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Match Previews

Preview: Cheltenham

10 January 2019

Setting the scene…

Tranmere Rovers return to Sky Bet League Two action with a trip to Whaddon Road for a fixture at Cheltenham Town on Saturday afternoon.

Micky Mellon’s Rovers’ saw their FA Cup journey come to an end by Premier League giants Tottenham Hotspur in front of a sold-out Prenton Park last Friday night.

Rovers are ninth in the division ahead of the trip to Gloucestershire, while their hosts Cheltenham are 18th in the fourth-tier after last Saturday’s 1-0 defeat away at Crawley Town.

Team news

Manager Micky Mellon has a full squad to select from for this weekend’s game at Cheltenham Town.

Ishmael Miller and David Perkins will be pushing to make their debuts, whilst Harvey Gilmour will also be looking to keep his place in the starting line-up, after completing his permanent switch from Sheffield United.

Ollie Banks has returned to full training after his substitute appearance against Tottenham last week.

The Robins’ season so far

Prior to losing at Crawley, boss Michael Duff had steered the Robins up the table which saw them go on an unbeaten six game run.

Former Burnley defender Duff was appointed at Whaddon Road in September following on from Gary Johnson’s departure the previous month.

Cheltenham have steadily climbed League Two and are eight points ahead of the relegation places as they prepare to host TRFC.

From their 26 league games, the Robins have won seven, drawn 11 and lost eight this term. Should they earn three points on Saturday, Cheltenham could move up to 16th if results go their way.

One to watch

Striker Luke Varney leads the way in front of goal for Cheltenham this term.

Born in Leicester, Varney began his professional career at Crewe Alexandra in 2003, where in 95 league appearances for the Railwaymen, he scored 27 goals during a four-year stay at Gresty Road.

Varney earned himself a move to Charlton Athletic in 2007, turning out 57 times for the Addicks in two seasons in the capital.

The forward then later signed permanently for Derby County but would spend three separate spells on loan at Sheffield Wednesday in the 2009/10 season.

A loan to then-Premier League side Blackpool saw Varney stay on the Lancashire coast for the 2010/11 campaign, where he made 30 top-flight appearances at Bloomfield Road, scoring five goals for the Seasiders.

Later in his career, Varney plied his trade for Portsmouth, Leeds United, Blackburn Rovers and Ipswich Town.

Varney spent last season in the Championship with Burton Albion, making 33 appearances for the Brewers.

The 36-year-old dropped down to the fourth-tier last summer with Cheltenham and has since scored six goals in 20 appearances for the Robins.

Match coverage

Can’t make it to Rovers’ away game at Cheltenham Town on Saturday? Don’t worry as you can keep up with goings on at Whaddon Road.

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.

Twitter: @tranmererovers

Facebook: @trfcofficial

Instagram: @tranmererovers


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