Bristol Post - - SPORT - Peter SHARKEY post­

YOU know au­tumn has well and truly ar­rived when prepa­ra­tions for the FA Cup first round be­gin in earnest, as they have for Bris­tol Rovers this week, as they ready them­selves for a tricky Sun­day lunchtime en­counter against Bar­net of the Na­tional League.

Bet365 in­stall the Gas as their 21/20 favourites to win, whereas the home side, 12th in what ev­ery­one still refers to as the ‘Con­fer­ence’, are of­fered at 13/5 by Wil­liam Hill. The draw can be backed at 12/5 with 10bet.

Bar­net’s re­cent form – just two wins and four de­feats in their last eight league du­els, sug­gests this should be a straight­for­ward can­ter for Rovers, es­pe­cially as they’ve lost only one of their last four league matches. The league side has been very well backed to open the scor­ing (4/6, Marathon­bet) and to lead at the end of both halves (11/5, Sky­bet). Fur­ther­more, fol­low­ing last week­end’s (wholly un­ex­pected) goal blitz, they’re a mas­sive 17/2 (Bet­way) to en­joy a vic­tory by a three or more goal mar­gin. Back­ers ex­pect­ing Rovers to stroll to vic­tory can get 11/4 (Lad­brokes) against them win­ning when kick­ing off with a one-goal deficit, while Uni­bet chalk a huge 16/1 against them win­ning 3-0. More cir­cum­spect types, mind­ful of the fact this is an FA Cup tie, may pre­fer Bet­fred’s 8/1 posted in favour of a 2-1 away win.

Pic­ture: Marc Atkins/Getty

Bar­net boss John Still

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