Our prediction for this League 1 match:
Bristol Rovers play host to Cheltenham Town at their Memorial Stadium in the first game of the year. The Pirates suffered a dip in form, with the team losing both festive fixtures to Wycombe (1-2) and Exeter (3-4), but they are surely capable of matching the Robins in front of home fans. Experienced forward Scott Sinclair is widely expected to return to the starting XI, while Nick Anderton remains on the sidelines through illness.
Cheltenham, on the other hand, did well to beat Shrewsbury Town thanks to Dan N’Lundulu’s goal, but defeating Bristol Rovers on the road is easier said than done. Taking everything into account, we believe that gamblers from all around the world can find value in betting on draw. Defender Charlie Raglan is banned for the visiting side following his sending off in the midweek triumph.
Highlighted Player (Glenn Whelan):
Probably one of the most underrated footballers in Premier League history, Glenn Whelan was born on 13 January 1982 in Dublin and he went on to enjoy a very successful career on club and international level.
Following spells with Manchester City, Bury and Sheffield Wednesday, the defensive midfielder found his peace at the Britannia Stadium, making over 250 Premier League appearances for Stoke City and keeping his place in the side under both Tony Pulis and Mark Hughes. Predominantly focused on doing the dirty defensive work and helping out the back four, Whelan never quite made the headlines for his style of play or quality of his displays, but remained an important player for both club and country.
The midfielder has so far made over 70 appearances for the Republic of Ireland national team, wearing the captain’s armband on several occasions, and starting all three group games at the Euro 2012 finals, while helping The Green Army qualify for the Euro 2016 as well.
Highlighted Team (Cheltenham):
Founded in 1887 by a local teacher Albert Close White, Cheltenham Town are an English club that compete in League Two. The Robins wear white jerseys with red stripes and white shorts when playing at home, while sky blue is the dominant colour of their away kit.
Cheltenham Town clinched the FA Trophy in 1998, with the team defeating Southport 1-0 in the title game. The match was played at Wembley Stadium in front of 26,837 spectators, with John Eaton scoring the only goal of the match. The Robins have won Leamington Hospital Cup, Midland Floodlit Cup, Gloucestershire Senior Cup, Cheltenham League and Gloucestershire Senior Amateur North Challenge Cup as well.
The likes of Gloucester City and Hereford are seen as Cheltenham’s traditional rivals, while, in more recent years, Forest Green Rovers have been the club’s main rivals. A 12-0 win over Chippenham Rovers (November 2, 1935), with the team suffering their biggest defeat against Tydfil (1-10) on March 8, 1952.