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Preview: Rovers Under-23s v Southampton B

A look ahead to this afternoon's meeting between the sides a

8 March 2021

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Rovers Under-23s will be aiming to keep the pressure on table-topping Manchester City when Southampton visit Leyland this afternoon.

Billy Barr's charges have had a fine season so far, and will be aiming to earn a league double against Dave Horseman's side later today.

Connor McBride's early strike earned the points down in Hampshire in the last meeting back in October, and the Scot is likely to be a part of the squad for today's clash.

That will provide a boost for Barr, with the striker scoring braces in his last two outings, the latest of which came in the 4-1 win over West Ham United the last time the team played at Leyland.

The Development Squad earned a good point at Tottenham Hotspur last time out thanks to Sam Burns' second half spot kick in north London.

Burns is likely to continue in attack for Barr's boys, as he has done in the last two games.

Dan Pike is also expected to come back in having missed out on the trip to Spurs due to being with the first team squad.

Sam Barnes will be out of action though following his sending off in that 1-1 draw against Tottenham, with Jake Garrett looking likely to join Louie Annesley at centre back.

Another definite absentee will be Luke Brennan, with injury keeping the winger out of contention.

Garrett's potential switch back to defence could open up a slot in central midfield, with Ben Paton, Jalil Saadi and Jared Harlock set to battle it out to fill the void.

A win will put Rovers within two points of table-topping Manchester City, who face West Ham United later in the day

As for the Saints, they came back from 2-0 down to earn a 2-2 draw against Arsenal at the Snows Stadium last time out thanks to Will Ferry's second-half brace.

They've struggled for consistency this term, but the three points today will see them leapfrog Leicester City and move out of the bottom two.

They're not in the best form either, with one win in their last five games, although that did come against a Derby County side who currently sit two points below Rovers in the table.

Kick-off against the Hampshire-based outfit is at 12pm this afternoon.

Fans are reminded that there will be no access to the ground, with the game played behind closed doors at this time.

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