Tranmere Rovers will be looking to make it two wins in a row when they travel to Bristol Rovers for Sky Bet League One action on Tuesday evening.
Micky Mellon’s team picked up their first three points of the season with a resounding 5-0 victory over a young and inexperienced Bolton Wanderers side on Saturday afternoon, but the battle of the Rovers will be a much sterner test.
BRISTOL ROVERS PROFILE:
Graham Coughlan’s side have had a difficult start to the 2019-20 campaign, picking up just a single point from their three league games to date.
After a 2-0 defeat at Blackpool on the opening day of the season, The Gas earned a point from a 0-0 draw at home against Wycombe Wanderers before another 2-0 loss at Coventry City last weekend.
Squeezed in between those fixtures, however, was progression into the second round of the Carabao Cup following a 3-0 victory against Cheltenham Town.
Without a single goal scored in the league yet, Coughlan will be looking to strike duo Tyler Smith and Jonson Clarke-Harris to break that unwanted record as quickly as possible.
Micky Mellon will be able to call upon the services of striker Rushian Hepburn-Murphy for the first time since the opening day of the season against Rochdale.
On loan from Aston Villa, the young forward came on for his Rovers debut in the second half against ‘Dale but was sent off in injury time for a shove on Jordan Williams.
Hepburn-Murphy’s availability gives Mellon a selection headache up front as fellow strikers Morgan Ferrier (2) and Stefan Payne were both on the scoresheet in Saturday’s 5-0 win over Bolton.
The Tranmere boss revealed in his post-match interview at the weekend that Chelsea loanee Jacob Maddox was catching up with his fitness after missing a big chunk of pre-season.
Not named in the 18-man matchday squad on Saturday, it seems unlikely that he’ll be selected for this fixture either, although he may become available in the not too distant future.
Saturday’s victory over Bolton was an important one for Micky Mellon’s side. After suffering three straight defeats to begin the campaign, it was vital to get that monkey off the back and three points on the board.
Although it was, figuratively and literally, men against boys last weekend, the job still had to be done, and scoring five goals will boost the morale and confidence within the camp.
Seeing the strikers among the goals will also be a plus point for the manager and will boost those individuals on a personal level too.
This game, however, will be a different kettle of fish against a strong and experienced outfit on their home patch.
The Pirates may not have enjoyed the best results so far this season, but they’ve come up against strong opposition in their league fixtures to date, and will be desperate to get the first victory under their belts.
There will be added spice to this one for Tranmere forward Stefan Payne. The 28-year-old arrived at Prenton Park after his release by The Pirates during the summer and, judging by social media, he’s not universally liked by the folk at the Memorial Stadium!