Match Preview | Argyle v Bristol Rovers
Argyle face Bristol Rovers on Tuesday evening in the first game in this season’s Papa John’s Trophy. The game kicks off at Home Park at 7pm.
Rovers and Argyle are in Group E, along with Swindon Town and Crystal Palace Under-21s. The teams will all play one another, with the top two teams advancing to the next stage.
Teams score three points for winning a game in 90 minutes. If it is a draw, each side will score one point, and a penalty shoot-out will then take place, with the winners scoring an extra point.
This is the sixth season with the competition in its current format, and Argyle are yet to get through the group stage. Rovers have got through three times in the last four seasons, including a run to the semi-final.
The two teams met in the group stage in September 2019. The game finished 1-1 after 90 minutes, with Argyle winning a shoot-out 5-3.
This will be the 149th meeting between the two sides in all competitions. There is no team that Argyle have faced more in our history.
Rovers were promoted last season from Sky Bet League Two – in extraordinary circumstances. They had not been in the promotion places all season, and going into the final day they need to win, and turn round a five-goal deficit in goal difference over Northampton Town. Northampton won their game 3-1, but Rovers triumphed 7-0 over Scunthorpe United, getting promoted on goals scored.
This season, in the league, they began with a 2-1 home defeat to fellow promoted side Forest Green Rovers, before a spectacular 4-0 win away to Burton Albion. A 1-0 home win over Oxford United followed, but consecutive games on the road at Barnsley and Portsmouth yielded 3-0 and 3-1 defeats. On Saturday, at home to Shrewsbury Town, Rovers drew 1-1.
This means they have seven points from six games, putting them in 15th position at this early stage.
In the Carabao Cup, Rovers went out at the first round stage, losing 1-0 at Crawley Town, with a goal from their former striker Tom Nichols.
Striker Aaron Collins has scored half of the eight goals Rovers have mustered, with Ryan Loft, John Marquis, James Connolly and Anthony Evans all chipping in with one each.
Rovers are managed by Joey Barton, who took over in February 2021. He was unable to prevent Rovers’ relegation from League One, but succeeded in bringing them straight back up.
“They do the basics really well. That’s what Joey has built his foundations on, in terms of getting the basics done. He likes his defenders to defend, the midfield to get up to people. They will be competitive and aggressive. It will be a tough game, they had a really good season last season.”
Tickets remain available to purchase online at argyletickets.com. The Home Park Ticket Office will be open until kick-off for supporters wishing to purchase on the day of the fixture.
Turnstiles will open two hours before kick-off, from 5pm. Supporters are advised to enter through the turnstile identified on their match ticket. However, if neighbouring turnstiles have shorter queues, supporters are permitted to enter these to speed up access to the stadium.
Live video coverage of the game is available for £10 for both domestic and international supporters. Click here to see details of how to view in your region.