Setting the scene…
Tranmere Rovers are back at Prenton Park for a Boxing Day Sky Bet League Two fixture at home to Morecambe.
Micky Mellon’s side are ninth in the league following on from Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at promotion-chasing Bury.
Nicky Maynard and Caolan Lavery were on target in the second half for the Shakers at Gigg Lane, with Ritchie Sutton pulling one back for TRFC in injury-time.
Jim Bentley’s Morecambe head to the Wirral after beating Cambridge United 3-0 at the Globe Arena courtesy of strikes in the final half hour from Vadine Oliver, Andrew Tutte and Kevin Ellison, a result which sees the Shrimps six points clear of the drop zone.
The Shrimps’ season so far
Under the management of Bentley, who has been in charge on the Lancashire coast since 2011, Morecambe are currently 19th in the Sky Bet League Two standings.
From their 23 games to date so far this term, the Shrimps have gained 23 points in the opening half of the season, as the campaign reaches its halfway stage.
Winning seven of their fixtures, Morecambe’s recent 3-0 win over Cambridge United earned a first victory in the league since November.
Should they gain three points at Tranmere, Morecambe could move up to 16th if results go in their favour.
One to watch
Tranmere will need to keep an eye on Morecambe forward AJ Leitch-Smith when the Shrimps make the journey to Prenton Park.
Leitch-Smith began his playing career with hometown club Crewe Alexandra, coming through the youth system at Gresty Road.
Loans followed at Halifax Town, Newcastle Town, Icelandic side IBV and Curzon Ashton before establishing himself at Crewe, where he made 103 appearances and scored 19 goals for the Railwaymen during six-years as a professional in Cheshire.
He signed for Yeovil in the summer of 2014, spending a year at the club before swapping Huish Park for Vale Park in 2015, when he signed for Port Vale.
He scored 11 goals during his only season (2015/16) in Staffordshire, and in June 2016 he left the Valiants to make the move to Shrewsbury Town.
Over a two-year stay with the Salop, where he was signed by current TRFC boss Mellon at the New Meadow, Leitch-Smith made 16 appearances for the Shropshire outfit.
Leitch-Smith also spent time on loan at Scottish Premiership side Dundee, turning out 28 times at Dens Park in 2017/18, scoring six goals.
Following his departure from Shrewsbury, the 28-year-old Leitch-Smith returned to the North West to link up with Bentley’s Morecambe, penning a one-year-contract at the Globe Arena.
And since his arrival at Morecambe, Leitch-Smith leads the way at the summit of the club’s goal-scoring charts with six strikes to his name.
Fancy watching some affordable, festive football? Well Prenton Park is the place to be on Wednesday afternoon, so come and cheer Micky’s lads on to three points as Rovers play host to the Shrimps.
Tickets for TRFC’s home game with Morecambe on Boxing Day can be purchased here: https://www.trfctickets.co.uk/
Supporters can also purchase their tickets for upcoming Tranmere matches by clicking through to this website. Please note, tickets for our FA Cup third round tie at home to Tottenham Hotspur next month have been made available to buy for supporters who have purchased a ticket for the Boxing Day game against Morecambe up until after the final whistle on Wednesday.
Supporters with a Morecambe ticket should either enter their Morecambe ticket order number when purchasing a Tottenham ticket online at www.trfctickets.co.uk or present their Morecambe ticket when purchasing their Tottenham ticket in person.
Any supporters paying cash on the turnstiles against Morecambe will be issued with a voucher which they can present after the match in the Club Shop to entitle them to purchase a Tottenham ticket.
Can’t make it to Rovers’ Boxing Day clash with Morecambe? Don’t worry as you can keep up with goings on at Prenton Park.
You can now sign up to Tranmere Rovers’ iFollow, which allows access to extended highlights and interviews with manager Micky Mellon and a player, after the game.
To sign up, click here
Alternatively, you can follow the action through our social media channels below, with full text coverage during the fixture, followed by a match report.