Port Vale make the trip north this afternoon as they face Morecambe FC in Sky Bet League Two action, and you can find all the key information regarding the tie, below.
Fixture: Morecambe vs Port Vale
Competition: Sky Bet League Two
Date: Saturday 8th December 2018
Venue: The Globe Arena
Referee: Andy Haines
Top Scorer: Tom Pope (9 goals)
Vale will be full of confidence heading into this afternoon’s league clash, off the back of two consecutive wins. A convincing 3-0 victory over Yeovil Town at Huish Park set the boys up perfectly for the Checkatrade Trophy tie with local rivals Stoke City’s Under-21 squad.
Goals from Tom Pope, Cristian Montano and Luke Hannant saw The Valiants ease past the young Potters outfit to progress to Round Three of the cup competition.
Neil Aspin will be without the services of Leon Legge for this afternoon’s fixture, after the centre-back confirmed on Twitter that he suffered four epileptic seizures on Sunday 2nd December. Leon is hoping to return to full training next week and we’d like to wish our number five a speedy recovery.
Mitch Clark is also expected to miss out as he continues to recover from a hamstring injury picked up in the loss to Swindon Town at Vale Park a few weeks back.
Top Scorer: Leitch-Smith/Oates (5 goals)
The Shrimps sit four points behind Vale in 20th place having played out six wins, three draws and 11 losses. Jim Bentley’s side will be looking to immediately bounce back following the loss to MK Dons, with a result against Aspin’s side.
Barry Roche is expected to return having made the bench in The Shrimps last fixture with The Dons. The captain has been side-lined for a number of weeks having picked up a thigh-strain.
Rhys Oates could potentially return for this afternoon’s game; however, Jim Bentley will be without the likes of Lamin Jane, Andrew Fleming, James Sinclair and Zak Mills who all miss out with long-term injuries.
One to watch: Liam Mandeville
21-year-old forward who wears the number 17 for the Shrimps. Mandeville graduated through the academy at Doncaster Rovers, before making his first team debut for The Rovers as a second-half substitute against Bradford City in League One – he scored his first professional goal in a 2-1 defeat to Walsall.
Following brief loan spells with Whitby Town and Colchester United, Mandeville signed at The Globe Arena in 2018 and has impressed so far this season. The young forward has contributed to three goals and five assists since the beginning of the season and has proved a constant threat for The Shrimps.
Darren Ferguson claimed Mandeville ‘could score with both feet’ and that the forward is ‘very good technically’.
Neil Aspin: “They get results and they get them at times when you wouldn't expect them to, so they're capable of winning any game against any team in this league. We have to be at our best because we know we will get a scrap, and we will have to fight and battle. We've got to go there and roll up our sleeves as it's every bit as important as any other game.”
Jim Bentley: “They’ve had two good results recently and look like they’ve turned a corner, they will naturally have a bit of confidence but like any club we do our homework and they’ve got their strengths and weaknesses. In Tom Pope they have one of the best forwards in the league, he does really well for them, he’s very experienced and a player we’ll have to look out for. We’re at home though, we’ve had a weekend break from games and everyone’s looking forward to the challenge.”
Follow The Vale will be providing full 90 minute commentary from the match, while the Port Vale Twitter and Facebook feed will be providing live updates for the entirety.
There will also be build-up to the game with the official Snapchat account: officialpvfc.
Reaction will be available on the official website post-match, as well as on YouTube, iFollow and social media.