3pm kick-offs return to Vale Park on Saturday, with Wycombe Wanderers the opposition in question this weekend.
Five points separate the two sides after 27 matches, with Vale currently in 13th place with 36 points, whilst the Chairboys are up in 8th position with 41 points.
Wycombe’s last outing ended in victory, with the Buckinghamshire side securing a convincing 2-0 win over Oxford United at Adams Park.
Darrell Clarke’s side come into this fixture on the back of a stalemate at the weekend away at Cheltenham Town, despite the Valiants producing a strong attacking performance.
With both sides so closely matched up, it is sure to be a close game, before the two sides face off on Saturday, here is what you need to know about Wycombe.
ONE TO WATCH: Lewis Wing
A starman in the middle of the park for Wycombe, Lewis Wing has enjoyed one of his best campaigns to date whilst playing in the blue of the Chairboys.
The 27-year-old enjoyed his one-year anniversary at Wanderers on 31st January, after he signed for the blues deadline day of last year’s January transfer window.
So far this campaign, Wing has been a standout player for Ainsworth’s men, scoring five goals, and providing two assists in the league so far from midfield.
Born in County Durham, the attacking midfielder started his career in the non-league setup, playing for many clubs in the northeast up until 2017.
Wing got his big break when he signed for Middlesborough before the start of the 2017/18 campaign after he had been scouted whilst playing for Shildon AFC in the Northern Premier League.
He enjoyed five years up at the Riverside Stadium, notching up a total of 92 appearances in red, whilst netting 14 goals along the way.
During his time up north Wing was also sent out on loan to a number of clubs, including Sheffield Wednesday, and Rotherham United, but the midfielder finally jumped ship on a permanent basis in 2022, signing for his current club Wycombe.
Wing netted three times for the Chairboys in all competitions at the backend of last season, and he is now flying under Ainsworth as a first-team regular this campaign.
THE MAN AT THE HELM: Gareth Ainsworth
Mr. Wycombe himself, Gareth Ainsworth is the man in the dugout for the Chairboys, and he has been for over a decade now.
Before his successful stint as a manager, Ainsworth had a long career as a midfielder in the professional game, playing for teams such as Preston North End, Lincoln City, Cardiff City, Wycombe, and even the mighty Valiants.
The 49-year-old played for Vale between 1997 and 1998, making 59 appearances and netting 11 times.
The Blackburn-born boss took his first steps into senior coaching whilst still playing for Queens Park Rangers, taking the reigns as a caretaker manager twice in 2008 and 2009.
Then came his playing days at Adams Park, before taking over as player-manager in 2012 until his retirement from playing in 2013.
Although, Ainsworth played for the Chairboys in the Papa John’s Trophy in 2016, and later balanced managerial duties with playing for Woodley United.
As manager of Wycombe, Ainsworth has worked wonders, overseeing promotions from Sky Bet League Two, and League One, leading the Blues to the Championship in 2020.
Unfortunately for the former midfielder, Wycombe slipped back down into the third tier in 2021 and failed to return the following season, losing to Sunderland 2-0 in the Sky Bet League One Play-Off final in May.
Despite the unsuccessful promotion attempt, Ainsworth was recognised for his achievements at the club and signed a contract extension with the Chairboys last June.
HEAD-TO-HEAD LAST FIVE:
Vale wins: 1
Wycombe wins: 1
Most of the time these two teams meet, it’s a tight fixture, with both sides winning one a piece out of their last five meetings.
Our last fixture was another draw, but an entertaining one, as Vale came from behind twice with goals from James Wilson and Tom Conlon to secure a point on the road.