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Development Squad

Under-23s: Rovers v Southampton

Rovers host Southampton at the Lancashire FA HQ on Monday evening

8 January 2018

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Rovers host Southampton on Monday night at the Lancashire FA HQ in Premier League 2 knowing a win could potentially put them top of the league.

Three points for Damien Johnson's outfit will put them at the summit of the table, but only is current leaders Middlesbrough fail to win at Newcastle.

Johnson's team will be refreshed, with a run out in the Lancashire Senior Cup at Morecambe last week being their first game for a few weeks, and Lewis Travis and Willem Tomlinson, who have both enjoyed first team outings in recent weeks, could play.

It's expected that Joe Rankin-Costello will play a part as he looks to continue his recovery from a hamstring injury. The teenager played 40 minutes at Morecambe and Johnson will likely look to give the midfielder at least an hour against the Saints.

Rovers know all about their opponents having narrowly lost to them before Christmas in the Premier League Cup.

But they haven't won in their last five games and will likely come into the game lacking in confidence.

But it's sure to be another tough battle, according to Johnson.

"Southampton are a good side with some good players," he said.

"They will be a different test for us from the last outing at Morecambe, a game which allowed us to shake off the cobwebs.

"We'll be ready for them and we're all looking forward to the game. With a good week's training we'll be ready to go again."

Kick-off at the Lancashire FA HQ is at 7pm on Monday 8th January.

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