Port Vale are on home soil on Boxing Day as they welcome Grimsby Town to Vale Park in Sky Bet League Two, and you can find all of the key information ahead of the game below...
Fixture: Port Vale vs Grimsby Town
Competition: Sky Bet League Two
Date: Wednesday 26th December 2018
Venue: Vale Park
Referee: Ben Toner
League Position: 15th
Top Scorer: Tom Pope (10 goals)
The Valiants go into this festive clash with a five-game unbeaten run to their name in all competitions, but Neil Aspin is eager for his squad to start picking up more wins. Saturday’s goalless draw at Macclesfield Town was the third consecutive stalemate for Vale in Sky Bet League Two.
With two home games in succession, that could provide Vale with an opportunity to push themselves up the table, and they will be keen to avenge the defeat that they suffered away to the Mariners earlier in the season.
Aspin does have a fully fit squad to select from on Boxing Day, however, and one man who is certain to start is Tom Pope. The experienced striker is now just two goals short of a century in a Vale shirt, and he will be determined to reach that landmark as soon as possible.
League Position: 16th
Top Scorer: Wes Thomas (7 goals)
Michael Jolley’s men lie just one place below Vale in the fourth tier and they will be looking to leapfrog them with a win on Wednesday. They come into this fixture in decent form having won their last two Sky Bet League Two games, the latest coming in the form of a 4-0 hammering of Notts County.
They did lose Luke Hendrie to injury during the second half of that win, however, and the full-back could miss out on the trip to Burslem. Reece Hall-Johnson is the most likely candidate to replace him in the starting line-up following a return from his own groin problem.
Danny Collins and Charles Vernam also missed the Mariners’ last game due to injury, but it remains to be seen whether or not they will be available this time out. Alex Whitmore and Harry Cardwell came in for the duo on Saturday, and they will be hoping they did enough to earn another start.
One To Watch: Ben Pringle
On loan from Preston North End, Pringle has been a regular for the Mariners this season and he has made 15 appearances so far. Capable of playing anywhere across the midfield, he proves to be a valuable option for Jolley.
After being released from West Bromwich Albion as a youngster, he was forced to make his way back to the professional game via non-league, and he joined Derby County in 2009. He’s most known for his spell at Rotherham United though, and he helped them to promotion in 2013/14.
Now a Grimsby Town man, he will be hoping to show that he is capable enough of playing at a higher level. The 29-year-old possesses great technical ability, and he can be a real danger man in Sky Bet League Two on his day.
Follow The Vale will be providing full 90 minute commentary from the match, whilst the Port Vale Twitter and Facebook feed will be providing live updates for the entirety.