The first Bristol derby for over six and a half years takes place at Bristol City’s Ashton Gate stadium this week and unfancied Rovers can topple their neighbours in a fixture that throws up the odd shock.
Bristol City are just 13/20 to close out the tie in 90 minutes, with Bristol Rovers 7/2 for the win and the draw priced up at 5/2 for this Johnstone’s Paint Trophy first round clash.
However, with Sean O’Driscoll’s side still winless in League One since their relegation from the Championship, the 19/10 on Rovers to go through to the next stage looks the pick of the bets.
The last time these sides met was in the area final of this competition during the 2006/07 season.
Despite being 34 places below their local rivals in the Football League ladder, Rovers won the game 1-0 thanks to a goal from Rickie Lambert – now of Southampton and England, of course – at the Memorial Stadium.
City are a mere 15 places ahead of Rovers coming in to this game and John Ward’s side have put their poor League Two start to the season behind them, with two league wins on the bounce.
O’Driscoll’s men have strung together a couple of good results in the Capital One Cup, but their 2-1 win over Crystal Palace came about after Ian Holloway made 11 changes to the Eagles side that played against Stoke.
Tellingly, none of those who featured against the Robins retained their place for the 3-1 win over Sunderland.
Ward spoke after his team’s 1-0 defeat of Northampton about the confidence Rovers will take into this fixture and considering the narrowing gap between these West Country rivals, the League Two Pirates are cracking value to get their name in the second round draw.