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match previews

Vale-d Threat – Port Vale preview

Thanks to the postponement of the Leeds United fixture it has now been a month since Rovers took the field in their home town. In that time they have gone from second to fourth and back again with wins at Bournemouth, Tranmere and Bristol Rovers helping alleviate the disappointment of a 1-0 defeat at fellow promotion hopefuls Carlisle. Back in the automatic promotion places now, anything less than three points against the division’s bottom side will be a major let down.

Whilst Rovers are enjoying their best season in decades Port Vale are facing one of their worst and head to Doncaster tomorrow with just one victory, 3-1 over Millwall in January, in their last seventeen matches. Still having already lost to third bottom Bournemouth at the Keepmoat this season Rovers will not be taking anything for granted; complacency could be the difference for those sides chasing Swansea at the head of the table.

Vale could be boosted by the return of Luke Rogers coming back from a stomach muscle injury and also the defender Adam Eckersley who is just about recovered from the ankle problem that ruled him out of last weekend’s match with Oldham. Krystian Pearce is available after extending his loan spell with the Valiants however they will be without Keith Lowe who is sidelined with a knee injury.

Sean O’Driscoll has decisions to make in regard to team selection with long term absentess James O’Connor, Gordon Greer and Lewis Guy all still unavailable. However James Hayter has now recovered from hernia surgery and has resumed training again this week. His fitness could be timely with Jason Price rated as 50/50 in terms of being able to take part in today’s game as he recovers from an ankle injury sustained at Tranmere. Also doubtful is defender Stephen Roberts who picked up a knock at Bristol Rovers on Tuesday night.

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