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Bristol Rovers needed a replay to beat Oxford United in the first round, with the two teams initially playing out a 2-2 draw in Oxfordshire, before Joey Barton’s team recorded a 4-3 victory at home on November 16.

Oxford United were incredibly 3-1 ahead in the early stages of extra-time, but the hosts scored three times in the final 10 minutes to record a 4-3 victory, with Sion Spence netting twice off the bench.

Bristol Rovers have not been victorious since that FA Cup clash, though, drawing two and losing one of their last three league matches, including a 2-0 defeat at Forest Green Rovers on Saturday.

The Pirates have won six, drawn five and lost eight of their 19 League Two fixtures this season to sit 16th in the table, seven points off seventh-placed Harrogate Town.

Preview: Bristol Rovers vs. Sutton – prediction, team news, lineups

Sutton, meanwhile, recorded a 1-0 victory over Hayes & Yeading in the first round of the FA Cup on November 6, with Will Randall scoring the only goal of the contest in the 71st minute.

Matt Gray’s side are going well in League Two this season, meanwhile, picking up 32 points from their 19 matches to sit sixth in the table, just two points behind second-placed Northampton Town.

Sutton have actually been victorious in six of their last seven matches in all competitions, including a 1-0 win over Barrow in the league last weekend, while they beat Stevenage on penalties in the EFL Trophy on Tuesday night to secure their spot in the next round of the competition.

The Yellows famously reached the fifth round of the FA Cup during the 2016-17 season, beating Cheltenham Town, AFC Wimbledon and Leeds United before suffering a 2-0 defeat at home to Arsenal.

The National League champions will actually also face Bristol Rovers in the league on Boxing Day and will be desperate to make it a December double over their League Two rivals.

Bristol Rovers were without Sam Nicholson for the clash with Forest Green Rovers, while Aaron Collins dropped to the bench for the league defeat.

Brett Pitman was one of two changes to the starting XI last time out, and the 33-year-old could retain his spot in the final third of the field alongside Anthony Evans.

Barton will have one eye on next week’s league clash with Port Vale, but the 39-year-old is expected to send a strong XI onto the field, with a spot in the third round of the FA Cup on offer.

Sutton boss Gray rung the changes for the EFL Trophy clash with Stevenage on Tuesday, but there will be a more familiar look to the side for Saturday’s FA Cup contest.

Indeed, Robert Milsom, Omar Bugiel, Dean Bouzanis and Isaac Olaofe are among those expected to return, while David Ajiboye should be back in the side on the right wing.

There will be no rest for the likes of Craig Eastmond and Randall, though, with the pair both set to feature from the first whistle against Bristol Rovers.

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Bristol Rovers possible starting lineup:
Belshaw; Grant, Taylor, Harries; Anderson, Whelan, Coutts, Finley, Anderton; Evans, Pitman

Sutton United possible starting lineup:
Bouzanis; Barden, Goodliffe, John, Milsom; Ajiboye, Eastmond, Davis, Randall-Hurren; Olaofe, Bugiel

We say: Bristol Rovers 1-2 Sutton United
It is always difficult to know what to expect when two teams in the same league lock horns in the FA Cup, but it is difficult to ignore Sutton’s form when predicting this match. We are expecting a tight contest on Saturday afternoon but believe that the visitors will have just about enough to continue their journey in the competition.

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