Vale will make the short journey along the A500 on Saturday afternoon for the highly anticipated clash with Crewe Alexandra at Gresty Road, and you can find all of the key information ahead of the fixture below...
Date: Saturday 22nd September 2018
Competition: Sky Bet League Two
Venue: Gresty Road
Referee: Darren Drysdale
Top Scorer: Tom Pope (4 goals)
Following a convincing home victory over Northampton Town last time out and a hard-earned draw at Forest Green Rovers the week previous, Vale will be looking to extend their unbeaten run to three games in Sky Bet League Two. Ben Whitfield and Manny Oyeleke both found the net in spectacular fashion to secure three points against the Cobblers, and they will be hoping for more of the same at Gresty Road.
Neil Aspin will have a strong squad to choose from, but he does have some fresh injury concerns as James Gibbons and David Worrall join Cristian Montano on the treatment table. Leon Legge returned last weekend and he proved his worth as the Valiants kept a clean sheet, but more of the same will be needed if Vale are to end their away hoodoo which stretches back to December 2017.
The last meeting between the two sides at Gresty Road was an enthralling one, but the Valiants were denied a victory deep into stoppage time as Charlie Kirk salvaged a point for David Artell's men. Tom Pope and Antony Kay had cancelled out Ryan Wintle's early opener, but it wasn't to be for the visitors.
Top Scorer: Charlie Kirk, James Jones, Jordan Bowery and Alex Nicholls (2 goals)
Crewe currently sit two points and one place behind Vale in 17th position, but they have played one game fewer in Sky Bet League Two. After a stunning 6-0 opening day victory over Morecambe, the Railwaymen have struggled to find form and they have only came out on top on one more occasion, beating Macclesfield Town 3-0 on home soil.
It is Gresty Road where Crewe have had most joy and they remain unbeaten there in the league so far this season, with their only home defeat coming via a penalty shoot-out versus Fleetwood Town in the Carabao Cup. They will be determined to hold onto that impressive record when Vale make the trip there this weekend.
The hosts will be without Eddie Nolan (calf), Paul Green (knee) and Harry Pickering (hamstring) for this fixture, but Oliver Finney could be given an opportunity in the first team after impressing for Crewe's U23's. Kevin O'Connor could also make a return to the starting line-up after he was involved in a strong collision during the Checkatrade Trophy game against Tranmere Rovers.
One To Watch: Jordan Bowery
The powerful forward initially moved to Gresty Road loan from Leyton Orient in January 2017, but after impressing in his new surroundings, he signed a two-year deal with the Railwaymen in May of the same year. Once on the books of Aston Villa, Bowery has the attributes to make him a handful on his day in Sky Bet League Two.
During the 2017/18 campaign, Bowery made over 50 appearances in a Crewe shirt, scoring 13 goals in all competitions. He has played on eight occasions so far this season, but he has only found the net twice, with both goals coming in the 3-0 win over Macclesfield Town.
Neil Aspin: “Our fans have been very good. I was even looking through some older programmes from way back and our core of supporters have been very good considering what they’ve had to witness and endure over the last few seasons.
“They’ve been really good with sticking by the team. They’ve supported us really well during the home games this season including the Newport County game that we lost – they really got behind the team.
“All they want is to get a team that will do them justice and I’m not one to make promises, but the minimum should be that players give 100 per cent and they can come off holding their heads high regardless of the result.”
David Artell: “There is an edge to this game because of the history and the rivalry. I want our fans to go into work on Monday with the bragging rights. That is what it is about and it isn’t like any other normal game.
“We have to show that courage to play. We want to play our football. We didn’t do that enough last weekend at Cheltenham. We want to impose our game on them and show our quality on the ball."
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.