A trip up to Lancashire awaits for the Valiants this weekend as we face Fleetwood Town at the Highbury Stadium on Saturday.
After a good run of form through February, Fleetwood have slumped to back-to-back losses in League One, and now sit 14th in the table on 42 points.
The latest of those losses came away at Wycombe Wanderers in midweek after goals from Chris Forino-Joseph and Sam Vokes gave Matt Bloomfield his first win as Chairboys boss.
For Vale, results have picked up in recent weeks, and after last Saturday’s 1-0 victory over MK Dons, we now sit one place above the Cod Army in 13th position on 43 points.
Saturday’s clash is sure to be a close affair, and here is what you need to know about our hosts before all eyes turn to Highbury Stadium this weekend.
ONE TO WATCH: Shaun Rooney
The man to look out for in Fleetwood’s squad on Saturday is their flying full-back Shaun Rooney, who has nine goal involvements from defence this campaign.
After signing for the Cod Army in May of last year, Rooney has impressed many with his attacking ability from right-back, whilst also being strong defensively.
The Scotsman started his senior career at Queens Park before spells at Dunfermline Athletic, York City, and Queen of the South followed.
Rooney then started to get noticed and moved to Inverness Caledonian Thistle in 2018 where he netted 9 goals and provided 7 assists in 77 appearances, big numbers for a defender.
His attacking ability only improved when he joined St Johnstone, scoring 10 goals in 71 appearances for on his way to helping The Saints complete a historic cup double in 2021.
Now playing his football on the Fylde coast, Rooney has become a fan favourite for the Cod Army after scoring six goals and assisting six times so far this campaign.
Rooney is an integral part of Scott Brown’s side, and Vale will need to make sure they keep him quiet if they are to get all three points on Saturday afternoon.
THE MAN AT THE HELM: Scott Brown
Perhaps the biggest name in League One, Scott Brown will be the man in the dugout for Fleetwood Town after being appointed their Head Coach in May of last year.
Brown has enjoyed a successful first campaign in management but is better known for his glittering career in Scottish football with Celtic.
Before his time in Glasgow, Brown spent five years at the heart of Hibernian’s midfield between 2002 and 2007.
The Scotsman helped Hibs win their first trophy in 16 years when they beat Kilmarnock 5-1 in the 2007 Scottish League Cup final.
Later that year, Brown would sign more Celtic, and he would go on to win 22 major honours during his time at the club.
The 37-year-old made over 600 appearances for the team in green and white, also netting 46 goals in the famous shirt.
Brown also enjoyed the captaincy for 11 years at Celtic, which is also a feat he managed at international level after being made Scotland skipper in 2013.
The Fleetwood manager played a total of 55 times for his beloved Scotland, scoring four goals in the process, before retiring from international football in 2017.
The midfielder finished his playing career at Aberdeen in 2021/22, a campaign where he was also assistant manager, before taking the Job on the Fylde Coast after the season ended.
STADIUM: Highbury Stadium
Opened in 1939, Highbury Stadium has been the home of Fleetwood Town ever since its inception.
The stadium was renovated in 2007 and can hold up to 5,300 people, and 1,100 of those on Saturday will be Vale fans after we sold out our allocation.
HEAD-TO-HEAD LAST FIVE:
Vale wins: 2
Shrewsbury wins: 1
These two sides have not met on many occasions in their history, but when they have in recent times, it’s Vale that come out on top more often.
The Valiants have won two of their last five meetings with the Cods, including this campaign’s opening day 2-1 victory over Scott Brown’s side.