Todays fixture for the Vale against Northampton Town is not only the first league game at Vale Park for the 2019/20 campaign, but it's also the first league game at home under the new era of Carol and Kevin Shanahan. A special fixture for the new owners and a big one for the players and management staff, you can find all of the key information regarding the clash, below.
AFixture: Port Vale vs Northampton Town
Competition: Sky Bet League Two
Date: Saturday 10th August 2019
Kick-Off: 3:00 pm
Venue: Vale Park
Referee: David Rock
Manager: John Askey
Top Goal Scorer: Tom Pope (1 goal)
Vale's season opener against Colchester United was already being written off as a home win before a ball had even been kicked by many fans across the UK. So when the referee blew for full time with the scores locked at 1-1, it was an excellent point that had been picked up by John Askey and his side. Tom Pope scored the only goal for the Vale from the penalty spot after just four minutes.
With that in mind, the Vale will be heading into their opening home game of the season against Northampton Town with plenty of momentum behind them. The players will have fond memories of todays visitors having completed the double over them last season. The most memorable of the two encounters came in March, when the Vale came from a goal behind with 10 men to pick up all three points. Tom Pope marked the occasion by scoring his 100th goal in a Vale shirt from the spot kick.
Heading into the game, the only injury concern that John Askey has to worry about is winger Rhys Brown due to a hamstring injury. Cristian Montano returned from injury and featured against Colchester United whilst Ryan Lloyd, who has been suffering with an ankle injury, returned to training this week.
Manager: Keith Curle
Top Goal Scorer: N/A
This weekends visitors, Northampton Town, kicked off the season with a difficult home fixture against recently relegated side Walsall. The Cobblers suffered a 1-0 defeat and will have their eyes fully set on today's game as an opportunity to get their first point on the board for the season.
There were 12 new additions made to the Northampton Town side over the summer, including former Vale man Chris Lines. The midfielder departed the Vale in 2015 after spending two years at the club where he made over 60 appearances.
Midfielder Alan McCormack looks set to miss out this weekend after he felt his hamstring go an hour into his debut for the Cobblers. Keith Curle confirmed that Vadaine Oliver and Camron McWilliams had returned to training this week and could return to the squad for today's fixture.
One To Watch: Nicky Adams
A winger who can play both sides, Northampton recruited Adams over the summer and he proved to be a handful for Walsall on his debut. The winger recorded the most amount of crosses made in the league on the opening day of the season with 11, so Port Vale's fullbacks will have to be on full alert against Adams if they're to keep a clean sheet. With plenty of height to aim for in this Northampton side, especially with Smith as the main striker, Adams will look to pick up where he started and cause Vale plenty of problems down the wings.
John Askey: “Colchester were big, but Northampton are even bigger. I expect plenty of balls to be going into our box, they’ll be dangerous at set pieces, that’s where they are most dangerous. They’re a tough team, but we’ve got to make sure we’re tougher.”
Kieth Curle: “I think the sharpness will come and there are other factors to consider. It was a nervous environment for the changing room last Saturday because there was a host of players making their debuts for the club in front of home supporters. The first game of the season always throws up added nerves with the anticipation that builds throughout the week. We’ll work on being more aggressive because we need to be more ruthless in the opposition box – that’s where success comes."
iFollow The Vale will be providing full 90-minute commentary from the match, whilst we provide match updates throughout the game on our Twitter feed @officialPVFC.
There will also be the build-up to the game with behind the scenes content on our official Snapchat and Instagram accounts, @officialpvfc
Reaction will be available on the official website post-match, as well as on YouTube and social media.