Bucky’s Blog: Stoke test will gauge Rovers’ improvement

Peter Crouch could lead the line for Stoke.

Peter Crouch could lead the line for Stoke.

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Stoke City are going to provide a great test for rejuvenated Rovers.

The club have done well with the pricing structure too. My lad is 16 and it’s only costing him £5 to go.

The pricing for the game is a massive statement from the club that they want a big crowd behind the team - and it sounds like they will get one.

Rovers have got a good chance and if they can pull off a big upset in front of a strong crowd it’d be brilliant.

The manager can use a good crowd as a tool to motivate his players. And with the place buzzing, hopefully it’ll encourage more people to come down and we can start getting eight or nine thousand more regularly.

I think if the place is nearly full it’ll only benefit Rovers. Stoke are used to playing in front of large crowds every week in the Premier League, but it’ll serve as an extra push for the home players seeing the stadium so full.

There’s nothing to fear. If Rovers just focus on achieving their recent standards - Scunthorpe game aside - then there’s every chance of an upset.

I just wonder whether Stoke will be at full strength as they’ve got a lot of big games in a short period themselves? And the FA Cup is probably third on the list of their priorities, behind the Premier League and Capital One Cup. Will they believe they can get past Rovers without their strongest line-up?

From a football fans’ point of view I’d love to see Marko Arnautovic, Xherdan Shaqiri and Bojan down at the Keepmoat. But I do worry about the Rovers defence dealing with the technicality of those three.

Perhaps if they opt to play Peter Crouch up front it’d suit us better as the Rovers defence can match up physically to anyone.

Anyone who says we’d be best just focusing on the league, I say that’s absolute rubbish.

If the likes of Conor Grant, and the other young lads can put in a good display here, you know we’re well and truly onto something good.

Bucky’s charity bet: Rovers 1 Stoke City 1