Stockport County vs. Tranmere Rovers match preview

Ian looking for Moore goals against his old club
This Tuesday night, Tranmere play their fourth match in eleven days as they take on Stockport County at Edgely Park, and they will be hoping that they can pick up a similar to result to the other three matches they have played in the last few days, which they have managed to win and keep clean sheets.

Rovers will be hoping that an extra days rest, having played on Friday night, will benefit them in a fixture which will really show whether they have what it takes to be up challanging for promotion for the remainder of the season, as they take on a Stockport team who, despite losing key striker Liam Dickinson in the summer, have still proved they have a team capable of playing in League One.

Stockport County team profile:

Formed: 1893

Ground: Edgely Park

Manager: Jim Gannon

Nickname: The Hatters

Season Finish 2006/07: 4th (Promoted via Play-Offs) (Coca-Cola League Two)

Previous Meetings:

The last meeting between Stockport County and Tranmere Rovers came in the League Cup first round last season, when the two teams played at Edgely Park.

In a game that Tranmere dominated, Ronnie Moore's side had a number of superb chances and hit the woodwork too, however, they simply couldn't get the breakthrough against Jim Gannon's well organised League Two side.

And in the end, it was the home side who nicked it, with Matty McNeil booking The Hatters a place in the second round of the tournament as he scored a late goal from twenty yards as the ball fell loose on the edge of the penalty area.

Vital Stats:

In 55 trips to Edgely Park, Tranmere have come away with just ten wins, with Stockport having won on 32 occasions

Stockport have scored over twice the amount of goals Rovers have scored when the two sides have met at Edgely Park, with The Hatters netting 103 times to Tranmere's 50 goals

Rovers have failed to keep a clean sheet on any of their last six trips to Stockport

Tranmere haven't lost a league game against Stockport since the turn of the millenium, playing nine games in that time

In ten October meetings between the two sides, Rovers have won just twice

On This Day:

2006: A Kevin Ellison goal is enough to secure Tranmere a 1-0 win over Bournemouth in Coca-Cola League One on Prenton Park

2000: Rovers draw 1-1 at home to QPR in Division One under John Aldridge

1981: A 2-1 win at Vale Park is enough to secure Tranmere a 4-1 aggregate win over Port Vale in the League Cup

In years gone by, Tranmere have played ten previous matches on October 28th, picking up six wins, one draws and three defeats. In those ten fixtures, Tranmere have scored ten goals and conceded just seven.

The Form Book:

Stockport last 6 home games: LWDDWL
Tranmere last 6 away games: WWDWLL

Despite brilliant form on the road this season, Stockport's start to the campaign at Edgely Park has been somewhat dissapointing, with just one home league win so far.

In the first match of their six match sequence, the Hatters lost 3-0 against table-topping Scunthorpe United, who have had no trouble adjusting to life back in League One, before Jim Gannon's side booked their place in the Second Round the Johnstone's Paints Trophy Northern Section with a 2-1 win over League Two side Port Vale.

Two successive 1-1 draws followed for County, firstly against Northampton Town, with McSweeney scoring a late equaliser for Stockport, and then against Swindon Town, with the results coming in the space of four days.

In a local derby match, Stockport then beat Oldham Athletic convincingly in a Friday night match, with Turnbull, Thompson and Raynes scoring in a 3-1 win, before a Matty McNeil goal was not enough to earn the Greater Manchester side anything against Colchester United in their most recent home match, which they lost 2-1.

In their only other home game so far this season, Stockport County picked up a point as they kept an impressive clean sheet against Leicester City in an early season 0-0 draw.

At Edgely Park so far this season, Stockport have played six league matches, picking up six points from an available eighteen in the process thanks to one win, three draws and two defeats.

Notable away results for Stockport include wins against Hereford United (1-0), MK Dons (2-1), Leyton Orient (3-0) and Hartlepool United (1-0).

Stockport County come into this game in ninth place in the League One table, just one point and one place below Tranmere Rovers, having picked up 21 points from an available 39 in their opening thirteen games, thanks to five wins, six draws and two defeats.

After a dissapointing start to the season away from home, Tranmere Rovers form on the road recently has been nothing short of excellent, not to meantion surprising!

In the first match of their six match sequence, Tranmere lost in dissapointing fashion at Grimsby Town, as, despite having by far the beter of the game, they lost this League Cup first round tie 2-0 against the League Two side.

Rovers then travelled to Leicester City and it was a similar story against the Foxes, as Tranmere dominated the first half yet came away empty handed after a 3-1 defeat.

Since though, Tranmere's away form has picked up dramatically, starting with a 2-1 away success at Huddersfield Town, their first win on the road since February 2008, followed by a 2-2 draw at London Road against Peterborough, a game which Rovers had initially led 2-0.

Ronnie Moore's side have followed these two results up with two even more pleasing wins, firstly at Carlisle United where goals from Ian Moore and Ryan Shotton secured Tranmere a 2-1 win, before a first half strike from Chris Shuker was enough to earn Rovers a 1-0 win at Brisbane Road against Leyton Orient.

In their only other away game of this season, Tranmere Rovers lost 3-1 at the County Ground against Swindon Town on the opening day of the campaign.

Away from home this season, Tranmere have so far played six matches and picked up ten points from an available eighteen thanks to three wins, one draw and two defeats.

Notable results at Prenton Park for Tranmere Rovers this season include wins against Northampton Town (4-1), Cheltenham Town (2-0) and Hartlepool United.

Rovers come into this match lying in eighth place in the League One table with 22 points from an available 39 thanks to seven wins, one draw and five defeats from their opening thirteen games.

Double Hit:

Current Tranmere Rovers player Ian Moore played for Stockport County as wel as the Rovers, joining the Hatters from Nottingham Forest in August 1998.

Starting his career at Prenton Park, Birkenhead born Moore came through the youth ranks at Tranmere and was a success story from the beginning.

Great work rate, pace and a brilliant ability in front of goal saw Moore become a favourite at Prenton Park, and indeed he went on to win England honours as a school boy.

Moore played 66 games for Tranmere and scored thirteen goals between 1994 and 1997, as well as spending time on loan at Bradford, before Nottingham Forest came in with a bid of £1,000,000 for the player, money that Tranmere simply couldn't turn down.

However, the striker struggled at the City Ground, as in 17 months with the club, he made just eighteen appearances, only four of them starts, and scored just once, whilst he already had a very brief loan spell at West Ham.

In August 1998, Ian Moore joined Stockport County £800,000. He stayed at Edgely Park for over two years and due to his increadible work rate, he was a regular player in Stockport sides.

However, on his return to Prenton Park, he failed to endear himself to Rovers fans with an absolutely shocking tackle on a Tranmere player in the centre-circle which saw him given a straight red card.

Moore made 104 appearances for County and scored 23 goals before earning another £1,000,000 move, this time to Burnley, where he stayed for over five years.

Again, Moore was much loved by his new fans, as over five years with the club he made 215 appearances and scored 50 goals for the Turf Moor side.

In 2005, a free-transfer move to Leeds United saw Moore continue to prove he could play in the Championship and he made over 60 appearances for the Elland Road club, although many of these were on the wing as opposed to up front, and as such, the Leeds faithful never really saw the best of Ian Moore.

After being released by Leeds in 2007, he joined Hartlepool United, where he scored an impressive nine goals in thirty games. However, the striker was finding it difficult to commute from his Warrington home to the North-East every day, and as such he searched for a move closer to home.

On deadline day of the January transfer window, Ian Moore re-joined Tranmere Rovers, where dad Ronnie Moore was the manager, rejecting a move to Oldham at the last minute to return to Prenton Park.

Since returning to Tranmere, Ian Moore's form has blown somewhat hot and cold and as such opinions on him from the fans are most certainly split.

He has made 32-appearances and scored five times since coming back to the Wirral, with two of those goals coming this season. In fact, in every game Ian Moore has scored in for Tranmere since his return to the club, Rovers have won.

In recent weeks, Moore has been on the wing in a 4-5-1 formation. He has been putting in some stunning displays and winning plenty of Man of the Match awards.

One To Watch: Tommy Rowe

Young winger Tommy Rowe is a player who has been interesting plenty of Championship and Premier League clubs in recent seasons, as the twenty-year old continues to turn out impressive performances for Stockport.

Manchester born Rowe started his development with Manchester United before leaving the Premier League giants and joining boy-hood club Stockport County.

He progressed through the Stockport youth ranks and at the age of eighteen, he made his debut for the Hatters in an F.A. Cup defeat to Watford in January 2007.

Since, Rowe has gone on to become a vital player for Jim Gannon's side, and he starred as County won promotion via the play-offs from League Two last season, also winning the Stockport County young player of the year award for that season.

So far, the twenty-year old has made 48 games for Stockport and scored ten goals, of which four have come this season, with the winger most recently scoring in County's 1-0 win over Hereford at the weekend.

A very quick left-winger, Rowe, who wears the number 11 shirt for Stockport, has all the tricks in the book and is a very good crosser of the ball. He will consistently be a thorn in the side for Tranmere full-back Ryan Shotton, with his ability to score and excellent work rate helping to make him a very good player indeed.

Around League One:

This Tuesday, a win for Tranmere Rovers could see them move up to fifth in the table, with Ronnie Moore's side level with MK Dons, Peterborough and Oldham Athletic, who are all above them in the table.

It is indeed conceivable that they will move at least one place up the table, with none of those sides having easy fixtures this week.

Whilst the MK Dons are away to struggling Leyton Orient, Peterborough have a somewhat easier trip to bottom club Crewe whilst Oldham have a very tough home game against table topping Scunthorpe United, who are now three points clear at the peak of League One after a 3-2 win over [then] second placed Millwall at the weekend.

Millwall are now third in the table after that defeat, and they face Hereford United at the New Den, where they will be keen to pick up three valuable points, whilst the team that replaced them in the top two, Leeds United, are away to Southend United, a team who have also picked up some form recently.

Walsall, who have slipped out of the play-off frame over the last week or so are at home to another mid-table side, Swindon Town whilst Hartlepool United could move into the play-offs with a win on Tuesday, despite lying twelfth in the table, and they are away to out of form Carlisle United.

Team News:

Craig Curran remains out with a stomach muscle injury, but he is expected to be the only absentee for Tranmere as midfielder George O'Callaghan is expected to return from illness. Ronnie Moore is set to continue with the 4-5-1 formation that has been so successful in recent weeks, although one of Barnett or O'Callaghan could replace Edds in midfield.

Jones' Prediction: Stockport County 1-1 Tranmere Rovers

This will be a tough game for Tranmere against a well organised Stockport side. Jim Gannon has his side playing good football and they are capable of grinding out results against the best teams in this division.

However, with Tranmere playing their five man midifeld, they are able to starve County of chances by putting five or six men behind the ball and then attacking with meaning and pace by using winger Chris Shuker and striker Bas Savage.

What will affect Tranmere's performance greatly though is who Ronnie Moore picks to accompany Antony Kay and Steven Jennings in midfield. With Gareth Edds, Tranmere lack midfield creativity, but with Barnett or O'Callaghan in there, Tranmere have the ability to open up defences with brilliant passes and pace.

They key man for Tranmere could once again be Chris Shuker, who has been in imperious form recently, scoring and creating a goal against Crewe on Friday, that after getting two assists and a goal in the two matches previous against Leyton Orient and Cheltenham Town.