There are rivalries like Aston Villa and West Brom, there are nemeses like Barcelona and Real Madrid, and then there is El Glosico. Cheltenham Town host Forest Green Rovers in the highest profile local derby in Gloucestershire history as both teams currently are in the top four in League Two.
One club based in Cheltenham and the other in Nailsworth, it is a solid 45-minute drive between the New Lawn and the Jonny-Rocks Stadium.
Still, it is most definitely a local derby, with the two teams clashing for almost a full century now across several leagues and trophies, with the first coming in the 1919/20 season in Gloucestershire Northern Junior Cup semi-final, with Cheltenham winning the game 4-2.
Since then, there have been 40 more clashes, with the first-ever League Two-clash coming in 2017, when Forest Green came into the top four leagues for the first time in club history.
Five games have been played between the two Gloucestershire clubs since then, with Rovers winning two and the other three ending in a draw. The most dramatic moment came when Green Devils striker Christian Doidge bagged a dramatic winner at Whaddon Road in 2018 in front of the away end.
As any Forest Green fan will let you know, The Robins haven’t won ‘El Glosico’ in 21 years, with the last win coming in 1998 in the Conference.
However, now will be as good a time as ever for Cheltenham to break that duck. As we cover more deeply in our match preview, the Robins have been on fire so far this season, having their best-ever start to a Football League campaign, scoring 28 points in 14 games while boasting one of the best home records in 2019 across all divisions.
Forest Green have started the season very brightly themselves, with Mark Cooper’s side excelling in defense while Michael Duff’s men have been scoring for fun.
Never has El Glosico been held with the teams this high up the Football League. Never have both sides been in such good form heading into the game. It’s impossible to predict.
One thing is for sure; it will be loud at the Jonny-Rocks this Saturday, both teams will be up for a fight, and both teams will give it their absolute all to become the best team in Gloucestershire. For now.