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Match Previews

Match Preview: Port Vale vs Cheltenham Town

15 December 2018

Port Vale are back on home soil this weekend as Neil Aspin and his men welcome Cheltenham Town to Vale Park, and you can find all of the key information ahead of the clash below...

Fixture: Port Vale vs Cheltenham Town

Competition: Sky Bet League Two

Date: Saturday 15th December 2018

Kick-Off: 3:00pm

Venue: Vale Park

Referee: Graham Salisbury


Port Vale


League Position: 15th

Top Scorer: Tom Pope (10 goals)

Vale go into Saturday's fixture hoping to extend their unbeaten run to four games in all competitions, with a 2-2 draw away at Morecambe following a 4-0 drubbing of Stoke City U21s in the Checkatrade Trophy. 

Despite putting in a below-par performance at the Globe Arena last weekend, the Valiants showed great character to bounce back from two goals down in order to register a point in Sky Bet League Two.

Late strikes from Antony Kay and Tom Pope gave the travelling support plenty to cheer before Scott Brown saved an A-Jay Leitch-Smith penalty two minutes from time to ensure the scoreline remained level.

Neil Aspin has been given a boost with the return of both Leon Legge and Mitch Clark, and the defensive pair could be welcomed back into the matchday squad. The manager should have a fully fit crop of players to select from.


Cheltenham Town


League Position: 21st

Top Scorer: Tyrone Barnett and Luke Varney (4 goals)

The Robins will make the trip to Burslem in confident mood following their home win against Grimsby Town last weekend. Goals from Ryan Broom and Conor Thomas were enough to cancel out Elliot Embleton's second-half strike, and the three points lifted Michael Duff's men to 21st in Sky Bet League Two.

Cheltenham are set to be without midfielder Jacob Maddax after he was forced off due to injury last time out, whilst Nigel Atangana also suffered a knock against Grimsby, and he could also be a doubt for this weekend's clash.

Tom Field, Sean Long and Kevin Dawson are all definite absentees, but Jordon Forster is available for selection after he served a one-game suspension. Tyrone Barnett won't feature though, as the on-loan Vale forward isn't allowed to play against his parent club.


One to watch: Luke Varney

At 36 years of age, Luke Varney boasts a wealth of experience and he has been a regular in the Robins' side over the past few months, clocking up 14 appearances in all competitions.

Having represented the likes of Sheffield Wednesday, Leeds United and Ipswich Town, most of Varney's career has been spent in the second tier of English football, and he will be hoping to steer Cheltenham clear of danger in Sky Bet League Two.

He has found the net on four occasions so far this season, scoring braces against Morecambe and Notts County. The striker is currently on a run of five games without a goal, but he will be determined to put an end to that this weekend.



Neil Aspin: "We have absolutely no chance if we play like we did on Saturday. We won't go on a run lasting one game if we play like we did on Saturday and that's unfortunately where we are at.

"Sometimes the players let themselves down which they did on Saturday and that's why, to get a run of form going, the better teams in the league are consistent and that's why they do well week-in week-out."

Michael Duff: “Tom Pope up top, they’ll play off him, they’ve got good width and they are another sort of team that don’t have many young lads – they know the level and we know what we’re going to get.

“We need to roll our sleeves up if we’re going to get anything out of the game.”



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.

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