Bristol Rovers vs Northampton Town
Conference play off winners Bristol Rovers will be looking to get their League 2 campaign off to a win as they host the Cobblers. Rovers boss Darrell Clarke side beat Grimsby at Wembley in May to gain promotion after finishing second behind Barnet last season. The squad remains relatively unsettled from the side which dominated the Conference. Angelo Balanta (Carlisle) and Andy Monkhouse (Grimsby) left the Memorial Stadium whilst Chris Lines (Port Vale) returns for his second spell in addition to Cristian Montaro (CD America). Clarke will be looking to repeat last year’s performances and replicate a 20 match unbeaten run they went on last season.
- Only lost 5 games all season last year
- Matty Taylor top scored with 20 goals
- Best home record in the division – winning 17, conceding only 14 and achieving 11 clean sheets
Northampton will be looking to push on from last season’s 12th place finish. Chris Wilder’s side has seen a summer of a takeover looming over Sixfields with big plans exciting the Cobblers faithful. Top scorer Marc Richards has been retained after netting 17 goals last term and Wilder will need his hit man to find form if they are to mount a promotion charge. Wilder has boosted his ranks with the signings of Alfie Potter (Wimbledon), David Buchanan (Preston) and Nicky Adams (Bury). Struggled towards the end of last season but will hope to start on the front foot.
- Only 20 of their 61 points came away from home – 5 out of 18 wins
- Only achieved 2 wins in their last 8 league matches
- Won on the opening day last season – 1-0 at home to Mansfield – first win in five years on opening day
Head to Head: 95 Meetings – Bristol Rovers 32, Northampton 37, Draw 26
Last Meeting – 1st March 2014 – Northampton 0-0 Bristol Rovers
- Rovers have won the last 4 games at home – unbeaten in the last 7 games between sides
- Northampton last won at Memorial Stadium in 2003 – 2-1 victory
Prediction – Bristol Rovers 2-1 Northampton