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This Week's Opposition: Bristol Rovers

Photo Credit: Bristol Rovers FC

Saturday’s draw at home to Fleetwood means the Blues head into Christmas top of the table with 49 points. A trip to the West Country is now coming up for Pompey, who have little time to rest.

Colby Bishop and Josh Earl on the scoresheet as the spoils were shared at Fratton Park last time out.

Next up it’s Boxing Day football for the Blues and it’s Bristol Rovers who are the hosts for this year’s festive fixture.

MANAGERMattTaylor_GAS_DEC23

Recent successor to Joey Barton, Matt Taylor is now at the helm of Bristol Rovers.

The 41-year-old former Exeter City and Rotherham United boss took charge of The Gas and signed a 3-and-a-half year contract on December the 1st.

This Matt Taylor is not to be confused with the one currently in the dugout at Shrewsbury… This Matt Taylor played in defence for the likes of Charlton Athletic, Colchester United and Cheltenham Town but never Pompey during his 16-year playing career.

ONE TO WATCH

Welsh forward Aaron Collins, who is squad number 10 for Bristol Rovers, is our player to keep tabs on this Boxing Day.

Collins, who is 26, has been at The Gas since June 2021, joining as a free agent following the expiration of his contract with Forest Green Rovers.

He was part of the Bristol Rovers side to have won promotion back to League One in 2022 and, the following season, was named as the division’s Player of the Year, as well as of course being awarded the club’s own Player of the Season accolade too.

This season, the former Newport County and Morecambe man has appeared in all 21 of his side’s league fixtures, scoring 3 goals and providing 7 assists.

TOP SCORER

With 4 league goals and 2 FA Cup strikes to his name at this stage of the season, former Blues striker John Marquis is currently Rovers’ leading scorer.

Marquis, who wears the number 9 shirt, is on a goalscoring run of 3 consecutive games, netting against Crewe Alexandra in The FA Cup before matches away at Bolton Wanderers and Blackpool in the league.

He is now 31 years of age and signed for The Gas from Lincoln City in July of last year.

CURRENT FORM

Bristol Rovers are sat 12th in League One after a satisfying-to-look-at record of wins, draws and defeats.

After 21 matches, The Gas have picked up 7 wins, 7 draws and 7 defeats, scoring the same amount as they have conceded - 28!

That has left Matt Taylor’s side with 28 points on the board.

They have secured just 1 win in their last 5 league matches and that came away at Bolton on the 16th of December, where they were victorious by 2 goals to 1.

Last time out on Saturday, The Gas were beaten 3-1 away at Blackpool.

Will it be an afternoon of success or a Boxing Day blemish for the Blues?

Pompey Live will be brought to you by Robbie James and Matt Drabble from the Memorial Stadium, where Portsmouth take on Bristol Rovers in League One.

Kick-off: 3pm!

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