Port Vale make the trip to Manchester this afternoon as we face Oldham Athletic in Sky Bet League Two action. You can find all the relevant information regarding the tie below, in our detailed match report.
Fixture: Oldham Athletic vs Port Vale
Date: Saturday 20th October 2018
Competition: Sky Bet League Two
Venue: Boundary Park
Referee: Peter Wright
Top Scorer: Tom Pope (4 goals)
Neil Aspin will be looking for his side to replicate their cup form in the league this afternoon following the convincing win in midweek over Middlesbrough Under 21s. Goals from Ricky Miller and Connell Rawlinson secured all three points and saw the Valiants lock in their status in the knockout stage of the Checkatrade Trophy.
Despite the impressive form in the cup, Vale are yet to gain a point in the league in the month of October following three consecutive losses. However, Oldham have proven to be a tricky opponent for the Valiants over the years, as Vale haven’t picked up three points over the Latics since 2014 in a 1-0 home win. The last five meetings between the two sides have ended in a stalemate.
Aspin’s side will be boosted by the return of defender James Gibbons after the full-back managed a full 45 minutes in Vale’s midweek fixture with Middlesbrough Under-21s, though could be without captain Tom Pope who, by admission of the Vale boss, is up against it to be fit for the League clash. The tie comes too soon for Manny Oyeleke, Cristian Montano and Scott Quigley who all suffer with respective injuries. Aspin will also be without Ricky Miller after the forward picked up his fifth yellow card of the season in last weekend’s defeat to Lincoln City.
Top Scorer: Sam Surridge (6 goals)
Frankie Bunn’s side will be looking to end a four-game winless run in the league this weekend as they welcome the Valiants to Boundary Park. The Latics sit in 12th place in League Two following four wins, five draws and three losses.
Despite their poor form in the league, Bunn’s side will have their tails up heading into the fixture following a convincing 4-1 win over Bradford City in the Checkatrade Trophy. A Surridge brace along with goals from Callum Lang and Mohamed Maouche secured all the points for the Manchester-based side and now leave them top of Northern Group F in the cup competition.
Jordan Lyden could be in line to make his League Two debut this weekend after being side-lined all season with a thigh injury. The defensive midfielder signed for the Latics on loan from Championship side Aston Villa and is yet to appear in the league for his new side. Bunn will be without Ousmane Fane as he is still yet to recover from an injury picked up in pre-season.
One to watch: Dan Gardner
Gardner is a box-to-box midfielder who wears the number six for the Latics. The 28-year-old began his professional career with Port Vale’s local rivals Crewe Alexandra though only went onto make two appearances for The Railwaymen.
Leaving Crewe in 2012, Gardner went onto enjoy success with Droylsden and Halifax Town where he would stay for two years respectively. Following a move to Chesterfield and loan spells with Tranmere Rovers and Bury, the midfielder signed for Oldham in 2017 and has contributed two goals and four assists so far this season.
Gardner’s performances last year saw him pick up Oldham’s Player’s Player of the Season award.
Neil Aspin: "After the results we've had and the run we're on, it would be absolutely ridiculous to say anything other than what I'm going to say. It is going to be a hard game, any away game is difficult, you know what it's like in this league. A big factor is we must not concede in the first five minutes like we've done in the last two games. You need to put a platform down to try and get a result."
Frankie Bunn: “I thought it was a very good performance at Bradford, scoring four games away from home is something we want to try and replicate here. There's been a lot of goals scored at Boundary Park but unfortunately, we've conceded a few, it's something we're looking to build on and improve upon. I’ve said it before, we're not the finished article yet, but we try to move forward and be positive in everything we do.”
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.