El Classico is arguably one of the biggest football rivalries in the world between two Spanish clubs – Barcelona versus Real Madrid.
But have you heard of El Glosico?
It’s a Gloucestershire rivalry as Forest Green Rovers host Cheltenham Town for the first League Two meeting of the season this weekend.
In the last few years rivalry between both Gloucestershire clubs has intensified with Rovers themselves winning promotion to the Football League last season.
Both clubs have already met in the EFL Trophy with Forest Green thumping the Robins 4-0 at the New Lawn.
Now comes the next chapter, the fight for points in a league game.
Forest Green go into this weekend on the back of their first league defeat of the season.
Northampton Town scored an injury time winner to end Rovers’ 12-match unbeaten run, who were the only team in the Football League yet to lose.
They currently sit 8th in the league table.
Manager Mark Cooper will be keen to see Rovers bounce back to winning ways.
PREVIEW | Mark Cooper speaks to the media ahead of his side’s derby-day encounter at The New Lawn with @CTFCofficial on Saturday.
Watch it in full here:
— Forest Green Rovers (@FGRFC_Official) 18 October 2018
Cheltenham are currently five games without a win and have yet to record a home victory in League Two.
They sit in 22nd place, one above the relegation zone.
Last week’s scheduled home match against Yeovil Town was postponed due to insufficient players, giving the Robins a two-week break.
Their last game was a 3-0 away defeat to promotion hopefuls MK Dons.
Speaking to the media, manager Michael Duff said:
“I understand how important it is, particularly to the supporters, but it means a lot to the players as well. Ultimately it’s only three points. The players care and the 4-0 hurt, so that’ll still be with them”.
Here are a few key facts and statistics ahead of the all-important match:
- During Forest Green’s 12-match unbeaten run, eight games have ended in draws
- Cheltenham have won only 9 points from their 12 games so far, winning just 2 games (away to Cambridge and Northampton)
- Striker Reuben Reid is Forest Green’s top scorer with 5 goals so far this term.
- Forest Green midfielder Carl Winchester (below) is a former Cheltenham player, making 64 appearances and scoring 6 goals (2017-2018)
- Cheltenham are the joint lowest scorers in League Two with 9 goals, tied with Grimsby Town.
Cheltenham Town haven’t beaten their Gloucestershire neighbours since 1998, a 2-1 victory in Nailsworth with current manager Michael Duff part of the Cheltenham team. 20 years since, the Robins haven’t been as successful:
- 20th April 1999 Cheltenham 1-1 Forest Green (Conference)
- 22nd September 2015 Forest Green 2-2 Cheltenham (National League)
- 21st November 2015 Cheltenham 1-1 Forest Green (National League)
- 3rd October 2017 Cheltenham 1-2 Forest Green (EFL Trophy)
- 25th November 2017 Forest Green 1-1 Cheltenham (League Two)
- 14th April 2018 Cheltenham 0-1 Forest Green (League Two)
- 4th September 2018 Forest Green 4-0 Cheltenham (EFL Trophy)
The last League Two meeting at the New Lawn came last season when the two sides played out a 1-1 draw. Christian Doidge put Rovers ahead before Mo Eisa equalised for Cheltenham.
This has all the ingredients for a full on battle between local rivals, two teams who are at opposite ends of the League Two table. A local derby means that position in the table means nothing, but pride is what’s at stake here.
Cheltenham might have a slight advantage having played a game less but Forest Green still pose a stern test for Michael Duff’s men. Duff has yet to win his first game as Robins manager since his appointment last month, and nothing would please Cheltenham fans more than a win over their nearest rivals.
It’s still early days but at the moment Cheltenham are in a precarious position with a lack of goals and wins a worrying record.
Can Michael Duff claim his first win as manager?
Forest Green will look to bounce back after their first loss of the season. 12 games into the season and only one defeat shows Rovers are in top form and possible contenders to reach the League Two play-offs (or maybe more) come the end of the campaign.
8 of the 12 matches have been draws and Forest Green have recorded only 1 victory at the New Lawn so far (1-0 win over Crawley). They have an opportunity to beat their local rivals and if results go their way, a play-off place could be Forest Green’s for the taking.
There’s still a long way to go in the season, but this next installment of El Glosico will be a fascinating encounter.
— UniVersal News (@UoGUniversal) 19 October 2018