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What is more important, result or style of football?

Result
Style of Football


 

Tranmere Preview

By: Richard Hubbert
Date: 07/05/2004

THE Mariners' clash with Tranmere at Prenton Park on Saturday surely marks Grimsby Town’s biggest game since the 1998 play-off final. Only a win will guarantee Town’s Division Two status, and prevent a second successive relegation.

Home > 2003-2004 Season > Previews > Tranmere (a)


The clichés have been wheeled out countless times in recent weeks, but they will be used for just one more game, a game where at the final whistle, Town will know what division they will be in next season. It seems fairly simple: Town need to win, and they will stay up, but this is easier said than done for a Mariners side that have not won away from home since last November and have struggled to put two wins together this season. Tranmere, meanwhile, are in great form and before their defeat to Port Vale last week, had won four games in a row, making it a tough challenge for the Town team to actually triumph. If Town only draw, then we will have to pray that Rushden and Chesterfield fail to win, otherwise our inferior goal difference could see us relegated. Thousands of Town fans will travel to Merseyside this weekend, and never in recent years have the stakes been higher.

The Opposition

Manager
Brian Little. Former Hull City, Leicester and Aston Villa manager, who succeeded Ray Mathias earlier this season. When he took charge of the Merseyside club, they were in a terrible run of form that had left them in the relegation zone in the second division. However, Little has had a major impact on Tranmere’s fortunes and in over 40 games in charge of the club, he has lost only 9 games, guiding them to top half finish.

The Team
Keeper John Achteberg is rated as one of the best goalkeepers outside the Premiership, and has proved that again this season with some fine performances, particularly in Tranmere’s FA Cup run. Former Hull City centre back Ian Goodison, who hails from Jamacia, has provided a solid backbone in Tranmere’s defence, since Brian Little snapped him up in February, covering for the likes of Ian Sharp and Graham Allen. In midfield, Brian Little made another astute signing in the shape of ex Rushden and Diamonds midfielder Paul Hall, who has scored 2 goals in 8 games for Rovers. Another man Little has brought in, who used to play for him at Hull is the experienced David Beresford (left). In attack, Iain Hume caught the eye of many during Tranmere’s FA Cup run, and has bagged 11 goals this campaign.

Recent Form

 

TownTranmere
WBrentford(h)1-0
LStockport(a)1-2
WRushden(h)1-0
LBlackpool(h)0-2
LQPR(a)0-3
Currently 20th in Division 2.
LPort Vale(a)1-2
WBarnsley(h)2-0
WBournemouth(a)5-1
WWycombe(a)2-1
WLuton(h)1-0
Currently 10th in Division 2.

Top Scorers

 

TownTranmere
Jevons13
Anderson6
Dadi18
Hume11

Team News

 

TownTranmere
  • Defender Tony Crane will miss out on the final game of the season through yet another suspension, meaning that Paul Warhurst is likely to return to the side at centre back. This is despite the remarkable recoveries of Greg Young and Craig Armstrong from injury. Nicky Law though is unlikely to risk those from the start.
  • Someone who could be back in the squad is John Mcdermott, though a place on the bench is most likely for the club captain.
  • Perhaps the most difficult choice Nicky Law has to make is to whether start Graham Hockless or keep him on the bench. Hockless has had a massive impact as a substitute in recent games, and Law must decide whether to drop Darren Mansaram, put Phil Jevons up front and put Hockless in midfield, or leave Hockless on the bench.
  • Rovers will welcome back top scorer Eugene Dadi after a two game suspension, and will possibly go back into the starting lineup.
  • Brian Little has been busy re-shaping his Tranmere squad this week, and has said that he will not renew the contracts of Graham Allen, Sean Connelly, Shane Nicholson, Alex Hay and Micky Mellon. Consequently, none of these players will feature in Saturday’s game. Brian Little has said that he might give some fringe players a chance, so the likes of Neil Ashton and Paul Robinson, could be given a chance.
  • Probable Teams

     

    TownTranmere
    Alan Fettis
    Jason Crowe
    Darren Barnard
    Paul Warhurst
    Mike Edwards
    Stuart Campbell
    Graham Hockless
    Jamie Lawrence
    Stacy Coldicott
    Phil Jevons
    Isiah Rankin
    John Achteberg
    Ian Sharps
    Ian Goodison
    Gareth Roberts
    Neil Ashton
    Paul Hall
    Tyrone Loran
    Daniel Harrison
    David Beresford
    Iain Hume
    Eugene Dadi

    Subs

     

    TownTranmere
    Mickael Antoine Curier
    Craig Armstrong
    Simon Ford
    John McDermott
    Darren Mansaram
    Rusell Howarth
    Gary Jones
    Ryan Taylor
    Alan Navarro
    Paul Robinson

    Last Time Out

    Town last met Tranmere on a cold, bleak November afternoon, last year, where Town lost 1-0 at Blundell Park. A Gary Jones goal after 71 minutes was enough to inflict defeat on a Mariners side who were hovering just below the mid table mark at this time of the season.

    Town Team: Davison ,McDermott ,Crane ,Edwards ,Barnard ,Campbell ,Hamilton (Cas ,79 ) ,Crowe ,Anderson (Jevons ,74 ) ,Boulding ,Onuora (Mansaram ,84 )
    Subs: (not used) Groves, Young

    Tranmere Team: Achterberg ,Allen ,Loran ,Linwood ,Connelly ,Roberts ,Harrison ,Mellon ,Jones ,Haworth ( Navarro ,28 ) ,Dadi Subs: (not used) Howarth, Sharps, Taylor, Tremarco

    Attendance: 4,406    Report

    Tranmere Head-to-Head (12th on The Opposition Ladder).

    Prediction

    Fishy prediction: 2-1 to Town Reader's POMs

    Directions

    Click on the link for directions to Prenton Park (left).

    Pubs

    Click on the link for pubs close to Prenton Park.

    Tranmere's Preview




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