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Preview: Bristol Rovers (H)

Notts host Pirates in Emirates FA Cup first-round clash

3 November 2017

Notts County host Bristol Rovers in the first round of the Emirates FA Cup this evening.

The Gas arrive at Meadow Lane with just one draw in all competitions so far this season and occupy 13th place in Sky Bet League One.

Rovers' 16 league outings this season have offered 54 goals, so an entertaining cup tie is on the cards.

After missing out on a third-round trip to Chelsea last season, Notts will be determined to take one step closer towards the promised land of round three.

Notts boss Kevin Nolan says...


"We can't look any further than Bristol Rovers. We have to take it one round at a time.

"They have had a decent season so far and will cause us problems if we don't respect them.

"They will come here to play open, expansive football and will want to excite the crowd, so it should be a really good cup tie."

Click here for more from the manager.

Bristol Rovers manager Darrell Clarke says...

"I don't think there is a massive difference between the top five or six in League Two and the teams in League One to be honest.

"Notts County are theoretically a League One club with the infrastructure to go with it."

Team news

Goalkeeper Adam Collin and midfielder Michael O'Connor are Notts' only absentees.

The visitors could be without top goalscorer Billy Bodin, who injured his hamstring in the 6-0 win at Northampton Town at the start of October.

James Clarke is also sidelined following a leg operation, while Rovers are sweating on the fitness of a number of other players who have injuries and knocks.


Tom Nichols moved to the Memorial Stadium over the summer, joining from Peterborough United for an undisclosed fee.

The striker had found himself on a barren run in the blue and white quarters, failing to find the net until he bagged the opening goal in last weekend's 2-0 win over MK Dons and in the Checkatrade Trophy defeat against West Ham in midweek.

“The boys have supported me really well and the fans have been very patient with me," he said. "They could have lost patience, so I really do appreciate the support from the manager, the players and the fans.”

With a weight lifted off his shoulders, he will now hope that the goals flow for him as freely as they did at Exeter City, where he scored 34 in 98 games at the start of his career.

Although he was not as prolific after his move to Peterborough, he did still register 15 goals in 58 appearances for the Posh, preceding his move to Bristol.

What are the odds?

Sky Bet have priced Notts up as 19/10 outsiders to progress to round two while the Gas are 13/10 to advance. The draw, which would see the tie go to a replay at the Memorial Stadium, is available at 5/2.

Notts' last home win over the Pirates was a 2-0 success in August 2005 and a repeat result can be backed at 14/1 this evening.

A second successive 3-0 win for the Magpies is 33/1 and a 2-1 win is available at odds of 9/1.

Shola Ameobi found the back of the net last weekend and the striker is 6/1 to open the scoring against Bristol Rovers tonight. Meanwhile, central defender Shaun Brisley is 50/1 to be the first name on the scoresheet.

Jorge Grant was back among the goals with a brace against Newport last weekend to take his tally for the season into double figures.

The midfielder is 16/1 to score twice again or 100/1 to go one better and get a hat-trick.

Notts are 7/2 to win the game with both teams scoring or 4/1 to win the game to-nil.

You can bet on the game here.

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