After two long trips away, it’s time for the Valiants to return to Vale Park… can they pick up three points against Stevenage?
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Predict the score
The key thing for the Valiants was not to lose the away games against fellow strugglers Grimsby and Barnet. So, while two draws were not the most eye-catching of results they have managed to help the Valiants avoid being pulled closer to the drop zone.
With a home game, the emphasis now will surely be on getting a first win of 2018 and putting an even bigger gap between Vale and the relegation zone.
What will the Vale look like?
Will Neil Aspin stick with the same starting eleven that drew with Barnet? The main issue appears to be whether Joe Davis is fit to continue as right-back. Davis was forced off midway through the second-half on Tuesday with a grion strain. If Davis fails to make it, James Gibbons is the obvious replacement.
If Kyle Howkins is fit it may come to a choice between the rookie and the recalled Charlie Raglan who did well in Howkins’ absence.
Tom Pope and Antony Kay both remain out of contention after undergoing surgery.
“I think it’s difficult for supporters when they haven’t gone anything to shout about, they’ve had a really poor season.
“We’ve got to make sure we can give them something to cheer about on Saturday and get behind us for the rest of the games…”
The 35 year-old had a career spent in non-league before he returned to Stevenage as youth team coach in 2012. He was promoted to first-team coach in 2015 following the departure of Teddy Sheringham. He has now been in charge for over 100 games.
- Port Vale wins: 2
- Port Vale losses: 3
- Draws: 3
It finished 2-0 to Stevenage earlier in the season.
The last time Vale hosted Stevenage was in a 2016 FA Cup tie when it finished 1-0 to the Valiants thanks to a winning goal from defender Remie Streete (right).
However, that result remains Vale’s solitary home victory over the weekend’s visitors with the league fixtures ending a draw and a defeat. What Vale fans would give to make it a first home win on Saturday…
Played for both…
Veteran midfielder Michael Tonge is set to appear against his former club on Saturday. Tonge played 56 times for Stevenage scoring three goals. Other players to appear for both sides include:
- Defender Lawrie Wilson
- Striker Tyler Walker
- Midfielder Darren Murphy
- Winger Jennison Myrie-Williams
- Striker Greg Luer