Cheshire Senior Cup poses selection dilemma for Tranmere


Tranmere Rovers travel to the Deva Stadium, now the 1885 Arena, to take on Chester FC in the Cheshire Senior Cup this evening.

With Saturday’s game against Fleetwood Town postponed because of the weather, it brings a bit of a selection headache for Rovers ahead of a crucial run of matches coming up in League One.

A number of players will be looking to get some match minutes in order to make themselves more ready for a return to first team action.

I’m thinking Ollie Banks, Calum Woods, Harvey Gilmour and Evan Gumbs on their comebacks from injury will need some more game time and are likely to be involved.

But, what about those fringe players who haven’t been regular starters in the side of late?

The likes of Neil Danns, Connor Jennings, Sid Nelson and Darren Potter, for example. Will they be risked or rested in case they may be needed in the massive fixtures Rovers face in the coming weeks which could decide the destiny of the season.

I suspect it will be a ‘mixed’ team selected for this tie, with a blend of senior professionals and players from the youth team, with some of the aforementioned individuals given a run out to keep their sharpness up.

One player who you’d imagine will be involved this evening is striker Stefan Payne. A regular in the first team squad up until Christmas time or so, the former Bristol Rovers man has somewhat mysteriously vanished from the first team scene in recent weeks.

He staked his claim for a recall with a goal in the previous round of this competition against Crewe Alexandra a couple of weeks ago, and will be looking for another opportunity to impress and get on the scoresheet this evening.

Andy Parkinson and Shaun Garnett will be in the dug out for a game which takes place three years to the day after a famous encounter between the two clubs.

Andy Cook hits a stunning winner against Chester FC, March 2017

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