Port Vale v Lincoln preview
Last Updated: 12/10/18 10:45am
Port Vale boss Neil Aspin has several injury concerns ahead of his side's home game against League Two leaders Lincoln.
However, at his pre-match press conference Aspin did not name those who were nursing knocks but Manny Oyeleke, Cristian Montano (knee) and Scott Quigley all require more time to recover from their problems.
James Gibbons has been struggling with a groin injury recently and he is likely to be one of the players who is a doubt ahead of Saturday, while striker Tom Pope could also be a concern. Theo Vassell, Idris Kanu and Ricky Miller all did well against Burton in the Checkatrade Trophy in midweek and Aspin said that he faced a "selection headache" ahead of Lincoln's visit.
Lincoln are expected to make wholesale changes at Vale Park. Imps boss Danny Cowley swapped 10 players against Scunthorpe in the Checkatrade Trophy, with only Harry Anderson retaining his place from last Saturday's 1-0 win over Crewe.
The likes of Josh Vickers, Michael Bostwick, Michael O'Connor, Lee Frecklingon and John Akinde are among those who should be restored to the starting line-up. Lincoln have won four of their last five league games and are four points clear at the top of the table.
None of the last 18 Football League matches between Port Vale and Lincoln City have ended in draws - a run stretching back to September 1976 (Port Vale winning seven and Lincoln winning 11).
Lincoln have lost each of their last three league visits to Port Vale having won four on the bounce prior.
Port Vale have lost each of their last two league games without scoring a single goal - the last time they lost three on the bounce without finding the back of the net came in September 2017 (run of five).
No side across the top four tiers of English league football has won more games than Lincoln so far this season (9/12).
Port Vale's Ricky Miller has scored just one goal from his 34 shots this season - only Crawley's Ollie Palmer (38) and Exeter's Jayden Stockley (40) have had more attempts on goal in the division.
Port Vale have lost their last two games which has seen them slip into the bottom half of the table, and they now come up against the toughest challenge in League Two.
Lincoln have lost twice so far this season but on both occasions they have bounced back immediately with a victory, and that is why they find themselves four points clear at the top of the table. I reckon there will be a few goals in this one but the Imps will sneak another win.
David Prutton predicts: 2-3 (33/1 with Sky Bet)