Tranmere welcome Fleetwood Town to Prenton Park for the latest pre-season friendly tomorrow.
The game is the penultimate pre-season friendly to be played at Prenton Park, with only Rochdale to come next weekend. Here’s a quick run-down of what to expect from tomorrow’s match.
Tranmere’s preparations continue
The pre-season friendlies so far have seen players get 45 minutes per match for the most part, with a few stretching to around the hour mark. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Micky Mellon begin to give some players near full-games as prep steps up ahead of the big kick-off in two weeks’ time.
Tomorrow may be too soon for that, but definitely expect to see more players heading toward 70-minute appearances, or more.
The signing of Zoumana Bakayogo following a successful trial will likely see him given a lot of game time over the next seven days to ensure he is fully up-to-speed. Mellon will also need to begin nailing down his starting backline for the game, with Jake Caprice certain to start the season at right-back (or right full-back) due to Adam Buxton’s injury.
That leaves a decision on centre backs. So far, Manny Monthe has arguably been the best centre back so far this summer, with Mark Ellis and Steve McNulty also in contention. Will Micky go with the three centre backs, of stick with the 4-4-2 that brought promotion? The remaining games wi
Midfield almost picks itself, with Banks and Norburn certain to start and Jennings playing on the left, or perhaps in a central three if a 5-3-2 is adopted again. Jonny Smith and Ben Tollitt compete for a starting berth on the right you would presume.
James Norwood will play upfront and most likely to be partnered by Paul Mullin. Trialist Kai Tonge will likely feature again having done well so far.
Another interesting area to watch tomorrow is in goal. We understand Scott Davies will miss the start of the season with injury, so Luke Pilling should play unless Mellon is considering bringing in another goalkeeper in which case we may see a trialist tomorrow.
What to expect from Fleetwood
Fleetwood have garnered a fair amount of attention this summer thanks to their appointment of Joey Barton as manager. He is assisted by ex-Tranmere man Clint Hill (pictured above), and the links do not end there.
Full-back Eddie Clarke left Rovers for Fleetwood in the summer and will probably get some action at Prenton Park tomorrow, while James Wallace has now signed a deal at the club as well. He was invited to train with Rovers this summer following another injury-ravaged spell at Tranmere, but instead he went on trial at Fleetwood.
Fleetwood will also include striker Chris Long in their squad this summer after he joined on a two-year deal from Burnley, as well as Ched Evans who has joined on loan from Sheffield United.