Cheltenham Town v Port Vale preview: Darrell Clarke’s side are still looking for a win, will they get an unlikely three points at Cheltenham?
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Teams: Cheltenham Town v Port Vale
Competition: League Two
Venue: Whaddon Road
Kick-off: Saturday 6th March, 3pm
Image: “Gloucester City 0 Fleetwood Town 2” by quisnovus is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0
Oh dear, oh dear! Port Vale have sadly failed to have any sort of “new manager bounce” under Darrell Clarke and are still seeking their first win for the new manager. In contrast, visitors Cheltenham are in fine form with five wins in six games.
Port Vale team news:
We had our say on the prolific team changes by Darrell Clarke this week and the constant tinkering does make it a bit difficult to guess at the team line-up. However, the injuries suffered by first choice wingbacks James Gibbons and Cristian Montano could see at least two changes to the side that faced Salford. If Clarke persists with three at the back then Zak Mills and Alex Hurst (pictured) are probably favourites to be the replacement wingbacks. The three injured Davids – Fitzpatrick, Amoo and Worrall also remain on the sidelines as does Tom Pope. Elsewhere, it is pretty much anyone’s guess.
Possible Starting XI:
Brown – Legge, Smith, Crookes – Mills, Joyce, Conlon, Burgess, Hurst – Rodney, Cullen
One to watch:
It can only be the manager can’t it? He’s already under pressure despite being new to the role and a good performance against Town will go a long way towards easing the discontent against the appointment of Darrell Clarke.
43 year-old former defender Michael Duff has been in charge since 2018. It’s his first managerial role but he’s doing a good job of it with a 44% win ratio.
Veteran forward Andy Williams is the side’s top scorer this season with seven in the League. However, he’s suffering something of a lean spell with just one goal in his last 18 appearances. In recent games, it’s been 22 year-old Sam Smith who’s been among the goals with two in his last five appearances. 19 year-old keeper Josh Griffiths has been the regular starter in goal with thirty appearances. Elsewhere, there’s the experienced midfielder Ben Tozer and veteran defender Chris Hussey.
This game means a return to one of his former clubs for keeper Scott Brown. The veteran joined Vale from Wycombe back in 2018. He had spent nine years at Cheltenham making over 300 appearances during two spells with the club. Valiants midfielder Danny Whitehead also had a loan spell with the Robins back in 2016. Meanwhile, former Vale youth teamer and loanee Charlie Raglan could face his former club.
Some of the other players to appear for both sides in recent seasons include: controversial midfielder Ryan Burge (pictured), defender Mickey Bell and winger Jennison Myrie-Williams.
Last time we met:
Earlier in the season there was one of those things we haven’t seen for a while – a Port Vale win. Back in October, the Valiants won 2-1 thanks to goals from Leon Legge and David Worrall (pictured). In terms of away games, it’s a reasonably happy hunting ground for Vale with just one loss in the last three visits.
Overall record: 7 Port Vale wins | 7 Port Vale losses | 8 draws
From the archives…
Cheltenham Town 1-3 Port Vale, 2019
We only need to go back to 2019 to recall a memorable FA Cup game. Trailing 1-0, Port Vale turned the game on its head with an incredible eight minute Tom Pope hat-trick. We’ve included the video for your enjoyment.
How to watch:
Finally, let’s deal with watching this behind closed doors game. It will be available to watch on the iFollow service. Here’s how to watch it…
Q: Do I have to set up the account/buy the pass on the day of the match?
A: No, you can set up your iFollow account and/or buy your match pass in advance if it is easier. All you need to do then is log onto iFollow on the day of the match go to this page and there will be an option at the bottom to watch live video.
Q: Can I watch it down the pub?
A: No, it’s illegal to show iFollow streams in public so they would be breaking the law. The service is for private use only.
Q: Can I watch it on the TV screen?
A: The iFollow service is available via an app or a browser. Probably the simplest way to watch it on the TV screen is to watch the stream on a browser and connect your computer to your TV via a HDMI lead. The video and audio should then show on your screen.
Q: What about the programme?
A: Ahead of the game Port Vale will also be sending all season ticket holders a link to a complimentary digital copy of our new-look matchday programme! If you do not receive your digital copy by 1pm on Saturday, then please contact us on the numbers provided above. Additionally, if you wish to collect a physical copy of the programme ahead of kick off – please contact the club shop.
Q: What commentary will be provided?
A: Usually commentary from both teams (home and away) is provided. In Vale’s case it is usually the BBC Radio Stoke commentary team. When the match starts, click on the cog on the bottom RH corner to select home or away commentary.
Q: Does Port Vale make money from iFollow?
A: Yes and in these days of behind closed door matches, the revenue from iFollow can be vital. Clubs like Vale earn around 80% of the cost of an iFollow ticket regardless of whether the game is played home or away.
Q: What about if I still have an issue?
A: If you are experiencing problems with iFollow should contact EFL iFollow by telephone – 0207 8264577 (three hours before kick-off and running until three hours after matches finish) or by email – iFollow@efl.com (staffed from 8am to 7pm every day).
Need more information? We have a dedicated forum thread with help and advice right here. There’s also a guide on setting up an iFollow account while here is a guide for season ticket holders redeeming a code