Tranmere vs. Swansea match preview

Ronnie hopes for Moore Greenacre goals as Tranmere search for win
A big crowd is expected at Prenton Park on Saturday, with niether Liverpool nor Everton playing this weekend, as Tranmere Rovers looking to put another three points between themselves and the other play-off contenders.

Now under new manager Roberto Martinez, Swansea are looking for a fresh start as they look to go one better on last seasons play-off final defeat to Barnsley.

A win for Tranmere can put them seven points clear of Swansea, who drew 0-0 with Leyton Orient at the Liberty Stadium last Saturday, whilst Swansea could pull to just one point behind Tranmere with an away win.

The game could be the kick-start that both teams need after an indifferent month as they look to push into the play-offs and beyond.

Also in League One this weekend, Doncaster Rovers travel to Oldham Athletic on Sunday whilst Scunthorpe United host Nottingham Forest.

Swansea City team profile:

Formed: 1912

Ground: The Liberty Stadium

Manager: Roberto Martinez

Nickname: The Swans/The Jacks

Season Finish 2005/06: 6th (Coca-Cola League One)

Previous Meetings:

When Tranmere travelled down to Swansea earlier in the season for a Friday night encounter with the Welsh team, they came away with a valuable and well earned point as the game ended 0-0.

Swansea had a number of chances to win the match, as Robinson, Trundle and Knight all missed chances for The Jacks whilst Chris Greenacre had the best chance for Rovers but shot just wide from McLaren's free-kick.

Vital Stats:

Tranmere haven't beaten the Swans since their return to League One (three meetings)

Rovers are unbeaten against Swansea at Prenton Park in the past four meetings

Tranmere have a 100% record against Swansea in the month of March, winning 3-0 and 2-1

In a total of 24 meetings between the two sides at any venue, there have been 11 draws

Rovers have won justr one of six home games on 10th March, beating Darlington 1-0 in 1954

The Form Book:

Tranmere last 6 home games: WWDWDW
Swansea last 6 away games: WLDLLD

It has been a somewhat inconsistent season for Swansea City on the road this season, with wins against the likes of Sheffield United (3-0) coupling with defeats against teams such as Northampton (1-0) and Peteborough (1-0).

In their last six games on the road, Swansea have picked up five points from an available 15 in the league and also lost one F.A. Cup match, a fourth round tie away to Ipswich which ended 1-0 to The Tractor Boys.

Most recently on the road, Swansea defeated Rotherham United 2-1 but previous to this were five games without a win on the road in the league.

Defeats have come to Yeovil Town (1-0) and Cheltenham Town (2-1) aswell as draws with Doncaster Rovers (2-2) and Bradford City (2-2).

Other noteable results away from The Liberty Stadium for League One's only Welsh team this season include a 3-2 win away at Chesterfield, a 3-1 win at Crewe and a 2-0 win against Port Vale.

In total, on the road in League One this season, Swansea have played 18 games away from home this season, winning six, drawing four and losing eight.

They have picked up a total of 22 points from an available 54, ten less points to the amount they have picked up at home this season. The Jacks currently have 52 points.

For Tranmere, things are starting to pick up at Prenton Park after a minor slump as they go into the game unbeaten on the Wirral in 2007, a run which stretches back seven games to a 3-2 defeat against Gillingham on December 23rd.

During this run, Ronnie Moore's men have defeated Doncaster Rovers (1-0), Rotherham (2-1), Crewe (1-0) and Chesterfield (2-0) along with draws against Northampton (1-1), Cheltenham Town (2-2) and Bradford City (1-1).

Other noteable results at Prenton Park for Tranmere this season include wins over Oldham Athletic (1-0). Yeovil Town (2-1), Bristol City (1-0), Doncaster Rovers (1-0) and Blackpool (2-0).

Double Hit:

Many players have played for both Tranmere and Swansea down the years, including current Swansea player Andy Robinson who was featured in this section of the article for the match preview earlier in the season.

Another player who has represented both clubs is current Doncaster Rovers striker Jason Price, who started his career down in South Wales with Swansea.

Between 17th July 1995 and 2nd August 2001, Price who could play wing-back, winger or attack, made 148 league and cup appearances for Swansea, scoring 18 goals, before moving to Brentford on a free transfer.

Price stayed at Brentford for just three months, making 18 appearances and scoring once before being snapped up by Dave Watson at Tranmere on 8th November 2001 on a free-transfer.

Price stayed on the Wirral for 20 months and became a firm favourite at Prenton Park as he made the successful transition to a permanent striker under Watson.

In his time at Prenton Park, Price made 54 appearances for Tranmere and score 15 goals as Tranmere reached the 5th Round of the F.A. Cup in his first season with the club before narrowly missing out on the play-offs with an increadible tally of 80 points (club record) under Ray Mathias in the 2002/03 season.

Price left Rovers for Hull on a free-transfer in July 2003 and since has joined Doncaster Rovers in January 2006, making a total of 135 appearances and scoring a total of 30 goals since leaving Prenton Park.

One To Watch:

Certainlly the man to watch for Swansea is scouse striker Lee Trundle who has hit 15 goals in 32 games so far this season for The Jacks.

Trundle started his career at non-league Stalybridge, scoring six goals in five games before moving to Southport for an unknown fee on Boxing Day 1998.

In two seasons with the Sandgrounders, Trundle made just four substitute appearances before moving to Rhyl in July of 2000.

It was whilst at Rhyl that Trundle scored a number of goals and attracted the attention of both Wrexham and Tranmere, however by the time Trundle was offered a move to the Wirral he had already signed a contract with Wrexham.

Trundle spent 18 months in North Wales and scored an impressive 30 goals in 102 appearances for Wrexham, including a goal in a 1-1 draw against Tranmere, before moving to Swansea City on a free-transfer in July 2003.

Since joining The Jacks, Trundle has scored 81 league and cup goals in 165 appearances which has made him somewhat of a hero down in South Wales whilst also attracting the attention of several "bigger" clubs including the likes of Everton, the club Trundle supported as a boy.

Aswell as possessing great pace and a fantastic eye for goal, it is his skill and trickery which makes Trundle such an asset and has attracted the eye of such Premiership clubs aswell as Soccer AM!

Standing at 6.00 tall, Trundle wears the number 10 shirt for Swansea and has the ability to trouble any defence.

Team News:

Tranmere have three injury worries, with John Actherberg, John Thompson and John Mullin all set to miss this big match. Despite not training all week, captain Ian Goodison is set to play which is a big lift for Rovers.

Jones' Prediction: Tranmere 1-0 Swansea City