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Match Previews

Preview: Tranmere (H)

14 December 2018

Match Previews

Preview: Tranmere (H)

14 December 2018

Neal Ardley takes his place in Meadow Lane’s home dugout for the first time on Saturday as Notts County host Tranmere Rovers.

After taking the reins at the end of November, the gaffer has had a long wait before leading his side out at the Lane.

His opening two games have been testing away trips to Sunderland and Mansfield and he hopes to record his first win as boss in his first home match.

Standing in the way are newly-promoted Tranmere who have been impressive since returning to the EFL and occupy seventh place in Sky Bet League Two.

34 points from their opening 21 games have seen them emerge as candidates for back-to-back promotions and they are sure to provide a stern test.

Ardley says…

“I can’t wait to lead the team out here because Meadow Lane has something special about it.

“Home games can be crucial for us. We’ve got an unbelievable set of supporters here so if we can all join together we can make the upcoming matches here really important.

“Tranmere will play with a good tempo and have a front two that are scoring goals and are full of confidence.

“They’ll get in our faces and believe they can hurt us – our job is to make sure we have attacking intent and be at our very best to get something out of the game.”

Tranmere boss Micky Mellon says…

“On Saturday, where Notts County and ourselves are in the table makes no difference.

“There is a lot of football to be played so I can’t judge yet because that time comes after 46 games when the last whistle is blown.

“We have to go into the game with the right mentality and will have to be very good to get a result.

“Most clubs in this division have more experience than us so we will be coming up against players who are more used to playing at this level.”

Team news

Ardley confirmed that Keston Davies could return to the squad after recovering from the knock which kept him out of last week’s game at Mansfield, while Matt Tootle has returned to full training as well.

Jon Stead played 80 minutes at the One Call Stadium and Kane Hemmings came on for the last half-hour so both will be pushing to start.

Tranmere will be missing both Ollie Banks and Harvey Gilmour through injury but Mellon is able to welcome Larnell Cole back to his squad.

We’ve met before

The last meeting between the two sides came in March 2014 when Rovers ran out 3-2 winners at Prenton Park.

Notts won 2-0 at Meadow Lane earlier in the season with Joss Labadie and Marcus Haber on the scoresheet.

Arguably the most famous clash was in the 1990 Division Three play-off final when goals from Tommy Johnson and Craig Short earned promotion for the Magpies.

The weekend’s officials

Referee: Robert Lewis

Assistants: Richard Wigglesworth and Duncan Street

Fourth official: Christopher Ward

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