Vale's Carabao Cup campaign gets underway on Tuesday night as Lincoln City travel to Burslem for the first round clash. Neil Aspin will be hoping his men can progress into the next stage of the competition, and you can find all of the important information below...
Date: Tuesday 14th August 2018
Kick Off: 7:45pm
Competition: Carabao Cup
Venue: Vale Park
Last time we met: Port Vale 1-0 Lincoln City
Referee: Robert Lewis
Top Goalscorer: Tom Pope (2 goals)
The Valiants bowed out of the Carabao Cup at the first stage last season as Leeds United ran out as victors at Elland Road, but Aspin is keen to ensure Vale Park becomes a tough place to visit this season. Having comfortably claimed all three points against Cambridge United on the opening day of the Sky Bet League Two season, Vale will be eager to make it two wins in succession on home soil.
However, Saturday's disappointing defeat away to Colchester United left a sour taste in the mouth. Two first-half strikes from Courtney Senior and Ryan Jackson downed Vale, and the players will hope they can respond to that frustration with a win under the floodlights at Vale Park.
With Tom Pope limping off with a back injury at the JobServe Community Stadium, he is likely to miss out as Aspin could make changes to his starting eleven. Antony Kay could feature having completed a suspension, and Louis Dodds may be in line for his first start since returning to Vale this summer.
Top Goalscorer: Matt Green (2 goals)
Last season's Checkatrade Trophy champions will come to Vale Park brimming with confidence as they have made the perfect start to life in Sky Bet League Two this term. With wins over Northampton Town and Swindon Town so far, the Imps have a 100 per cent record in the division.
Following their promotion to the Football League back in 2017, the Cowley brothers led Lincoln to the play-off semi-final last season before they were defeated by Exeter City. Now with a positive opening to the new campaign, they will be hoping for success on all fronts, including the Carabao Cup.
The Imps crashed out in the first round last season as Rotherham United edged past them at the AESSEAL New York Stadium, winning by two goals to one. Also likely to make a few changes to freshen up the squad, it remains to be seen who will take to the field for Lincoln. However, they will be hungry to maintain their winning start.
One To Watch - Bruno Andrade
After penning a two-year deal with the Imps this summer, the tricky forward has made a bright start to life at Sincil Bank. With an abundence of pace and natural technical ability, the 24-year-old has the capability to cause real problems to opposition defences.
Having progressed through the youth system at Queens Park Rangers, the Portuguese winger struggled to make his mark and subsequent loan spells to Aldershot Town, Wycombe Wanderers and Stevenage followed. He was then forced to revive his career in non-league with Woking and Boreham Wood, but his form last season attracted interest.
Although he hasn't found the net during his side's first two fixtures, Andrade has been a linchpin in the Lincoln attack. His creativity is a real asset to Cowley's squad and he offers a real threat from wide areas with his tenacity, combined with an efficient delivery into the central strikers. If he is handed a starting berth, he will be one to keep an eye on.
Neil Aspin: "You'll never get an easy game against Lincoln. They're a hard team to beat - you've got to play well to beat them. We need all of our players performing to be in with a chance.
"If you're going to be playing one of the teams in your league at this stage of the cup, then Lincoln are one of the most difficult. We've got to go out there and perform a lot better than we did on Saturday."
Danny Cowley: "It's a great competition and it's one we are looking forward to. We have got a tough game away to Port Vale and that is a difficult place to go.
"They have got some really experienced players and they did well in the second half of last season. We are expecting a difficult game as we watched them against Cambridge on the opening day and they were very good."
Follow The Vale will be providing full 90 minute commentary from the match, whilst the Port Vale Twitter and Facebook feeds will be providing live updates for the entirety.
There will also be build-up to the game with the official Snapchat and Instagram accounts: officialpvfc.
Reaction will be available on the official website post-match, as well as on YouTube, iFollow and social media.