Tranmere vs Port Vale match preview

This Friday Tranmere take on Port Vale at Prenton Park in what is going to be Tranmere's last Friday night game in the 2005/06 season.

The game, in my opinion, is yet another six pointer for Rovers (I make that four in a row including next week's trip to Rotherham) as both sides look to put some more points between themselves and the drop.

Previous Meetings:

Vale travel from the Potteries hoping to overturn the result inflicted on them by Tranmere on New Years Eve at Vale Park.

On the back of a 3-0 win away at Huddersfield, The Valients lost 2-0 to Rovers, who themselves had won 4-1 against Yeovil in their previous game. A 7th minute Danny Harrison 20-yarder and 90th minute Chris Greenacre won Rovers the points on this meeting.

Last season Rovers met Vale three times, twice in the league and once in the LDV Vans Trophy.

Rovers won both games at Prenton Park, 1-0 in the league thanks to a Paul Hall goal and in a LDV Vans trophy game memorable for a Vale player kicking a ball over the main stand, Rovers won 2-1 thanks to first half goals from Zola and Hume.

Back in the league, Rovers lost a Tuesday night game at Vale Park 3-1, Mike Jackson scoring a conselation goal late on.

Vital Stats:

Port Vale haven't won at Prenton Park in their last seven trips

Tranmere have won 23 of 40 games between the two sides at Prenton Park

The last three league meetings at Prenton Park between the two sides have all ended 1-0 to Tranmere

Vale have only scored 3 goals at Prenton Park this Millenium

In 40 games at Prenton Park between the two sides, there have been 114 goals

The Form Book:

Tranmere last 6 Home games: DWDLWL
Port Vale last 6 Away games: LWDWDL

Inconsistency is the word that springs to mind when viewing Rovers hope form. Two lost, two won and two drawn!

Indeed, the wins came against top half opposition in the form of Huddersfield Town (2-1) and Chesterfield (4-1) but one of the defeats was to Walsall (2-1) and one of the draws was against Hartlepool (0-0).

The other two results were a 0-0 draw with Southend and a 1-0 defeat against Barnsley - two games which Rovers should have won. In fact, on paper, Rovers really should not have lost any of the games!

Port Vale's away form has been just as bad. Like Tranmere's last 6 home games, the Valients have won two, lost two and drawn two of their last 6 away games!

Like Rovers, the victories have come against better sides in Oldham (1-0) and Brentford (1-0) whilst they have succumbed to Blackpool (1-0) and drawn with Doncastor (1-1) and Barnsley (1-1).

The other defeat came to Colchester United, 2-1, when Colchester were on their increadible run of won something in the region of 20 in 23 matches.

Their inconsistency has been a problem all through the season however, with wins at Southend on the opening day, Swindon and Bournemouth (all 2-1) and Huddersfield (3-0) but defeats to Gillingham (3-0), Yeovil (1-0), Bristol City (4-2) and Chesterfield (2-0).

Tranmere Team News:

John Achterberg remains the only injury doubt for Rovers.

Matthew Murray will be given his home debut after making his debut against Yeovil (2-2) last Saturday whilst it is believed Delroy Facey, Sam Aiston and Carl Tremarco will be welcomed back into the side at the expense of Jason McAteer, Ian Goodison and Calvin Zola as Rovers play a 4-4-2 formation.

Jones' Prediction: Tranmere 1-0 Port Vale