Rovers Under-21s will be looking to make it three wins on the spin when they visit Aston Villa this evening.
Following back-to-back victories in the Under-21 Premier League Cup, Eric Kinder’s side return to league action tonight with a trip to Burton Albion’s Pirelli Stadium (kick-off 7pm).
Rovers faced Villa only a fortnight ago, edging an entertaining cup clash 3-2 at Leigh Sports Village. Twice Rovers led through goals from Connor Mahoney and Dean Rittenberg, only for Villa to twice hit straight back. But Bradley Bauress popped up just four minutes from time to seal the win.
The second string followed that up with a narrow 1-0 victory over league leaders Newcastle United in the last eight of the competition.
Rittenberg was again on the scoresheet, as his first-half strike was enough to fire Rovers through to the semi-final stage.
Coach Kinder has named a similar squad for this evening’s league encounter. With Tommy Spurr back in the first team fold for tomorrow’s trip to Derby County, Yann Songo’o gets a run-out for the Under-21s, while Jack Doyle is preferred to Bradley Bauress. Anton Forrester is back on the bench.
It was honours even in the reverse league fixture earlier in the season, as Modou Cham’s first-half opener was cancelled out by Jordan Graham last-gasp leveller deep into stoppage-time.
ASTON VILLA: Hill, Leggett, Lewis, Crooks, Donacien, Toner (c), Burke, Calder, Sellars, Abdo, Grealish.
Subs: O'Brien, Bannister, Strain, Webb, Hale.
ROVERS: Raya, Nyambe, Songo’o, O’Connell, Doyle, O’Connor, Carson, O’Sullivan (c), Mahoney, Rittenberg, Slew.
Subs: Crump, Lavelle, Bauress, Green, Forrester.