All you need to know ahead of the Town's trip to Bristol
Bristol Rovers v Luton Town
Sky Bet League 2
Saturday 2nd January 2016, kick-off 3pm
Live commentary on Hatters Player
• First game of 2016
• Town take four points from last two away games
• Rovers in sixth place in L2
• Pirates unbeaten in six games (W4, D2)
• Hatters seven points off the Play-Offs
• No Luton team ever won at Memorial Stadium (D4, L6)
• A Town side did win a League Cup penalty shootout in 2006
• Andy Awford remains in caretaker charge
WHO? Bristol Rovers, aka the Pirates, will be the Town’s first opponents of 2016. Rovers won promotion via the Conference Play-Offs last season to bounce back immediately to the Football League. So far this season, Darrell Clarke’s side have picked up form of late and, after a run of six matches unbeaten – which has seen them win four of their last five – they sit in sixth place, five points off the final automatic promotion place.
WHERE? The Pirates still play their home fixtures at the Memorial Stadium, a 12,000-capacity former home of the Bristol rugby club. Opened in 1921, it wasn’t until 1996 that Rovers moved in as tenants. Hatters fans have the option of uncovered terracing beside the pitch or a covered seat behind the goal in a temporary stand.
HOW TO GET THERE? Luton to Bristol is about 150 miles and a two-and-half-hour drive all being well. Take the M1 south, M25 anti-clockwise and M4 westbound and then M5. Exit the M5 at junction 16 (Signposted Filton) and join the A38 (South) towards Bristol City Centre. Continue on the A38, passing the Wellington pub on your right, before turning left into Filton Avenue.
HAVEN’T WE MET BEFORE? Just like at Portsmouth, Town teams of the past have rarely returned from Bristol Rovers with much to smile about. The Hatters have never won a game in 90 or 120 at the Memorial Stadium, drawing four and losing six of their 10 visits. However the 2006 visit in the League Cup saw the Hatters win on penalties. The Town did, however, earn a point that felt like a victory on their last visit in League 1 on Boxing Day 2007. Despite playing with eight men the Hatters drew 1-1. Not since 1980 have the Town won against Bristol Rovers in Bristol (an FA Cup win in 1995 was played at Bath’s Twerton Park).
TOWN TEAM NEWS. Town caretaker boss Andy Awford is set to pick from the same group of players who were on duty for Monday’s goalless draw at his former club Portsmouth.
LIVE AND ONLINE. As ever, we’ll be reporting live from the Memorial Stadium. Build-up starts at midday, so get on our early blog on the Wall for all the latest updates.
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube for photos, videos and all the behind-the-scenes action. Hatters Player subscribers will be able to listen to live commentary from just before 3pm with Simon Pitts in the press box.
Post-match, remember to check out the official website, YouTube channel and Player for reports, interviews and photographs and don’t forget to tune in from midday on Tuesday for all the highlights in glorious HD