Paul Goodwin: How might Doncaster Rovers line up at Accrington?

Darren Ferguson has just a couple of issues to iron out as he firms up his team selection for Rovers' League Two opener at Accrington Stanley.

Thursday, 28th July 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 6:17 pm
Tommy Rowe will be a key man for Rovers this season.

Injuries to Mathieu Baudry, Craig Alcock, Gary McSheffrey, Harry Middleton and now Luke McCullough have rather forced the Scot’s hand.

But he still has one or two things to ponder ahead of the trip to the Crown Ground a week on Saturday, not least the shape of his side.

You would expect Ferguson to lean towards the 4-4-2 diamond system that brought about a change of fortune at the end of last season, particularly given the injury problems at centre half.

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And if he does opt for continuity it could directly benefit Tyler Garratt and Riccardo Calder, at the expense of Cedric Evina and possibly Matty Blair.

Garratt probably just has the edge defensively on Evina, which would make the former Bolton youngster more likely to get the nod at left back.

However, Evina’s ability going forward would make him a shoo-in at wing back should Ferguson favour 3-5-2.

Likewise, Blair appears to be in pole position for the right wing back berth, and has looked more comfortable out wide than playing on the left of a diamond - a position that suits Calder more.

McCullough was being lined up to play in the midfield holding role so his injury has thrown a spanner in the works. McCullough, Middleton and Paul Keegan are now in a race to be fit for that position.

Tommy Rowe’s best form came at the tip of the diamond, which could also sway Ferguson in the direction of 4-4-2.

The front two virtually picks itself, with new signing John Marquis set to partner Andy Williams.

Goalkeeper Ross Etheridge has not been brought to the club to sit on the bench, although Marko Marosi has shown plenty of promise during pre-season.

While Mitchell Lund will either play at right back or as a right-sided centre half, depending on the system. He could also operate at wing back if Ferguson signs a centre half.

Rovers possible line-ups v Accrington Stanley (assuming no more injuries):

4-4-2 diamond: Etheridge; Lund, Wright, Butler, Garratt; Middleton/McCullough, Coppinger, Calder, Rowe; Williams, Marquis.

3-5-2: Etheridge; Lund, Butler, Wright; Blair, Coppinger, Middleton/McCullough, Rowe, Evina; Williams, Marquis.