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Match Previews

MATCH PREVIEW: Forest Green Rovers

8 September 2018

Port Vale are back on the road again this weekend as they travel to Forest Green Rovers in Sky Bet League Two, and you can read all of the key information ahead of the clash at The New Lawn below...

Date: Saturday 8th September 2018

Kick-Off: 3:00pm

Competition: Sky Bet League Two

Venue: The New Lawn

Referee: Alan Young

 

Port Vale

Form: DLLWLLWLLL

Top Goal Scorer: Tom Pope (three goals)

The Valiants will be eager to end a run of three successive defeats in Sky Bet League Two, and a victory would also end a winless run away from home that stretches back to Decemnber 2017. Last time out, Tom Pope became the all-time top goal scorer at Vale Park, but Neil Aspin's men slipped to a 2-1 defeat against Newport County.

Cristian Montano was also forced off through injury during what proved to be a frustrating afternoon and he will be unavailable for selection at The New Lawn. Tom Conlon and Manny Oyeleke have returned to training, however, and that will provide a boost as the manager looks to strengthen his midfield options.

Ben Whitfield could also make his first start of the season following his return to Burslem, whilst Lewis Hardcastle will be hoping to keep his place in the side after an impressive debut last weekend. As far as injuries are concerned, there are no other expected absentees and a full strength squad should be vying for starting positions.

Forest Green Rovers

Form: LWDWDDDLWW

Top Goal Scorer: Reuben Reid (two goals)

Mark Cooper's men have made a positive start to their second season in Sky Bet League Two and they remain unbeaten so far, winning two and drawing four of their opening six league fixtures. They also recorded an emphatic 4-0 home victory over Cheltenham Town in the Checkatrade Trophy during midweek.

Currently lying 7th in the division, Rovers will be eager to translate their performances into more victories and the manager will have a fully fit squad to pick from. However, having lost prolific goal scorer Christian Doidge to Bolton Wanderers, the rest of the squad will have to step up to chip in with goals.

After making seven changes during the clash with Cheltenham, Cooper is expected to revert back to a similar line-up to the one that beat Notts County away from home last weekend. One player who will be hoping to make his first start is Matt Worthington, and the AFC Bournemouth loanee could feature in midfield.

One To Watch: Reece Brown

Having joined Birmingham City at the age of 10, Brown progressed through the club's academy system before working his way into the first-team plans and subsequently earning a professional contract. Loan spells at Notts County and Chesterfield then followed before he was released by the Blues at the end of the 2016/17 campaign.

Forest Green proved to be his next destination and the young midfielder put pen to paper on a one-year deal at The New Lawn. The England youth international impressed in his new surroundings and he helped steer the club clear of relegation in Sky Bet League Two.

The 22-year-old was handed an extra year on his contract and he will now stay in Nailsworth until the end of this season. Capable of being a real handful in a more advanced midfield role, he provides a key attacking link and he will be determined to stamp his authority this weekend.

Talk

Neil Aspin: "We need to get a result and Forest Green have improved. They improved last year from January where they brought in a lot of players, they've continued to improve their squad, and they've grown used to playing at this level.

"So we go there now against a much better Forest Green side and one that is capable of doing well. We went there (last year) and found it difficult, didn't make any chances and lost to a goal from outside the box.

"It's all about confidence and I have to try and make sure that our players are confident when they go out on Saturday and they put on a good display. We certainly need to have more as an attacking threat then we did in our last away game."

Mark Cooper: "This league is unforgiving and at any given time you can get turned over, so we will have to be fully on our game. I watched Port Vale's game against Newport and I must say they were very unfortunate.

"They created some really good opportunities that just went the wrong side of the post, and they had a blatant penalty appeal turned down for a handball. They were quite unfortunate so I'm sure they will be licking their wounds about that - we are under no illusions as to how tough the game is going to be."

Coverage

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.


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