Tranmere Rovers will be looking to do the league double over Cheltenham Town when the two teams meet at Whaddon Road in the EFL League Two on Saturday afternoon.
Rovers picked up a 1-0 win back in August at Prenton Park courtesy of a goal from (who else?) James Norwood in what was Tranmere’s first win back in the EFL.
A fair bit has changed since then. The Robins parted company with manager Gary Johnson soon after that loss to Rovers at the beginning of the season, and Michael Duff is now the man at the helm of the Gloucestershire outfit.
They sit in 18th position in the League Two standings on 29 points from their 26 matches played, eight points clear of the drop zone.
Micky Mellon’s Tranmere side sit 10 points better off than Saturday’s opponents in 9th position. Three points from this encounter could lift us back into the play-off zone as Rovers continue to enjoy a good first season back as a Football League club.
Form, in terms of results, has been a little patchy for Tranmere, particularly on the road. Without a league win on the road since the beginning of October at Morecambe, Mellon will be looking for his team to get back to positive league results away from home.
The squad has been strengthened in the past seven days as the January transfer window is now open.
In have come midfielder David Perkins from Rochdale, who adds experience and quality in the central area, and striker Ishmael Miller who will bring strength and experience up front. Plus the permanent signing of Harvey Gilmour from Sheffield United, and that will no doubt boost the place ahead of this big game.
On the other side of the coin, Ritchie Sutton (to Morecambe) and Cole Stockton (to Wrexham, loan) have moved out of the squad.
Cheltenham come into the game in a decent run of form, suffering just one defeat in their last seven league outings, but that defeat coming in their last league fixture last weekend away at Crawley Town.
This will be the 15th meeting of the two clubs, with the Robins enjoying the better of the past encounters, winning seven to Tranmere’s five with two draws.
Our last visit to Whaddon Road was back in 2015-16 in the National League when a last minute winner by Andy Mangan gave Rovers a 1-0 win. A similar result and circumstances would do very nicely to stem the run of results on the road of late.