Salford City v Port Vale preview: it’s arguably the toughest test so far of manager Darrell Clarke’s fledgling Port Vale career.
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Teams: Salford City v Port Vale
Competition: League Two
Venue: Peninsula stadium
Kick-off: Tuesday 2nd March, 7pm
The Peninsula Stadium – Salford City.jpg by Salfordcityfc is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0
We are all aware how patchy Vale’s form is and Darrell Clarke has yet to record a win in three games. What a boost a point or more at Salford would give the struggling Valiants! Salford are in patchy recent form themselves. Their last win came at home in mid-February.
Port Vale team news
It was a disappointing result against Cambridge but arguably it could have been different had Vale made the most of early chances. So, with little need to tweak too much at the back, the focus must be on the supply to and the potency of the strikeforce.
Upfront, Devante Rodney seems to be a given and Darrell Clarke has expressed a desire to play two upfront if possible. So, who to partner Rodney? Kurtis Guthrie missed a gilt edged chance on Saturday but should Vale keep faith or switch it around? If the latter then Mark Cullen, Will Swan and Theo Robinson all come into the equation.
As for that supply line to the forwards? What to do? Injury to Luke Joyce means the influential Tom Conlon playing a deeper role and so the emphasis is really on Jake Taylor and Scott Burgess stepping up as creative influences. Both have shown glimpses but it would be great if they could do it for a full 90 minutes.
Possible Starting XI:
Brown – Legge, Smith, Crookes – Gibbons, Burgess, Conlon, Taylor, Montano – Rodney, Cullen
One to watch:
He’s young and still developing so arguably it’s tough to put too much on his young shoulders. But this game allows Devante Rodney the chance to show his old club what they are missing. Perhaps even more important than that, Vale are desperate for some goals upfront.
Former Swindon Town boss Richie Wellens was appointed as manager in November. After 24 games, he has a win ratio of 41%.
Opposition team news
Salford will probably still be missing injured duo Tom Clarke and Darron Gibson. Veteran Ian Henderson is the club’s top scorer in the League with ten goals.
The Valiants have two former Salford players in Devante Rodney and Danny Whitehead although the latter has yet to make an appearance under manager Darrell Clarke.
Some of the other players to appear for both sides in recent seasons include: goalkeeper Chris Neal, midfielder Lewis Hardcastle and striker Danny Webber.
Last time we met:
The Valiants ruined Paul Scholes’ day as the temporary Salford City boss saw his side lose to a late Vale strike by Cristian Montano. However, Vale are yet to win at Salford. The two previous fixtures have resulted in a draw and a 3-0 loss.
Overall record: 1 Port Vale win | 1 Port Vale loss | 2 draws
From the archives…
Salford City 1-1 Port Vale, 2019
The first ever competitive meeting between the two sides ended in honours shared back in 2019. There was late drama as Richie Bennett fired the Valiants ahead on 81 minutes only for Jake Beesley to equalise in the 90th minute. It was played in front of 3,770.
The Vale team that day was – Brown, Gibbons, Crookes, Legge, Smith, Joyce, Conlon, Worrall, Montano, Pope (Bennett), Amoo (Lloyd)
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