Boro face early pace-settersTranmere Rovers
nPower League 1
Saturday 24th November
The Lamex Stadium, Stevenage
Kick Off: 3pm
Weather Forecast: Chance of rain, 13°c
Referee: J Adcock (Nottinghamshire)
Stevenage welcome top of the table Tranmere Rovers to The Lamex Stadium this Saturday afternoon hoping to build on their point at Bournemouth on Tuesday and maintain their push up the league.
Last time we met:
Tranmere ran out comfortable 3-0 winners in the last meeting between the two sides in early April. On loan Wolves striker Jake Cassidy struck twice in the opening 11 minutes, both following Tranmere corners to put the hosts in a comfortable position. Lucas Akins then scored a third with 13 minutes remaining to round off a thoroughly miserable day for Stevenage.
Boro: Day, Henry (Lascelles), Ashton, Roberts, Laird, Wilson, Bostwick, Byrom, Freeman, Myrie-Williams (Agyemang), Slew (Reid)
Subs not used: Julian, Long
Stevenage welcome back Filipe Morais from suspension but the midfielder could have to settle for a place on the bench after an appearance for Lee Hills on the left wing against Bournemouth. Gary Smith is therefore likely to stick with a similar side to that which secured a point on Tuesday, meaning Lucas Akins will line up against his former side.
Tranmere could hand debuts to defender Donervorn Daniels and striker Michael O’Halloran after both joined on loan from West Brom and Bolton respectively. Ash Taylor is suspended, Nathan Eccleston is injured (hamstring), Liam Palmer could be a doubt after playing with a knock on Tuesday but skipper James Wallace should return from illness. Striker Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro (broken metatarsal) is also out.
The Tranmere Scout Report
League leaders Tranmere have amassed 38 points from their 19 games to-date, which includes 11 wins and five draws.
Such was the Usain Bolt-esque speed with which Rovers shot out of the blocks at the start of the season that despite coming into this game with just two wins in their last seven league games, Rovers still have a two point gap at the top of the table.
Their last five games have seen a 1-1 home draw with Preston, consecutive away wins at Hartlepool (2-0) and Oldham (1-0), a late defeat to MK Dons at home and then most recently a goalless draw against Walsall on Tuesday night.
Tranmere are the league’s top scorers with 35 goals so far this season, have conceded just 15 times and have only failed to score on three occasions.
Their away form this season has resulted in eight wins, two draws and three defeats in all competitions. Their last five games on the road have seen them win four, with the solitary defeat being at Bournemouth.
Possible Tranmere line-up for Saturday (4-4-2 formation)
Owain Fon Williams; Danny Holmes, Donervorn Daniels, Ben Gibson, Zoumana Bakayogo; Adam McGurk, Danny Harrison, James Wallace, Andy Robinson; Jake Cassidy, Cole Stockton
Subs from: Jake Kirby, Paul Black, Max Power, Jason Mooney, Michael Kay, Ian Goodison, Michael O’Halloran, Liam Palmer
Amongst Tranmere’s many attacking talents is Jake Cassidy who has scored 10 goals so far this season. The 19-year old striker is on loan from Wolves until 6th January but is expected to return to Prenton Park should he be granted another temporary spell away from the Championship outfit. The youngster enjoyed a successful loan spell with Tranmere last season, scoring five times in 10 appearances, including twice against Boro. His goals this season have come against Colchester (3), Coventry, Bury, Crawley (2), Yeovil, Doncaster and Preston.
• The referee for this game will be James Adcock from Nottinghamshire who last took charge of a Boro game in the 3-1 home win over Walsall in mid-September.
• Jon Ashton’s next start will be his 160th for Stevenage FC. Of the current squad only Chris Day (222) and Mark Roberts (212) have started more games.
• The next yellow card for Anthony Grant will trigger an automatic one-match suspension. The midfielder has currently received four cautions this season.
• Should he play against Tranmere then Miguel Comminges will make his 5th appearance in a Boro shirt.
Match Preview by Dave Toyn