in the League One goalscoring charts and has shown his quality since the step up to the third tier.

The 25-year-old joined the Gas at the start of the 2021 season and has netted 31 league goals in his time at the club so far, with 16 of those coming this season.

Collins started his academy career with Rovers but then moved back to his homeland of Wales to develop his skills with Newport County.

The forward was moved into the senior setup at County in 2014, and after two seasons and one loan with Merthyr Town, he earned himself a big move to Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Unfortunately for the young attacker, his move to the midlands never worked out, and after five loans in four seasons and no first-team appearances, he made a permanent move to Morecambe.

Collins impressed in his short spell at Morecambe before making the move to Forest Green Rovers in 2019, where he netted 16 times in two years at the club.

The Gas’ number 10 made his move down to Bristol from FGR in June 2021, and he hasn’t looked back since.

If Vale want to secure a good result on Saturday, stopping Collins from scoring will certainly help.


One of the most well-known managers in the division, Joey Barton has been in the dugout at Rovers in February 2021.

As most football fans will know, Barton played at the highest level of English football with the likes of Manchester City, Newcastle United, Queens Park Rangers, and Burnley.

The former midfielder is possibly most well-known for his stint in Manchester, where he made over 150 appearances for the club.

Whilst Barton played mostly in the English leagues, he also had short spells in France with Marseille and Scotland with Rangers.

Arguably, the 40-year-old’s biggest achievement in his playing career was the time he pulled on a three lions shirt in 2007, with his sole England cap coming in a friendly against Spain.

After his 15-year-playing career, Barton moved into coaching in the summer of 2018 after he was appointed as manager of Fleetwood Town.

The Liverpool-born manager spent just under three years with the Cod Army before moving down south where he was appointed as manager at Rovers.

Barton has shown his managerial credentials whilst in Bristol, saving them from Relegation in his first campaign before guiding the Gas to automatic promotion from League Two last campaign.

With Rovers now well-positioned in League One, Barton will be pleased with how their first season back in the third tier has gone.


Vale wins: 1

Draws: 1

Bristol R wins: 3

It’s Rovers that have the better of the recent record between the two sides, but the Valiants will be looking to change that when we face them this weekend.


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