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A look ahead to Saturday's Sky Bet League 2 opener at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium

3 August 2018

Scene setter

It’s the opening game of Reds’ eighth season as an EFL club and for the second season running our first away match takes us to Whaddon Road, or the Jonny-Rocks Stadium as it is now known, as we take on Gary Johnson's Cheltenham Town. 

Last season

Reds finished 14th, eight points and three places above the Robins who won eight, drew six and lost nine of their League matches at home.

The history

Four previous visits to Cheltenham during the club’s Football League era have yet to produce a positive result. Last season Mo Eisa’s first-half goal sealed a 1-0 win for the Robins. Reds lost 3-1 there, despite a second-half Matt Tubbs penalty, in August 2011 in League 2 and two years later we were beaten 4-3 by Cheltenham in the League Cup having led 3-1 at one stage. In 2016 we went down 2-1 with Kaby Djalo on target. 

Read more about our past meetings with Cheltenham here

Team news

Apart from Jimmy Smith (knee) Reds travelled to Gloucestershire on Friday with a fully fit squad. Cheltenham have no injury worries either.

Ex-Red Robin

There will be at least one familiar face in the Robins’ line-up. Striker Liam McAlinden was signed last month after Eisa was sold to Bristol City, the club managed by Gary Johnson’s son Lee.

McAlinden had a loan spell with Reds in 2016 when he was a Wolves player and has since represented Exeter City.

He is likely to be paired up front with 25-year-old striker Manny Duku, a Dutch forward signed from non-League Hayes & Yeading.

Going to the game?

It’s pay on the day for away fans on Saturday. For more information click here

How they bet

League sponsors Sky Bet have Reds at 14/5 to win and the draw is 5/2. Reds have only lost one of their previous seven games on the opening day of the League campaign, last season’s 3-1 defeat to Port Vale.

More information can be found here

Match coverage

Live commentary with Gary Smith is available on iFollow for subscribers from 2.55pm tomorrow. To subscribe to iFollow click here

There will be the usual match coverage on our social media channels with post-match coverage on the club website.


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