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Match Previews

Match Preview: Bristol Rovers vs Port Vale

22 January 2019

Port Vale face Bristol Rovers away from home on Tuesday evening as they battle for a place in the Semi-Finals of the Checkatrade Trophy, and you can find all of the key information ahead of the tie below...

Fixture: Bristol Rovers vs Port Vale

Competition: Checkatrade Trophy

Date: Tuesday 22nd January 2019

Kick-Off: 7:45pm

Venue: Memorial Stadium

Referee: Matthew Donohue

 

Port Vale

Form: WDDDLLDWLW

Top Scorer: Tom Pope (11 goals)

The Valiants go into this fixture buoyed by their win at Crawley Town on Saturday afternoon, and they will be determined put in a similar performance to ensure their progression into the final four of the Checkatrade Trophy. Having beaten Stoke City U21s and Shrewsbury Town in the previous knockout rounds, Neil Aspin's men will be in high spirits.

Ricky Miller could be in line to feature as the main striker following his winner in West Sussex last time out, replacing the injured Tom Pope. Leon Legge could also return to action following a spell out through injury, but Adam Crookes and James Gibbons are unavailable.

Another man who is doubtful is former Rovers man Cristian Montano as he is nursing a hamstring problem. With those injuries in mind, the manager will have a few decisions to make and it could force him into a change of formation, but he wants whoever plays to stamp their mark.

Bristol Rovers

Form: WLLWWWDWDL

Top Scorer: Ollie Clarke (4 goals)

It hasn't been a great season so far for Rovers and they currently sit 22nd in Sky Bet League One, occupying one of the relegation spots. Saturday's home defeat to Wycombe Wanderers proved to be a frustrating afternoon for Graham Coughlan's men, but they are just two points away from safety after a six-game unbeaten run preceded that defeat.

The Checkatrade Trophy has given them a welcome distraction from that relegation battle, however, and they will have aspirations of going all of the way. Rovers progressed out of a group consisting of West Ham United U21s, Yeovil Town and Exeter City before beating Swansea City U21s and Northampton Town to reach this stage of the competition.

One to watch: Chris Lines

Lines is a player who is familiar to Vale fans after he spent two years plying his trade in Burslem, and he quickly became a hit with supporters due to his technical ability and a specialism in set pieces. Now a Bristol Rovers player, the 33-year-old has made 19 appearances so far this season.

After graduating through the youth system at the Memorial Stadium, the midfielder went on to play over 150 games for the Gas before signing for Sheffield Wednesday in the summer of 2011. Following two years at Hillsbrough and a loan spell at MK Dons, he joined Vale in 2013.

He featured heavily in the 2013/14 campaign, but he fell out of favour during the second half of the following season and he was allowed to re-join Bristol Rovers on loan. That deal was then made permanent when they gained promotion to the Football League in 2015, and he has been a key figure since.

 

Talk

Neil Aspin: "We know that Bristol Rovers will play a strong side and will be looking for a reaction from their game on Saturday. We have to go there and be positive.

"We needed two results to change the atmosphere around the place. We've had one now we have to get another one on Tuesday."

Graham Coughlan: "We'll have our homework done both individually and collectively, but without being disrespectful to anybody, it's 90 per cent us and 10 per cent them. However, they are a dangerous opponent."

 

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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