Tranmere Rovers turn their attention to cup football on Tuesday evening as Championship side Hull City visit Prenton Park in the first round of the Carabao Cup.
After two league defeats to begin the campaign, against Rochdale and Portsmouth, this game comes as (perhaps) a nice distraction for Micky Mellon’s side.
It will be interesting to see what type of team the Tranmere manager puts out against The Tigers, as last year, there were a number of alterations made to the starting XI for the corresponding fixture as Rovers were knocked out by Walsall.
Particularly in the attacking areas, Mellon has plenty of options and it may take some time before he finds a settled combination that he is happy with, so Tranmere fans should expect a little shuffling of the pack once again for this game.
No further injuries have been reported in the Tranmere squad since Saturday’s game at Portsmouth Ishmael Miller, Jake Caprice, Mark Ellis and Evan Gumbs all remain absent from the squad.
Jacob Maddox, signed on a season-long loan from Chelsea last week, trained with the squad for the first time on Monday and could come into contention for a debut appearance.
Whether a single training session will be enough for him to be thrown straight into the team remains to be seen, but he may have the quality to unlock a strong Hull City defence.
Championship side Hull City have picked up a win and a defeat from their opening two league fixtures so far in 2019-20.
A 2-1 loss at the hands of Swansea City on the opening day of the campaign was followed by a 2-1 home victory over Reading last weekend.
The Tigers possess a strong squad and it is expected that manager Grant McCann will utilise his strength in depth at Prenton Park in midweek.
The Hull Daily Mail suggest that McCann could feasibly name an entirely different XI to that which started against Reading on Saturday, with a number of players waiting in the wings for a debut in the City shirt.
One of those players is former Tranmere loanee Matthew Pennington who is currently at the KCOM Stadium on loan from Everton.
The defender, now 24, has had a number of loan spells away from Goodison Park since his temporary stint at Prenton Park back in 2014, with Coventry City, Walsall, Leeds United, Ipswich Town and now Hull.
An unused substitute at the weekend, Pennington will be hoping for a first appearance against one of his former clubs.
It has been a tough start to the season for Micky Mellon’s men, and it certainly won’t get any easier on Tuesday evening against a really strong Hull City side.
Grant McCann has been tipped to rest a number of his key players for their upcoming league fixtures, but nevertheless, he has great quality at his disposal in reserve.
Although a cup run might be seen by some as a distraction, it is also vitally important that Rovers start winning games and get back into that good habit as soon as possible.
It will be a difficult test, but if following Rovers over recent seasons has taught us anything, it’s that this group is not afraid of a challenge and can certainly rise to one.