Port Vale will be hoping to build on the point earned at Lincoln City on New Year's Day when they return to Sky Bet League Two action on Saturday afternoon, and you can read all of the key information ahead of the clash with Colchester United below...
Fixture: Port Vale vs Colchester United
Competition: Sky Bet League Two
Date: Saturday 12th January 2019
Venue: Vale Park
Referee: Scott Oldham
League Position: 19th
Top Scorer: Tom Pope (11 goals)
Port Vale will be looking to make it three games without defeat in all competitions on Saturday afternoon, but Neil Aspin’s men will be determined to ensure they pick up their first win of 2019.
An impressive draw was rescued by Manny Oyeleke’s late strike at table-topping Lincoln City on New Year’s Day, and Vale then followed that up by securing their progression in the Checkatrade Trophy by beating Shrewsbury Town via a penalty shootout on Tuesday night.
Dior Angus and Ricky Miller were both used as substitutes in that fixture, and they will be vying for a starting place on Saturday. Leon Legge remains a doubt due to a thigh problem, but there are no fresh injury news.
League Position: 8th
Top Scorer: Sammie Szmodics (9 goals)
Colchester United lie just outside of the play-off places in Sky Bet League Two, and they will be eager to get a positive result at Vale Park in order to lift them into the top seven of the division.
John McGreal’s men are on a run of three league games without a win and that has seen them slip down the table, but they sit in 8th position, just below Exeter City who have a slightly superior goal difference.
The U’s will have Frankie Kent available after the centre-back served a suspension, and Luke Norris could be recalled to the starting line-up after coming off the bench late on during the 3-3 draw at home to Notts County.
One to watch: Sammie Szmodics
Sammie Szmodics is a fans’ favourite at the Weston Homes Community Stadium and it’s clear to see why. With great technical ability and an eye for goal too, he is one of the division’s standout players.
After progressing through Colchester’s youth system, he has proved his worth at senior level and he already has nine goals to his name so far this season, an impressive tally for an attacking midfielder.
The 23-year-old will undoubtedly be attracting interest from other clubs during the transfer window, but the U’s will be desperate to keep hold of their star man. He’s certainly a player to keep tabs on this weekend when he takes to the Vale Park pitch.
Neil Aspin: “We’ve got a difficult game tomorrow against a team who were very good against us in the second game of the season, and on that performance, they were one of the best teams in the league.
”They will really test us defensively and we’re going to have to make sure we defend well against them. When you’re struggling for a win like we have been, you probably don’t want to play Colchester.”
John McGreal: “We’re nearly there but it’s tight and when you don’t pick up points and other teams too, one or two things get said.
”We still firmly believe that we’re a good team and we’ve proved it over a number of months and it’s about those responsibilities and high standards, things that we won’t shy away from."
Follow The Vale will be providing full 90 minute commentary from the match, while the Port Vale Twitter and Facebook feed 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.