It’s the quarter-final stage of the much-derided Checkatrade Trophy and Vale face perhaps their toughest task with a trip to Bristol.
Miller time again?
Vale fans are still focused on the January transfer window with the news that another striker is set to sign although he will ineligible for this cup tournament.
However, despite an impressive debut loan signing Adam Crookes is ineligible having played for Lincoln in the competition this season. His fellow full-back James Gibbons is suspended which gives Vale a real headache at the back.
“It’s never a bad thing if you can get to Wembley. We want to stay in the competition and if we can go back to what we said, our away form has been good recently. We’re not looking at it as a negative that we’re going away tomorrow, we’re quite happy to be travelling and playing away so let’s go there and be positive...”
Port Vale manager Neil Aspin
Coughlin in charge
Former Irish midfielder Graham Coughlin was appointed caretaker when Darrell Clarke departed and has now been appointed on a permanent basis. In his fledgling managerial career he has a 33% win ratio.
Fourth time lucky?
The two sides have met sixty six times with Vale winning 27 and Rovers winning 20. The last meeting was in 2017 when it ended in a 1-1 draw. The Vale goal that day was an own-goal so the last Valiant to net against Rovers was the much-derided Martin Paterson (right) in a 2-1 loss back in September 2016. It means Vale have yet to win in their last three games against Bristol Rovers.
Crossing the lines
The Valiants could face former midfielder Chris Lines (right) who has become a mainstay during his second spell with Rovers. After joining the Valiants in 2013 and making 71 appearances in Vale colours, Lines left in 2015 initially on loan until the end of the season. The move was made permanent and Lines has now totalled 340 appearances for the Gas.