Match Preview: Rovers U23s v Southampton U23s

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Rovers U23s will look to continue their push for the PL2 title as they face Southampton U23s this afternoon.

Rovers face the Saints knowing a win will close the gap at the top to just a point.

Last time out was a scrappy 1-1 draw up against Spurs, and Billy Barr’s side will be looking for a reaction up against an inconsistent Southampton side, who find themselves in the relegation zone in PL2 Division One.

The Opposition

David Horseman’s side start the game in 12th place, seven points above bottom side West Ham and will be desperate for the points in their fight to stay up.

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Finding a consistent goalscorer has been the main issue for the Saints in recent weeks following the top scorer, and joint second top scorer – Dan N’Lundulu and Nathan Tella – respectively being promoted to help out in Ralph Hassenhüttl’s injury hit first team.

Jayden Smith is the youngster who will be looking to fill N’Lundulu’s boots upfront, having started there in the last few weeks.

However, scoring goals from all over the pitch will be vital while the 17-year-old adjusts to life at U23 level in the fight to stay up.

Team News

Rovers will be without Sam Barnes, who was sent off in the draw against Spurs last time out, whilst Luke Brennan remains out with a hamstring injury. 

Given Connor McBride’s involvement with the first team, there is a good chance that U18s forward Alex Baker will once again be involved today. 

Predictions

Predicted XI: Eastham, Whitehall, Annesley, Garrett, Thompson, Nolan, Saadi, Harlock, Durrant, Burns, Baker.

The young Rovers drew 2-2 earlier in the season against the Saints, and there are no easy games in this division.

However, if Billy Barr’s side still have aspirations for the title, these are the sorts of games they will have to win.

Table toppers Manchester City have turned into a winning machine, and are the side to beat having not lost a game since November. Having said that, the team the young City side lost to in November was today’s opposition, Southampton.

Prediction: Rovers U23s 3-1 Southampton U23s

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