After all the cup controversy, it’s back to league matters for the Valiants…
A break from the furore surrounding the Checkatrade chaos against Stoke U21 will probably be welcome by all Port Vale fans.
Vale will probably wait on the fitness of veteran Leon Legge (right) who missed out on the Checkatrade win after suffering epileptic seizures on Sunday. If he is fit, he is likely to replace James Gibbons in the defence.
Morecambe could welcome keeper Barry Roche on the bench and Rhys Oates could also return. The home side will be missing Zak Mills, Lamin Jane, Andrew Fleming and James Sinclair.
“It was a really good day last year and they didn’t all turn out to be as nice as that, but when you play Morecambe you can’t underestimate them – that’s the key message I’ll be getting across. They get results and they get them at times when you wouldn’t expect them to, so they’re capable of winning any game against any team in this league. We have to be at our best because we know we will get a scrap, and we will have to fight and battle. We’ve got to go there and roll up our sleeves as it’s every bit as important as any other game. However, we will go there feeling confident and we need to be positive…”
Port Vale manager Neil Aspin
“In Tom Pope they have one of the best forwards in the league, he does really well for them, he’s very experienced and a player we’ll have to look out for. We’re at home though, we’ve had a weekend break from games and everyone’s looking forward to the challenge…”
Morecambe manager Jim Bentley
Man in charge
Jim Bentley is now one of the League’s longest serving managers having been in charge since 2011. The former defender is approaching 400 games as Morecambe boss.
Stats and facts
The sides have met fourteen times and it is exactly even with five wins apiece. Vale have enjoyed their recent trips to Morecambe and are unbeaten in three visits. The last occasion was in October 2017 when Tom Pope and Cristian Montano (two goals and pictured right) helped Vale to a 3-0 win.
The Valiants will face former striker AJ Leitch-Smith who has been at Morecambe since the start of the season. The former Crewe man joined Vale in 2015 and scored thirteen goals before leaving at the end of the season to join Shrewsbury Town.
Another former Valiant, loanee Florent Cuvelier is in the Morecambe squad but has made just one appearance this season.
Crossing the lines
There are a number of players who have played for both clubs in recent years including:
Full-back Adam Yates who joined Vale after a spell with Morecambe.
Defender Ryan McGivern who had a loan spell with Morecambe early in his career.
Midfielder Chris Shuker who, like Yates, played for Morecambe before joining the Valiants.