Take a closer look at Saturday's opponents...
After recovering from a run of ten winless games with success over Mansfield three weeks ago, Yeovil secured back to back victories after beating Notts County 2-0 the following weekend.
The mini run was then halted by table toppers Lincoln City, who convincingly defeated the Glovers by the same scoreline at Huish Park last weekend.
This result left Yeovil in 21st place, just three points above the drop zone, with one or two games in hand over the teams above them. Darren Way’s side could move as high as 18th and six points clear of the drop zone with a win at The Lamex Stadium.
It is at home where the Glovers have struggled most, recording just 2 wins from their 15 league games this season, the worst home form in the division. On the road they are much improved, with 5 wins from their 13 games.
- Squad News:
Adel Gafaiti is available for selection after missing Yeovil’s last outing with a head injury, while Omar Somunmi continues his spell on the sidelines with an ankle injury.
Darren Way strengthened his side with no fewer than six signings in the January transfer window, with Tristan Abrahams, Mihai-Alexandre Dobre, Courtney Duffus, Joshua Grant, Ryan Seager and Matthew Worthington all added to the ranks.
- Top Performers:
Having scored six goals for the Glovers this season, Alex Fisher is the club’s top scorer and their danger man up-top. At 28 years old, Fisher has had a somewhat abnormal club career for your average EFL player.
After starting off his career at Oxford United, the forward then went on to have spells in Spain, Belgium and Italy, before signing for Mansfield in 2014. His outlandish journey did not stop there, and went on to play for Torquay, Inverness and Motherwell, before settling in Somerset in January of last year.
A proven goal scorer, Fisher will offer Yeovil key experience up front, and will need to be watched closely to be kept from the scoresheet.
Another key player for the Glovers is defender Tom James. After signing from boyhood club Cardiff City in 2017, James has been an integral part of Yeovil’s set up over the last 18 months.
Being able to play in a variety of positions in defence and midfield, the youngster's versatility has proved valuable in the Yeovil starting eleven.
Darren Way and co managed to fend off interest for James from Championship clubs in the summer and January, to keep him at Huish Park and aid the Glovers’ fight for survival.
- Key Stats:
Since meeting in the GM Vauxhall Conference for the first time in 1994, Stevenage and Yeovil have played each other 31 times in total, with Boro picking up just seven wins. Three of those wins have come in the league in recent years, most notably a 6-0 win at Huish Park in April 2012.
Despite sitting near the drop zone, Yeovil have conceded the sixth least number of goals in the league with 34, whilst Stevenage have conceded 38.
This season, Stevenage have hit the back of the net a total of eleven times in the final fifteen minutes, more than any other period of the game. Coinciding with this, Yeovil concede most of their goals in the final fifteen minutes, which could be a positive omen for Dino Maamria’s men.
- Journalist’s View with Paul Jenkins of Somerset Live:
Who could be Yeovil’s key player on Saturday?
Alex Dobre has recently arrived on loan from Bournemouth and has started in his first three games.
Yeovil have been crying out for more goals, especially from the front, and the Romanian striker instantly showed that he knew where the net was with a goal during the Glovers’ 2-0 win over Notts County.
Looks to have a bit of pace and trickery that could cause problems for the Stevenage back line.
What do Stevenage have to do to beat Yeovil?
A lot of the time, Yeovil have been resorting to the long ball over the defenders for their pacey and powerful front men to get on and try to score.
For Stevenage to beat Yeovil, they will need to dominate aerially and be first to the second balls. Pressing from the front could also be vital for Stevenage, blocking that long ball and trying to force a mistake out of the defence, which could lead to decent goal scoring opportunities.
What do Yeovil have to do to beat Stevenage?
Yeovil need to play similarly to the way they did back in August. They were potent down the wings, creating a lot of good opportunities, and they also need to win the battle in the midfield.
A bit of extra pace down the wings could be the catalyst for Yeovil to provide good service into the box to give the strikers a chance.
Stevenage will be looking to recover from that defeat to Forest Green, Yeovil will also be looking for a response after having last weekend off following their loss to Lincoln City.
The match has the makings of a scrappy affair, despite a few goals in recent meetings. I think Yeovil might be able to get something out of this game in either a goalless or a 1-1 draw.