Marcus Braddock looks ahead to the weekend's trip to Prenton Park
This weekend we travel north to face Micky Mellons Tranmere Rovers in Skybet League One. Most of us should remember Micky from his successful spell in charge at Montgomery Waters Meadow, he and his team are the reason we are in this division and I shall always be grateful to him for that. He's got a couple of our ex-players with Mark Ellis joining in July 2018 and Stefan Payne joining this season. Payne is Tranmere's top scorer so far, with four goals in nine games, including two in his last two appearances. Rovers' other goalscorers are Oliver Banks with three goals from midfield and striker Connor Jenkins who's also scored three times. Tranmere have two players at the top of their assists table with ex-Walsall midfielder Kieron Morris and Cameroonian defender Emmanuel Monthe both creating three goals each.
Rovers have been pretty good at home this season, losing once and beating both Bolton and Burton at Prenton Park. They've also held Peterborough and high flying Gillingham at home so we could be in for a tough game. Their away form hasn't been so great with just one draw and two goals all season. But it's the home form that we're concerned with this weekend and with Rovers scoring at least twice in each of their league games at home this season, we're going to have to concentrate. If their form continues, we'll either have to stop them scoring or score three times to get anything from the game. I'm not sure which of those options, if any, will do the job but they've only kept the one clean sheet at home and that was in their 5-0 against Bolton. Those five goals have swollen their goals scored to a healthy-looking thirteen. That gives them a decent +5 goal difference but even if they'd beaten Bolton 1-0, they would still have a positive home goal difference which seems uncommon for a team close to the bottom of the division.
Craig Hicks from Surrey. Games this season: 9. Yellow Cards:28. Red cards: 3.
Micky Mellon has been very complimentary in the run-up to the game but has also warned that sentiment will go out of the window for the duration of the game.
Sam Ricketts emphasized the need to put our chances away and also talked about Tranmere's decent home form.
Ethan Ebanks-Landell will be unavailable after his hamstring injury, Fejiri Okenabirhie will be available having restarted training.
Despite their good home form, I think we can get a result this weekend if we take the chances we create, particularly if we can get an early goal. There should be a decent away attendance with Tranmere being one of the closer away-days for us. This game has a little bit of added spice of Micky Mellon welcoming his old club to his current one and we also have Ollie Norburn's return to Tranmere. I'd expect Micky to send out a team that's going to push us all the way but I also expect Ollie to put in a particularly good shift. After last weekend's defeat, I'm hoping for a reaction from the team, they showed their attacking prowess in the first half-hour but need to guard against lapses in concentration. If we can do that, we should be happy with the result.