We preview Brentford, Port Vale’s first opponents of the League One season, with our now-traditional OVF two minute guide…
The Valiants are expected to have a fully-fit squad to choose from – although Dan Jones may not be expected to start having only just returned to training this week.
Jones could make the bench with skipper Doug Loft filling in at left-back and new signings Chris Robertson and Carl Dickinson forming the central defensive partnership. Elsewhere, Kaid Mohammed could make his debut on the wing, Anthony Griffith will start his third spell at Vale alongside new signing Chris Lines and either Lee Hughes or (more likely) Gavin Tomlin is expected to partner Tom Pope upfront.
Possible Vale XI:
Yates – Robertson – Dickinson – Loft
Myrie-Williams – Griffith – Lines – Mohammed
Tomlin – Pope
Visitors Brentford have to decide who will start in goal following the departure of keeper Simon Moore. Former Walsall striker Will Grigg is expected to start upfront.
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“Brentford are a good side and will be one of the best in the division, but we’ll go out with all guns blazing. We’ve got four top strikers, wingers who will attack people and midfielders who can create things. Now it’s just down to which way we go in terms of team selection.”
– Port Vale assistant manager Mark Grew (right)
“They’re one of the favourites to go up, so you couldn’t get a tougher first game. They have quality players and will be one of the best sides we come up against. If we can beat Brentford on Saturday a few people might sit up and take notice. I’m confident we can spring a surprise.”
– Vale striker Tom Pope
“If I had a choice I wouldn’t have chosen Port Vale for the first game, but we don’t, so we’ve got to go there and get a result. They have goals in them, they’re physical and know what they’re doing.”
– Brentford manager Uwe Rosler
“It’s a big pitch from previous experience. We’ll go there and play our game and make sure we perform on the day.”
– Brentford skipper Kevin O’Connor
The two teams last met in February 2009 at Griffin Park. The home side scored on the brink of half-time through Kayleigh Osbourne and a late strike by Charlie McDonald sealed a comfortable 2-0 win. Vale fared even worse in that season’s home fixture, Vale had Ross Davidson (pictured) sent-off as they lost 3-0 to a Brentford side in November 2008.
- Vale wins: 25
- Brentford wins: 22
- Draws: 6
Last time we…
Defeated Brenford at Vale Park was 2006 when Vale won 1-0 thanks to an 87th minute George Pilkington strike.
Facing his former employers:
Gavin Tomlin (right) spent a year with Brentford in 2006. It wasn’t a success as Tomlin was released after just twelve senior appearances.
A number of players have appeared for both sides including:
- Dean Holdsworth
- Joe Allon
- Stewart Talbot
- George Poyser
- Bill Pointon
- Harry Anstiss
- James Nicholls
- Marcus Bent
- Tony Rougier
- Callum Willock
- George Rushton
- Joe Frail
- Marc Laird
The Valiants may remember the 2001 LDV Vans Trophy final with affection but spare a though for their defeated opponents Brentford.
In contrast to Vale’s two final appearances and two wins, the Bees have reached the final on three occasions but have lost every single one.