Stevenage v Tranmere Rovers – match preview
English Football League Two
Saturday 16th January 2021
Tranmere travel to Hertfordshire this weekend to face Stevenage, at the Lamex Stadium, in a league two encounter. Last time out, Keith Hill’s side won in thrilling fashion, a 4-2 win against a young exciting Leicester City U21s team. As an academy opposition changes to a strong senior side, it is inevitable that they are set to face a difference of questions that will make Saturday afternoon interesting.
Alex Revell manages the hosts who come into this game after winning their past two league games. The visitors on the other hand, have failed to win any of their past two league encounters. Thus, Tranmere’s aim going into this one should be to find a victory in which to build a solid base going forwards.
Team news –
In Hill’s midweek meeting with the press he stated that he will be able to welcome ‘one or two faces’ that were unavailable for the Papa Johns Trophy tie. However, the Manchester-born manager also stated that in these unprecedented times the players available can change on a daily basis.
The visitors –
Boro are managed by the 37-year-old Alex Revell. The former football league bagsman, who made six hundred appearances, became the club’s head coach in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and in the ‘meeting the opposition’ piece that I published ahead of this game his heavy workload needed to change fortunes around has been explained.
The hosts one to watch is the young forward Aramide Oteh. The Queens Park Rangers graduate, who joined the club via work experience, has seven goal contributions in the sixteen outings he has made this campaign.
Last season, Stevenage finished 23rd in League Two but were able to escape relegation through the many court cases and squabbles against Macclesfield Town F.C and the EFL.
Revell’s side started this campaign in relatively poor, but unsurprising form. They have played twenty league games, winning four and losing eight. However, Boro have won their past two league games and will be hoping that they can extend their unbeaten form this Saturday.
Revell’s Boro were founded 45 years ago, as Stevenage Borough FC and have made a tricky but successful journey to the football league since then. The club’s greatest achievement was their promotion to league one, in the 2010-11 season, via the playoffs. However, they have also managed to compete in four FA Trophy finals in which they were victorious in two.
Lee Swabey is the referee for this league two encounter. The ‘man in black’ has officiated sixteen encounters this campaign in which he has awarded 35 yellow cards. This weekend he will be helped by assistants Paul Kelly and Ryan Whitaker. Martyn Holmes is the selected fourth official.
Head to head –
The first recorded meeting between the two sides (according to 11v11.com) was in December 2011, Tranmere travelling to Stevenage for a league one fixture. The Whites, who were managed by Les Parry, were defeated but Joss Labadie put himself on the scoresheet as he netted a penalty. The most recent meeting was in February of 2019, in another league two encounter, Micky Mellon’s Whites won 2-0 to spark a run that would eventually see them clinch promotion at Wembley.
Rovers wins: 3
Stevenage wins: 2
Did you know?
The away team, in this fixture, has never won in the ‘head to head’. There have been ten games, five ending in home wins and five ending in draws. Tranmere will be hoping that this fact changes as the number of meetings increase to eleven.
I originally went for the surprising fact that the hosts’ shirts are sponsored by Burger King, I think the above fact is more necessary.
I believe that going into this game on the back of two solid performances, Barnsley and Leicester U21s respectively, Tranmere will have the firepower to clinch the vital three points this Saturday afternoon. It will be a close game, decided by one or a possible two goals.
Team – Davies, O’Connor, Ray, Clarke, MacDonald, Spearing, Banks, Lloyd, Woolery, Vaughan, Ferrier.
Result – Stevenage 1 Tranmere 3
How can you watch or listen to this league encounter?
This match will be available to watch and listen to via iFollow.
If you enjoyed this match preview, why not read my Q+A with a Stevenage fan. We speak about the club’s start to the season, their recent form and their battles to stay in the football league in the midst of a pandemic crisis; amongst other subjects.
Aramide Oteh, Boro’s top scorer, pictured celebrating a goal for the club where he graduated from. The youngster joined Stevenage in mid-October and has since netted four goals in sixteen outings, setting up three. His shot accuracy is an even better stat, it is 92% which inevitably means that Scott Davies will be kept busy.
Thank you very much for reading,