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Match Previews

Match Preview: Port Vale vs Stevenage

19 April 2019

Port Vale host Stevenage in the first of their fixtures over the Easter period, and you can find all of the key information ahead of the clash by reading our in-depth match preview below...

DFixture: Port Vale vs Stevenage

Competition: Sky Bet League Two

Date: Friday 19th April 2019

Kick-Off: 3:00 pm

Venue: Vale Park

Referee: Nicholas Kinseley

 

Port Vale

Form: LLDWWDLWWL

League Position: 18th

Top Scorer: Tom Pope (13 goals)

Following the defeat to promotion-chasing Exeter City last time out, John Askey wants his side to respond on Friday with all three points in front of the home supporters at Vale Park. Victory would seal mathematical safety for the Valiants with three games to spare in the fourth tier.

Prior to that recent loss, Vale had picked up two impressive wins against Crewe Alexandra and Northampton Town. Leon Legge was sent off in the victory against the Cobblers, but he is available for selection once more after he served his one-game suspension.

Tom Pope could be given his first start since returning from injury, with the talismanic forward having to make an impact from the bench during the last month. Manny Oyeleke is a confirmed absentee, however, as he still nurses the calf injury he sustained versus Crewe. 

"We're winning games and when you win football games other things get put to the back. Everyone thinks about winning games and there's an excitement around the club. We need to finish the season strong and keep that little buzz." - David Worrall

Stevenage

Form: DLDLWDDLWW

League Position: 11th

Top Scorer: Kurtis Guthrie (8 goals)

Dino Maamria's men will be in confident mood following two successive victories in Sky Bet League Two, with last weekend's 3-0 win at home to Carlisle United building on the 2-0 away victory at Grimsby Town prior to that, and Stevenage will be determined to extend that run on Good Friday.

With four fixtures left to play, 'Boro' still cling onto the hope of forcing themselves into a play-off position. They currently lie five points behind Exeter City who occupy 7th place, but with the two sides left to play each other, supporters of Stevenage could be in for an exciting end to the 2018/19 campaign. 

After finishing 16th last season, Maamria has improved the fortunes of the club since his arrival from Nuneaton Town back in March 2018, and he will be eager for his players to collect another set of three points when they travel to Burslem.

Kurtis Guthrie is set to continue in attack after he scored a combined total of four goals from the last two games, with Alex Revell and Danny Newton doubts due to injury. Teenager Arthur Iontton should start in midfield again after scoring his first senior goal in the 3-0 win against Carlisle last time out.

One to watch: Ilias Chair

Having made a handful of appearances for Queens Park Rangers during the first half of the season, Chair seeked regular football and he joined Stevenage on loan in January, meaning he was given the opportunity to showcase his ability at Sky Bet League Two level.

Since arriving at the Lamex Stadium, the 21-year-old has been a regular in the midfield and he has caught the eye with some performances that highlight his potential. He also scored his first goals for the club when he registered a brace to secure a point away to league leaders Lincoln City back in February.

Born in Belgium but with Moroccan descent, he has represented the latter nation at U23 level, and he will be hoping that he can force his way into the senior setup at some stage. With four goals in 12 appearance as a Stevenage player, he does boast a threat to Vale.

Talk

John Askey: "We still need to get those three points to make sure we're safe. It would be great to come away pn Saturday knowing the club is secure for another season.

"Playing at home we're looking forward to it. Our performances have been good of late, so hopefully we can get the crowd going again and everyone can enjoy it."

Michael Timlin: "This weekend is huge because everything could change in the league after that weekend. We have to have that mindset going into the Port Vale game and we know it is going to be tough.

"They always seem to produce something at home, we have to make sure we are on the front foot again and put in the performance that we did against Carlisle."

 

Coverage

iFollow 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 the 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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