Rovers will be looking to make no mistakes tomorrow as they look to make it through a potential banana-skin cup tie with Barnet.
After two consecutive draws in the league, attentions turn to the FA Cup, which has brought some memorable moments over the years – including Danny Graham’s goal v Manchester United and Benni McCarthy’s goal v Arsenal.
However, those ties seem further away than ever, as Rovers enter the first round of this “magical” tournament for the first time since the 1979/80 season.
An underwhelming tie is what Rovers face, and Mowbray will want to be avoiding an upset – and he will do his best with a threadbare squad.
Mowbray came out yesterday (Thursday) and said himself that he will only have around 18 players to choose from. Craig Conway will miss out after “feeling his hamstring” a bit in training. Harry Chapman will also be unavailable after announcing on Twitter that he will be out for a couple of months after needing surgery on his hamstring – after coming off early away at Wigan.
Suspension wise, Rovers will be without the King of Ewood Richie Smallwood after his yellow card at home to Fleetwood made it 5 for the season, warranting a 1 game ban. Dominic Samuel will serve his third and final game of his suspension.
Elliott Bennett is available for Mowbray after the fan favourite returns from his double booking away at Wigan Athletic.
Season so far
Rovers sit 6th in the Sky Bet League One table, after a mixed start to the season. 7 wins, 4 draws and 4 losses have seen Rovers pick up 25 points from 15 league games. Although the Blue and Whites do hold a game in hand over some teams, we’ve shown they don’t guarantee points and the game in hand will be tough.
As previously mentioned, Rovers have picked up 5 points from their previous three games. A 3-0 thrashing of Portsmouth saw spirits lifted for Rovers. A 0-0 draw at Wigan Athletic under a poor referee left fans satisfied, but this was all undone on Tuesday night. Rovers took the lead twice but they were pegged back twice by the Cod Army, as the game ended 2-2.
Barnet The Bees have struggled this season in the fourth tier of English football. Barnet are 22nd in the league, and they sit outside the relegation zone only on goal difference. They sit on 14 points from 16 games, winning less than one-fifth of them (3).
Barnet have picked up only 2 points from the last three games. Barnet drew two consecutive home games in the league, both 1-1, with Mansfield Town and Yeovil Town respectively. Last week saw another trip up north to Accrington Stanley, where Rossi Eames’ Barnet team were on the end of a 4-1 thrashing.
Previous meetings In our previews, we usually look back at previous times we have faced the opposition. However, tomorrow’s FA Cup ties sees the first time ever that the two sides will have met.
Summary Although we would all rather just concentrate on the league, as that’s all we’ll care about at the end of the season, but Mowbray will go into this game and try to win.
It would be nice to see some of the youth team feature in this game – especially the likes of Nuttall, Tomlinson, Travis, Doyle, Platt and co. Although Mowbray may leave their chances until Tuesday night’s tie away to Rochdale AFC in the Checkatrade Trophy.
Prediction: Rovers 3-1 Barnet
Rovers’ scorers: Nuttall, Bennett, Antonsson
Barnet scorer: Akinola
Come on you Blues!