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Oct 13, 2021 at 7pm UK
Bristol RoversBristol Rovers
Chelsea U21sChelsea Under-21s
Thomas (17')
Harries (56'), Mehew (84')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Lovelock (39' og.), Baker (48')

Preview: Bristol Rovers vs. Chelsea Under-21s - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Bristol Rovers vs. Chelsea Under-21s - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Wednesday's EFL Trophy clash between Bristol Rovers and Chelsea Under-21s, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Bristol Rovers and Chelsea Under-21s square off on Tuesday night knowing that victory could make the difference between progression and elimination in the EFL Trophy.

Both clubs possess a game in hand on the other teams in Group E, providing them each with an opportunity to book their place in the next round.

Match preview

There have been times over the past seven-and-a-half months when it has seemed inevitable that Joey Barton would be removed from his position as Bristol Rovers manager.

However, despite losing 20 of his 31 games in charge, Barton's side have won four of their last seven outings to buy him some time in the dugout.

Collecting nine points from a possible 18 has moved Rovers into 16th position in the League Two standings, just four adrift of the playoff places.

Their most notable victory of the season came against Carlisle United last weekend, Rovers eventually prevailing by a 3-0 scoreline at the Memorial Stadium.

Rovers have also made a winning start in this competition in seeing off Cheltenham Town, a result which has given the fourth-tier club control of this group.

On the flip side, Chelsea Under-21s sit just a point adrift of their hosts after edging out Exeter City in a penalty shootout.

Andy Myers' men overcame the disappointment of conceding a last-minute equaliser to claim a potentially-crucial extra point at St James' Park.

That result in August has proven to be a rare positive during the early weeks of the campaign, Chelsea Under-21s since losing four of their five matches in Premier League 2 Division One.

Bristol Rovers EFL Trophy form:
  • W

Bristol Rovers form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W

Chelsea Under-21s EFL Trophy form:
  • D

Chelsea Under-21s form (all competitions):
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L

Team News

Barton will almost certainly ring the changes ahead of the weekend, handing starts to the likes of Luke Thomas and Sam Nicholson.

Nick Anderton is expected to feature at the back, while Brett Pitman should get an outing in the final third.

Chelsea will look to name the majority of the players which featured against Exeter.

However, Harvey Vale will play no part having spent time with the England Under-19s squad, while Jude Soonsup-Bell is one of four players who are with the Under-18s.

Young Norwegian forward Bryan Fiabema will hope to get on the scoresheet in this competition for the second game in succession.

We say: Bristol Rovers 1-1 Chelsea Under-21s

Given the small margins for error in this group, do not expect to see the most free-flowing of games at the Memorial Stadium. This contest could end in a draw, with Chelsea potentially edging a penalty shootout after their experiences against Exeter.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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