Latics looking for third consecutive win as they visit Burslem for the first time since Boxing Day in 2002.
- Gary Caldwell’s side hoping to win three consecutive games for the first time in 18 months.
- Valiants lost just one of eight games in all competitions, excluding penalty shootout defeat to West Bromwich Albion.
- The last six fixtures between these two sides have seen no more than one goal scored.
The last time Latics put together a run of three victories was when they beat Ipswich Town 3-1 at Portman Road in March 2014, that victory coming at the end of an eight-game winning run with the previous two fixtures being a league success over Sheffield Wednesday at the DW Stadium and a win over Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium in the FA Cup quarter-finals.
Saturday’s hosts are Port Vale, who have started the season in solid fashion and have only tasted defeat on two occasions, once against West Bromwich Albion on penalties in the Capital One Cup second round and the other a fortnight ago at Bradford City.
Tickets for the fixture are available from the DW Stadium Ticket Office up until 4pm on Friday 11th September whilst a ‘pay on the day’ facility is available at Vale Park. Further details, including prices, can be found by [clicking here].
PORT VALE FC
A busy summer has seen 11 players arrive at Vale Park as the club continues its transition under Rob Page, following the departure of Micky Adams in September 2014.
Page took caretaker charge of the Valiants and led them to 18th last time out after they lost five of their first eight games under Adams at the start of the campaign.
Page, a former Welsh international who represented Watford and Sheffield United among others during his career, has added free transfers and loans as he works on a tight budget down in Staffordshire, with Irish midfielders Sam Foley and Sam Kelly arriving from Yeovil Town and Norwich City respectively whilst former players of local rivals Crewe Alexandra, Ajay Leitch-Smith and Anthony Grant also signed for the Vale.
The loan market has seen another former Crewe man, striker Uche Ikpeazu (Watford), arrive whilst Ryan Inniss (Crystal Palace) and Jak McCourt (Leicester City) also add temporary quality from Premier League clubs. It was from the top-flight that Page recruited his new goalkeeper too, Jak Alnwick signed from Newcastle United following his release by the Magpies.
In terms of outs, three players left on free transfers to fellow League One clubs including Tom Pope (Bury), Ben Williamson (Gillingham) and Mark Marshall (Bradford City). Chris Lines moved to Bristol Rovers for an undisclosed fee whilst Kaid Mohamed, Alex Nimely and Chris Robertson were all released.
The Valiants won five of their pre-season fixtures, defeating local sides Newcastle, Alsager and Kidsgrove before defeating Notts County and Altrincham. A draw with La Liga side Getafe and home defeat to Bolton Wanderers completed their schedule.
Three consecutive draws kicked off Vale’s Sky Bet League One campaign as a 0-0 draw on the opening day with local rivals Crewe was followed by a 1-1 home draw with Gillingham and 2-2 draw at Swindon Town. An impressive Capital One Cup first round win over Burnley was also sandwiched in that period before a 3-0 win over Doncaster Rovers lifted Page’s side to 11th. A penalty shootout defeat to West Bromwich Albion and 1-0 loss at Bradford City have slowed their campaign down and they’ve dropped into the bottom half of the table after their game with Millwall at the weekend was postponed due to international call-ups.
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