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Match Previews

Match Preview: Cheltenham Town vs Port Vale

23 February 2019

Port Vale travel to Cheltenham this afternoon as John Askey looks for his first win as Vale manager, and we have compiled all of the relevant information ahead of the tie, below.

Fixture: Cheltenham Town vs Port Vale

Competition: Sky Bet League Two

Date: Saturday 23rd February 2019

Kick-Off: 3:00pm

Venue: The Jonny-Rocks Stadium

Referee: Nicholas Kinseley 

 

Port Vale

Form: DWLWLLDLLL

League Position: 21st

Top Scorer: Tom Pope (11 goals)

John Askey will be looking for his first win as Vale boss this afternoon in his fourth game in charge of the Valiants. Recent losses against Morecambe and Tranmere Rovers have Vale sitting in 21st place, though Askey insists his Vale team just need to worry about their own results going forward.

Despite Vale's poor form at home, their away record has been a positive so far this season and they will be looking to use that in their favour this afternoon. Luke Joyce remains sidelined having missed Vale's last fixture against Tranmere, as the experienced midfielder is yet to recover from injury, and the Vale boss has admitted he is open to rotating his squad ahead of the league clash.

It is yet to be seen whether Manny Oyeleke will make his return to the squad this afternoon, however, he did resume full training yesterday so there are positive signs in terms of his comeback. Ben Whitfield, who scored on Tuesday night, will be looking to retain his place in the Vale starting 11 for today's clash.

Cheltenham Town

Form: WLLLLWWLLW

League Position: 18th

Top Scorer: Luke Varney (9 goals)

Cheltenham Town sit in 18th place in League Two having played out 10 wins, eight draws and 15 losses so far this season - most recently, a convincing 2-0 win over Cambridge United. Nine points clear of the drop zone, The Robins will be looking to further that gap between themselves and the relegation zone.

However, the hosts face a huge blow as Luke Varney is unlikely to make an appearance this afternoon. The Robins top goal scorer missed out on Tuesday night due to a hamstring problem and Michael Duff has confirmed he is a doubt for this afternoon. Varney has contributed to nine goals and one assist so far this season.

Former Vale man, Tyrone Barnett, could be fit to return to face his old club, though hasn't been in full training of late. Johnny Mullins is set to feature however, having played for The Robins reserve side during the week.

One to watch: Conor Thomas

25-year-old midfielder who wears the number seven for The Robins. Thomas' career began with Coventry City where he would graduate through the youth academy before making his professional debut in January 2011 versus Crystal Palace.

Thomas then joined Liverpool on an initial loan with the option to make the deal permanent, however, finding first-team action hard to come by, he would return to Coventry where he would then stay for a further five years.

Eventually leaving the Sky Blues in 2016, Thomas went on to represent Swindon Town before a move abroad to ATK in India. The creative midfielder then joined Cheltenham in 2018 and has contributed to six goals and one assist so far this season.

Talk

John Askey: "Obviously we're looking to the Cheltenham game first. If we get a win there, you're looking to win every game! It would be nice to start Saturday obviously.

"The players have got to realise it's a game of football where they have to relax when they play and be confident if they're going to perform each game."

Michael Duff: 

"They've got people like Tom Pope in the team, if they're putting crosses in the box he's as good as anyone attacking the ball.

"So we'll need to cope physically with not just him but with them. It's about imposing our style of play on them like I think after ten minutes we did against Cambridge.

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 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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