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FIVE POINT PREVIEW | Forest Green Rovers

Five things to look out for ahead of Saturday's game

9 November 2017

The Reds are back in league action at the Checkatrade Stadium when they host Forest Green Rovers on Saturday afternoon (3pm).

We've picked out five things to bear in mind or look out for ahead of the contest with Mark Cooper's men...

Red mist in the past...

The sides last met during our Conference title winning season in 2010/11 - and there were no fewer than four red cards.

Two players from each side were given their early marching orders and the four red cards were shown in 13 minutes after the restart after a quiet first half. 

Rovers' Scott Bartlett picked up a second yellow before Crawley's Kyle McFadzean saw red for a bad challenge. 

Crawley keeper Michel Kuipers was then sent off but replacement Nick Jordan saved from the spot before Tubbs scored after Gavin Caines left the field as the Reds ran out eventual 1-0 winners on the afternoon.

The referee on Saturday is Tom Nield - will he have a busy afternoon?

A new opponent in the EFL...

The meeting between the two teams this weekend will signal the first game in the EFL between the two sides and means Cooper's men will be the 61st side the Reds have faced since entering the Football League in 2011. 

Lincoln City were our previous newest opponent in the EFL when we faced them at Sincil Bank a fortnight ago.

Turned a corner on the road?

Forest Green are unbeaten in their last three matches away from home - as Bob Hunt of BBC Gloucestershire pointed out to us in his interview on Thursday morning.

A 1-1 draw with high-flying Notts County at Meadow Lane at the start of October was followed by an even more impressive 1-0 success away to Coventry City at the Ricoh Arena 10 days later.

Three weeks ago the side travelled to Stevenage and ran out 2-1 winners thanks to second half goals from Reece Brown and Christian Doidge - the trio of results represent 10 of the 11 points they've picked up so far in the league this season.

Verheydt back in league action?

Harry Kewell has a near enough full bill of health to choose from for the visit of the 20th placed side this weekend.

Dutch striker Thomas Verheydt returned to the field in last Tuesday's 3-1 Sussex Senior Cup success over Bognor Regis Town before being used as a second half substitute in last weekend's Emirates FA Cup game with Wigan Athletic.

The forward - who had been sidelined since the end of August following an injury he picked up against Charlton athletic in the Checkatrade Trophy, will be pushing for his first start in the league for the Reds since the home game with Cambridge United on Saturday 19th August.

Taking the lead?

Both Jimmy Smith and Jordan Roberts sit top of the side's goalscoring charts this term with four goals apiece heading into Saturday's game.

Jordan's spectacular volley at the DW Stadium last weekend brought him on level terms with the skipper - that went with goals away to Swindon Town and a double at home to Yeovil Town the weekend after back at the start of September.

Jimmy's brace in the 2-1 win away to Barnet, along with his strike away to Colchester United and his third in the 3-0 win over Swindon Town mean they're level pegging heading into the weekend - who would you back to get themselves on the scoresheet this weekend? Or would you pick both!

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