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Match preview: Port Vale vs Shrewsbury Town

5 December 2017

Marcus Braddock takes a look at tonight's Checkatrade Trophy tie

The story of Port Vale's season so far is one of home defeats, seven out of ten of their home games in League One have ended with nothing for the home team. Their away form hasn't been particularly stunning either but had they won just a couple more at home they would be sitting safely in mid-table. Their form in this competition has been starkly different with three wins, two of them at home and the other away at Oldham on Penalties.

Top Scorer
Tom Pope with eight goals. Pope is a life long Port Vale supporter who is in his third spell with the club. He started his career with Crewe but eventually  found his way to Vale on loan from Rotherham who he had joined from Alex in 2009. He joined on a permanent basis not long after and apart from a couple of seasons with Bury, he's been there ever since. If you want to stop Port Vale you need to stop Tom Pope from scoring.

Goal Distribution (League Two)
At Vale Park, the Valiants concede most of their goals in the first half an hour of the second half. They've conceded 18 at home this season and ten of those goals were in the first half an hour of the second half. Four in the first fifteen minutes and six in the second. Their best fifteen minutes are the last fifteen of the game, possibly a good reaction to the previous half an hour with four scored against two conceded.

Clean Sheets
Two in this competition, four in the league and one in the F.A. Cup.

Graham Salisbury from Lancashire. Games this season: 20. Yellow Cards: 78. Red cards: 4.
Michael D'aguilar and Gareth Mellor
Fourth Official
James Bell

Squad News
Port Vale have no new injury worries.

Town have Abu Ogogo available for selection after suspension.

This is another one of those games that may look simple enough on first inspection but the closer you look, the trickier it gets. The managers know each other which adds a little spice, as does our close proximity if not recent rival status. This competition has seen Vale in their best form this season and they may well want to extend its pleasant distraction for another round. Paul Hurst will surely be trying to focus his team on the matter in hand with some quite heavy distractions of its own pulling minds elsewhere. In an odd way, winning this one may complicate either team with battles at different ends of different divisions but I cant see that having too much influence on the teams going into this one.

Marcus Braddock

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