Preview: Bury v Doncaster Rovers - Mutual frustration in battle of the strugglers

Jermaine Beckford has scored eight goals for Bury this season.
Jermaine Beckford has scored eight goals for Bury this season.

A group of players many feel should be higher in the table, disappointing results, frustration over team selection and formation and a manager under pressure from certain sections of the support.

No, not Doncaster Rovers but instead their hosts for the weekend, Bury.

Looking into this weekend’s opposition turfed up plenty of similarities between the current situation at both clubs – and not merely their standing in League One.

Rovers are three points ahead of Lee Clark’s Shakers, who occupy the final relegation berth as things stand.

Bury have managed just three wins and three draws from their 15 games so far this season, leading to plenty of pressure on Clark with plenty of supporters expecting a push towards the play-offs.

It could have been a different stat, but for an injury time goal in Tuesday night’s derby with Oldham which gave the win to Richie Wellens’ side.

Despite being on a run of three consecutive defeats, what will give Bury some heart heading into Saturday’s clash is that all three of their league wins this season have come on home soil. In fact, they have won two of their last three home matches.

The chief frustration with former Huddersfield and Birmingham boss Clark – overall results aside – appears to be the faith he has shown in the 3-5-2 system.

And Bury have found themselves with a heavy reliance on striker Jermaine Beckford for goals.

The former Leeds United forward has netted eight of the Shakers’ 17 goals so far this term, with only Chris Maguire managing more than one goal so far.

Along with the spread of goals, another considerable difference between Rovers and Bury is the age of the side.

Only three players under the age of 24 started Bury’s defeat at Southend last weekend, compared with seven under 24s from Rovers’ starting line-up against Walsall.

This battle between youth and experience will be add another interesting angle to a game from which both sides could really do with a victory.

TEAM NEWS

James Coppinger is expected to return to the starting line-up after coming off the bench against Walsall. Liam Mandeville could make way.

Andy Williams (thigh) is close to making a return from injury. Matty Blair is in contention after returning to training on Thursday.

Probable (3-5-2): Lawlor; Wright, Butler, Baudry; Mason, Houghton, Whiteman, Rowe, Toffolo; Coppinger, Marquis.

LAST MEETING

Bury 1 Rovers 0, April 9, 2016

Leon Clarke scored the only goal of the game to stretch Doncaster’s dire win-less run to 17 games.

STAT ATTACK

Bury have the worst away record in League One, and are yet to win on their travels.

However, they have collected more points at home (10) than Rovers (9).

HOME COMFORT

Bury have lost their last three games but they were all away from home.

Last time out at Gigg Lane they came from behind to beat Bradford City 3-1.

FORM GUIDE

Bury: LWWLLL

Rovers: LWWLWL

MATCH ODDS

Bury 9/5 Draw 23/10 Rovers 6/4