Enjoy our full and in-depth preview of the action as The Bluebirds prepare to make the long trip to face Forest Green Rovers at The New Lawn.
Forest Green Rovers v Barrow
Saturday 13th February 2021, 3pm
The New Lawn
Sky Bet League Two
Forest Green Rovers will be keen to beat the icy weather conditions to return to action this weekend having not played since their brilliant 2-1 win at Carlisle United at the start of the month.
The victory at Brunton Park completed an impressive quick-fire League Two double over The Cumbrians and underlined Rovers’ status as genuine title contenders.
A spate of postponements affected Mark Cooper’s side rhythm as 2020 turned in to 2021 but they have won two of their last three outings and will be hoping to build on that on Saturday.
They were beaten play-off semi-finalists in 2018/19 before finishing in the middle ground last season but the Gloucestershire outfit sit just three points off top spot ahead of this weekend’s round of fixtures.
One To Watch
Jamille Matt missed Rovers’ win over Carlisle United last time out through injury but the club’s top scorer is expected to return to contention to face Barrow on Saturday.
It surprised some when the front man was released from Newport County during the summer but Rovers boss Mark Cooper moved swiftly to offer Matt the chance to shine at The New Lawn.
The 31-year-old has responded by hitting the net nine times in League Two this season so far and his goals will be key if Rovers are to achieve their objectives during the remainder of the campaign.
Head To Head
Saturday’s game will be the 18th competitive meeting between the two clubs and Forest Green Rovers have a slight edge having won five times in comparison to Barrow’s four triumphs.
Unusually, almost half of previous meetings (8) have ended in draws, including three of the last four encounters – most recently when the sides shared a 2-2 draw at The Progression Solicitors Stadium in November.
The Bluebirds’ last win over Rovers came back in March 2011 when goals from Mike Pearson, Richie Barker and Wayne Curtis secured a thrilling 3-2 win at The New Lawn.
Paul Howard will oversee his first Barrow game in over two years when he’s on the whistle for our trip to Forest Green Rovers on Saturday.
The official, who is in his first season on the EFL’s list of referees, last saw The Bluebirds in action during defeats at Bromley and Maidstone United at the start of the 2018/19 National League campaign.
Howard has presided over 18 fixtures so far this term, his most recent appointment coming on Tuesday night as Southend United surprised Newport County to win 1-0 at Rodney Parade.
Forest Green Rovers have been installed as 4/5 favourites for victory on Saturday, with Barrow priced up at 10/3 to take the points and odds of 12/5 available on it ending in a draw.
Match Passes to watch Saturday’s game live on iFollow Barrow are now available – fans are reminded that Season Ticket holders do not get free access to away games.
Fans in the UK can buy a Match Pass to watch the action now priced at £10, while overseas supporters pay £7.
We would remind supporters that commentary attached to the live stream on Saturday will be provided by the home team, with BBC Radio Cumbria unable to travel due to COVID-19 restrictions.
We will also provide an audio commentary of this weekend’s game as we link up with Forest Green for their live coverage, due to BBC Radio Cumbria being prevented from travelling due to COVID-19 restrictions.
You can purchase an Audio Match Pass for £2.50, an Audio Monthly Pass for £4.49 or sign-up for Audio Season Pass which provides all live commentary and video news for just £45.