A Port Vale article from onevalefan.co.uk

The OVF Guide To: Tranmere Rovers

They've hit the headlines with some big-name signings this summer - will it take them to a promotion place? OVF takes a look at Rovers' chances

Sean Thornton takes on Vale during a previous encounter

Stats and Facts and Stuff:
Ground: Prenton Park | Capacity: 16,500
Click here for directions and ticket prices


Record Against Vale:
Won: 23
Lost: 22
Drawn: 19

Bloke in Charge:
Former Leicester City and Aston Villa boss Brian Little has been at Prenton Park since October 2003. The experienced former Stoke City manager enjoyed a fine end to last season and with his squad strengthened over the summer, Tranmere are tipped by many to be promotion contenders.

Significant Moves:
Lots. The most profile is Jason McAteer with the experienced midfielder signing on a free transfer from Sunderland. Joining him are Mark Rankine (Sheff Utd), Theodore Whitmore (Wrexham), Michael Jackson (Preston) and Calvin Zola (Newcastle).

The signing of Michael Jackson looks to have been a ahem... thriller. It delighted the Tranmere fans as the centre-half is vastly experienced and will bring first division quality to the backline.

Rising Star:
Calvin Zola received a lot of attention after signing from Newcastle in the summer, but the striker is still raw - only managing five goals last season. The real star of the show upfront is Eugene Dadi. The 31 year-old Frenchman netted 16 times in just 29 starts last seaon and will be a potent threat to defences this season.

Vale Connections:
There has been a steady trade between the two clubs over the years. Players to turn out for both sides include winger David Beresford, midfielder Tommy Gore, playmaker Johnny Green, striker John James, defender John King, midfielder Simon Osborn, striker Jim Steel and defender John Williams.

Last Time We Met:
A dramatic game gave Vale hope of reaching the play-offs. Steve McPhee gave Vale a great start as he netted after just ten minutes, but as half-time approached Paul Hall's scrambled effort made it 1-1. As the game went into injury-time, Vale were desperate for a winner and it arrived through McPhee with mere seconds to spare. As our onevalefan match report read: "At the final whistle the noise around Vale Park was unbelievable. The dream was still alive as results elsewhere went in Vale's favour." Unfortunately, it was not to be.

Chances:
Good. Tranmere have brought in a clutch of mostly experienced professionals over the summer and are tipped by many to reach the play-offs, if not the automatic promotion spots. We at onevalefan feel that with so many newcomers, it may take a little while for Rovers to gel and a play-off place is a more realistic outcome than automatic promotion.

Trivia:
Rovers boast an impressive collection of celebrity fans. Elvis Costello, Glenda Jackson, Grandstand frontman Ray Stubbs and of course the band Half Man Half Biscuit.

Tranmere gave a young Dixie Dean his league start. The legendary striker played a mere 27 games for the Rovers but still managed to score 27 goals. He moved to his idols Everton for a club record three thousand quid in 1924.
This feature was produced by onevalefan.co.uk. All content (c) OVF Ltd unless stated
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