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Three To Watch: Will any of these Bristol Rovers players derail Sunderland’s promotion charge?

Bristol Rovers have some handy players in their ranks - will any of these three men have a hand in derailing Sunderland’s charge towards the automatic promotion spots in League One?

Bristol Rovers v Coventry City - FA Cup Third Round Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images

Jonson Clarke-Harris

19/20 Games/Goals: 27/13

Signed from Coventry last January, Clarke-Harris sat amongst the likes of Sergio Aguero, Sadio Mane and Teemu Pukki as one the top goal-scorers the last calendar year and is, without doubt, the key-player for the Gas this afternoon.

He’s strong in the air, has good feet and can score a range of goals. Able to get in the face of defenders, outmuscle them and - often - outpace them, it’s perhaps surprising to hear that he began his career as a rugged centre-back at non-league Beaumont Town.

The heavily tattooed forward may only have two goals in his last 10 games, but the Lads can’t fall asleep on 25-year-old this afternoon or he’s more than capable of punishing us, with the striker scoring in 48% of his games played this term.

Coventry City v Bristol Rovers - Sky Bet League One - Ricoh Arena Photo by David Davies/PA Images via Getty Images

Josh Ginnelly

19/20 Games/Goals: 7/1

Josh Ginnelly is perhaps best remembered by Wearsiders as the man who planted a 20-yard screamer past Jon McLaughlin last season for Walsall, before cupping his ear to the travelling fans.

He would end the game with egg on his face, however, as Lynden Gooch’s last minute striker for 10-man Sunderland secured a point at the Bescott, before George Honeyman subsequently laughed in his face. Great scenes.

Despite those hilarious memories, it’s worth noting that Ginnelly moved to Championship side Preston a few weeks later and, whilst the move hasn’t really worked out, his performances since his January loan move to Bristol Rovers have been mightily impressive - perhaps showing that despite his struggles at Deepdale, Ginnelly is still every bit a Championship player.

Bristol Rovers v Coventry City - Sky Bet League One - Memorial Stadium Photo by Bradley Collyer/EMPICS/PA Images via Getty Images

Jamal Blackman

19/20 Games/Clean sheets: 6/2

The giant goalkeeper - he’s 6ft6 - has slotted into the Bristol Rovers side with ease since his January loan move from Chelsea.

After spending the first half of the season on loan in the Eredivise with Vitesse Arnhem, Blackman returned to the UK with the Gas as a replacement for regular number one Anssi Jaakkola, who dislocated his shoulder back in late January.

It was quite a coup for Rovers, with Blackman having experience at Championship level, as well as top flight experience with Ostersunds in Sweden under the management of current Brighton boss Graham Potter.

He’s played for England at under 17, 18 and 19 level and will be looking to impress at the Stadium of Light this afternoon with his Chelsea future currently up in the air.

Brentford v Sheffield United - Sky Bet Championship - Griffin Park Photo by Steven Paston/PA Images via Getty Images

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