Top of the table Rovers U23s make the trip to Leigh Sports Village this evening to take on Manchester United U23s in the Premier League 2.
Billy Barr’s side went top of the division with a 3-1 victory over Leicester City U23s on Monday evening, and will now look to keep that top spot with victory tonight over the young Red Devils.
The hosts head into this match on the back of an impressive 6-3 victory away to Liverpool, and a win tonight would put them in contention of mounting a title push in the remaining ten fixtures.
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Managed by former United academy product Neil Wood, United currently sit in seventh with just over half of the Premier League 2 season played.
The aforementioned victory over Liverpool saw summer signing Joe Hugill score four and Amad Diallo – who signed from Atalanta last month – score a brace.
Diallo is expected to start this evening, and Rovers will need to be aware of the ability he possesses.
Hugill is United’s top scorer with eight goals this season – only bettered by Manchester City’s Liam Delap in the top division – and he has goals against both Rovers’ U18 and U23 sides this season.
First team duo Elliott Bennett and Corry Evans featured at Leicester City, and could be involved depending on their involvement with the first team’s trip to QPR.
Monday’s Transfer Deadline Day saw Jack Vale, Joe Grayson and Tyler Magloire head out on loan – to Rochdale, Oxford United and Motherwell respectively – and so all three players will be unavailable for selection.
However, Billy Barr is expected to have Tom White available for selection again after he returned from his loan spell with Bolton Wanderers.
Stefan Mols and Antonis Stergiakis could return to the squad after missing Monday’s victory on the road, whilst Louie Annesley is expected to be involved after completing his suspension.
I’d expect Annesley to be involved from the start following Grayson’s departure, whilst it’s expected that Connor McBride will lead the line after an impressive performance against Leicester City.
Predicted XI: Eastham, Pike, Barnes, Annesley, Thompson, Evans, Mols, White, Brennan, McBride, Burns
In terms of the match, this is a big test against a United side full of goals. However, they have also conceded more goals than any other side in the division, meaning we could see a goalfest in this fixture.
A win is vital in Rovers’ challenge for the title with Chelsea sitting three points behind Rovers with two matches in hand.
Prediction: Manchester United U23s 1-2 Rovers U23s