Tranmere Rovers v Port Vale – The match preview.
Saturday 6th February 2021, 3pm
English Football League Two
On Tuesday night, Tranmere progressed through to the Papa Johns Trophy semi finals with a brilliant victory against Peterborough United. This brought a boost, following a successful January transfer deadline day where Ali Crawford and David Nugent were signed, to the preparations prior to a vital game. Port Vale at home. This weekend Keith Hill’s Super Whites aim to extend their unbeaten league run, which currently stands at five games (4 wins and a draw). Vale, coming into the game on the back of an immense 5-1 win against Southend United, will have other plans.
In Hill’s Thursday meeting with the press, he stated that ‘there are no new injuries or COVID-19 concerns within the squad’. This means that the same squad which beat a great League One side on Tuesday night, is fully available for selection.
When I spoke to Vale supporter Scott Challinor, in the ‘meeting the opposition’ Q+A, he said that former Rovers man David Amoo may not be able for selection. If he is available and does get selected, he will certainly pose questions of the hosts defence. However, the visitors have many players who are capable of doing this. Devante Rodney, Tom Conlon and Tom Pope being three. Pope currently remains on the sidelines with an arm injury, Rodney is available and he has twelve goal involvements in twenty-four games this campaign (9 goals, 3 assists).
The Valiants, who are supported by the iconic music artist Robbie Williams, will be managed by interim gaffer Danny Pugh following the inevitable sacking of John Askey. Since Askey’s sacking, the club who play their home games at Vale Park have won two league encounters of five – against Grimsby Town and Southend United respectively.
The ‘man in black’ this Saturday afternoon is Alan Young who will be assisted by Gary Hilton and Peter Gooch. Englishman Young, has officiated 18 games throughout the course of this campaign and has awarded 78 yellow cards and 2 reds. He may be familiar to those representing Rovers as he was the man in the middle for the away win at Oldham Athletic in early December. Conor Brown is the selected fourth official.
The two clubs have come head to head on a mammoth 95 occasions, the first meeting being a few days prior to Christmas 1929. Rovers have won 41 times, the Valiants have won 31 times and the scoreline has been even 23 times. The last time the two clubs came head to head was in mid-November, Tranmere winning miraculously 4-3 with an amazing last-ditch comeback.
I believe that this league encounter will be very closely contested, Tranmere just about coming out on top. I’m going for a 3-1 home win and I think that the line-up will be similar to this: Scott Davies, Otis Khan, Peter Clarke, Manny Monthe, Calum MacDonald, Liam Feeney, Jay Spearing, Paul Lewis, Danny Lloyd, James Vaughan and Kaiyne Woolery.
You can watch/listen to this game, as ever, on both club’s iFollow accounts which are accessible via the official websites.
Thank you very much for reading,