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Match Previews

Preview: Tranmere Rovers

18 September 2020

Match Previews

Preview: Tranmere Rovers

18 September 2020

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It's another away trip in the early part of this season on Saturday as Cheltenham Town head to Tranmere Rovers (kick-off: 3pm).

Overall it's matchday five in the campaign, but in the new League Two season it's only the Robins second game in the division after a frustrating late opening day loss to Morecambe last weekend.

Michael Duff and his players will be determined to bounce back from that loss to the Shrimps by getting points on the board this weekend.

It is another tricky opening clash though against a Tranmere team under new management and who were playing a level above in League One last season.

The match is taking place behind closed doors because of covid-19. Please do not travel to the game. If you want to watch it then you are able to buy a match pass to view the game online on iFollow.

Team news

Defender Lewis Freestone is expected to continue being part of the squad after the summer signing returned from a foot problem on the bench at Millwall in midweek.

Goalkeeper Scott Flinders and defender Sean Long are the only long-term absentees in the squad.

There could be a number of changes from the team that started in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday evening with places up for grabs following defeat on the opening day.

Watch Michael Duff's pre-match press conference below:


This is the fourth season in a row where Tranmere are playing in a new division. Last season they were relegated from League One after the points per game system was enforced after just a one season stay in the third tier having won promotion via the League Two play-offs the campaign before that.

That play-off victory, which came against Newport County in the 2018/19 campaign, followed a similar promotion from the National League 12 months before that.

They'll be aiming to make an immediate return to League One this season but will be doing it with a new manager. Mike Jackson is now in charge after Micky Mellon left in July for SPL side Dundee United. Jackson is familiar with the club though having served as Mellon's number two.

Their first match back in League Two last weekend saw them record a goalless draw at Mansfield Town.

In recent days they've brought in Kaiyne Woolery from Swindon Town. The speedy attacker was a part of the Swindon side that won promotion out of League Two last season, and he is added into a squad that already includes attacking lights Stefan Payne, Otis Khan and Danny Walker-Rice.

Another new recent arrival is experienced midfielder Liam Feeney who has higher level experience. Jay Spearing was also a notable summer capture. The midfielder started his career at Liverpool and has also represented Bolton Wanderers and Blackpool.

Defensively Liam Ridehalgh has been a Tranmere player for a number of years, while the powerful Manny Monthe has won promotion with them, as well as fellow centre back Mark Ellis who has plenty of Football League knowhow under his belt.


Mike Jackson was appointed manager at Tranmere in July. It's not his first job in management - he took charge at Shrewsbury Town back in the 2013/14 campaign for a few months where he saw his side slip into League Two when finishing in the drop zone.

Micky Mellon came in to replace him in Shropshire and he remained as assistant before joining Mellon at Tranmere in the same role.

With Mellon now having departed Jackson is back as the main man as number one in the dugout at Prenton Park.

As a player he most notably represented Preston North End over 250 times, while he also enjoyed lengthy spells with Bury and Tranmere and Blackpool having come through the youth ranks at the beginning of his career at Crewe Alexandra.

One to watch

The much travelled James Vaughan made Tranmere his permanent home in the summer after he ended last season on loan in League One with the Super White Army.

Now 32, the forward has played through all the levels and started in the Premier League at the age of 16 where he made history as the division's youngest goal scorer when he began his playing days with Everton.

He's also played for Norwich City, Derby County, Crystal Palace, Huddersfield Town, Bury, Sunderland, Wigan Athletic and Portsmouth.

He'll offer a huge threat as part of a dangerous front line in Tranmere's attack and has also previously represented England at under-21 level.

Watch the match on iFollow

Match passes for the game are available to buy online - ensuring you can watch the full 90 minutes.

Purchase a match pass for £10 and then login before kick-off to see how the action unfolds.

We recommend that fans buy well in advance of the match beginning to ensure a smooth process of logging into the match as web traffic amongst supporters across all EFL clubs will be high on Saturday afternoon.


iFollow match passes are available for £10 and you can buy yours online ahead of the game. We recommend purchasing well in advance of kick-off due to the online traffic iFollow will receive in the lead up to the game getting underway.

You can also tune in to radio commentary on BBC Radio Gloucestershire, while staying up to date with updates on the club's social media channels throughout the day.

Post-match check out the club website for a report and reaction from the management and squad.

Extended highlights of the game will be available on Sunday exclusively on iFollow.

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