Cheltenham Town's first home match of 2018 is a Sky Bet League Two fixture against Accrington Stanley on Saturday afternoon (kick-off 3pm).
Gary Johnson’s men will be looking to build upon last week's 4-1 win at Colchester United and to restore the home form that saw them defeated only once in eight fixtures at the LCI Rail Stadium prior to Christmas.
High-flying Accrington Stanley are currently fourth in the league table, only one point outside the automatic promotion places, and have won their last two matches 3-0 at Grimsby Town and 4-0 at home to Chesterfield. Striker Billy Kee is the joint top scorer in the division with 15 league goals, although Stanley have this week strengthened their forward line with the loan signing of Derby County forward Offrande Zanzala and former Rotherham United front man Akeel Francis.
The two teams met back in September at the Wham Stadium. Mo Eisa put Cheltenham ahead on 37 minutes but Stanley equalised only two minutes later through Kayden Jackson. Stanley goalkeeper Aaron Chapman was called upon to make some good saves late in the game but the scoreline remained 1-1.
Accrington Stanley manager John Coleman is targeting three wins in a row for the first time this season:
“I didn’t realise that we hadn’t won three games in a row this season. It would be great if we could do it.
“I think that all of the play-off places being separated by goal difference tells you everything that you need to know about this league.
“It means that every time you play there’s a good chance that the teams around you are playing each other, on Saturday I think six out of the top nine are playing one other.
“That presents us with an opportunity, we won’t put pressure on ourselves but we will try to build on our performances of the last couple of weeks and try to put ourselves in the strongest possible position.”
Cheltenham team news: New signings Sanmi Odelusi and Elijah Adebayo could be in line for their first starts. Odelusi scored after going on as a substitute at Colchester last week. Danny Wright and Brian Graham also compete for a place in attack having both played 45 minutes in the reserves during the week. Returning defender Manny Onariase will be welcomed back to the LCI Rail Stadium for his first home start since re-joining on loan from Rotherham United. Jordan Cranston, Jaanai Gordon and Jordon Forster are long-term injury casualties.
Accrington team news: The visitors will be welcome new signings Offrande Zanzala and Akeel Francis but midfielder and captain Seamus Conneely is out having undergone surgery for a hernia.
The man in the middle:
Referee Kevin Johnson – who has taken charge of 25 games this season and handed out 77 yellow cards and eight red cards - will take charge of the league clash at the LCI Rail Stadium. He previously refereed our home defeat to Maidstone United in the FA Cup during November. He will be assisted by Steven Rushton, Abbas Khan and fourth official Paul Hobday.
23/09/17 - Accrington 1-1 Cheltenham (L2)
14/01/17 - Cheltenham 3-0 Accrington (L2)
08/10/16 - Accrington 1-1 Cheltenham (L2)
20/02/15 - Accrington 1-1 Cheltenham (L2)
16/08/14 - Cheltenham 2-1 Accrington (L2)
18/01/14 - Cheltenham 1-2 Accrington (L2)
24/08/13 - Accrington 0-1 Cheltenham (L2)
You can buy tickets online by clicking HERE and collecting on the day.
On matchday, the Ticket Office will be open for collections from 12noon and limited seating will also be available for fans wishing to pay by card on the day.
All remaining seats will be available for cash purchasers on the day from the turnstiles from 1.30pm.
As always, fans collecting pre-paid tickets are asked to arrive early to avoid any queues and to enable easy access into the stadium.
For further information call the Ticket Office at the LCI Rail Stadium on 01242 573558 (option 1) or email via email@example.com