A depleted Swindon Town play host to Forest Green Rovers in the early kick-off on Saturday with Ben Garner’s men looking to surprise the league leaders.
Due to being selected for television, Swindon were unable to have the match postponed despite five of their players being called up for international duty – making the challenge of Rob Edwards’ men even more of an uphill battle.
In spite of adversity off of the pitch, Garner has created a siege mentality at The County Ground and therefore the absentees may only spur on the players coming in from the fringes for a start.
The Robins’ international players are: Jonny Williams (Wales), Anthony Grant (Jamaica), Joe Wollacott (Ghana), Kaine Kesler (England U20) and Alex Gilbert (Republic of Ireland U21).
Here, then, is our predicted Swindon Town starting XI to take on Forest Green Rovers…
Three enforced changes but the same system implemented, Lewis Ward in between the sticks for Wollacott, Rob Hunt in for Kesler and Harry McKirdy in for Alex Gilbert. McKirdy got himself on the scoresheet as a second half substitute last time out at Bristol Rovers and will be looking to replicate that in front of the Sky cameras and show his manager he should be starting on a more regular basis.
Only a true expert on Swindon Town will get these 27 Robins quiz questions correct
Ward is a great backup goalkeeper to have in the fourth tier having gained experience at the top end of the table with Forest Green and Exeter City in recent years, Wollacott has been a star performer in the the opening stretch but Garner will not be concerned about his absence with Ward ready to step into the void.
After going into the season worrying about a potential relegation battle Swindon could break into the automatic promotion places with a win on Saturday afternoon, Garner and his tight knit group of players deserve a lot of credit for the start they have made. FGR will pose an extremely difficult test though, the visitors are unbeaten in their last five, winning three, without conceding a goal.