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This Week's Opposition: Port Vale

Photo Credit: Port Vale

Pompey remain top of SkyBet League One after yet another comeback on Tuesday night saw John Mousinho’s side beat Wycombe 2-1 at Fratton Park. Matchday number 12 is already here and this time it’s Port Vale the visitors to PO4.

The Blues retained their 1 point lead over Oxford United at the summit of the 3rd division following that dramatic clash with The Chairboys in midweek - A result which also saw the club’s unbeaten league run extended to 22 games.

Next up it’s The Valiants who pose a risk to that proud achievement… here’s more on the side who hail from Burslem.

MANAGER

There’s been another change in the dugout at Vale Park.

50-year-old Andy Crosby took over the reins in the dugout on a permanent basis on May the 12th after a month in charge on an interim basis, following the sacking of Darrell Clarke.

Crosby managed 1 win from the club’s final 4 league matches and soon expressed his interest in continuing in the role, much to his delight an opinion shared by the board.

He had previously helped out as caretaker manager of the Northern Ireland Under-21s but this position at Port Vale serves as Crosby’s first proper managerial act.

ONE TO WATCH

Ex-Cambridge United and Wycombe forward Uche Ikpeazu is highlighted as the player to keep a close eye on this weekend.

That’s because the 28-year-old only signed for the club as recently as Wednesday afternoon of this week, so he’ll be undoubtedly keen to hit the ground running for his new side, should of course he feature.

With his dominating presence up top, emphasised by the threat of his height and strength when drawing battle with opposing defenders, Ikpeazu is expected to once again prove to be quite the handful for League One defenders upon his return to English football.

The striker had spent last season at Turkish Super Lig side Konyaspor, where he managed 15 appearances but failed to score even once.

Ikpeazu returns to Port Vale after 8 years away - He had spent time on loan at the club in 2015 from parent side Watford and scored 5 goals from 21 competitive appearances before returning to Vicarage Road.

TOP SCORER

With 4 league goals to his name at this stage of the season, Liverpudlian Ben Garrity is Port Vale’s current leading scorer.

The 26-year-old operates in midfield and scored all 3 of those league goals in consecutive matches between the 16th and 23rd of September, bagging against Northampton Town, Burton Albion and Cambridge.

He also managed to find the back of the net in Vale’s previous Papa John’s Trophy game before that run, in a 1-0 Group Stage win against Crewe Alexandra on home soil.

For The Valiants, Garrity wears the number 8 shirt.

CURRENT FORM

Having lost their last 2 league games on the bounce, Port Vale have slipped down to 8th in the table.

Tuesday night’s 3-0 defeat away at Bristol Rovers came after a 1-0 home loss at the hands of Bolton Wanderers last Saturday.

Prior to those 2 results, Andy Crosby’s side had started the new League One campaign by accruing 17 points from their opening 9 matches and even sat at the top of the division at one stage.

That admirable run came immediately after a horrific start to the season, where they lost heavily by 7 goals to nil away at Barnsley on the opening day.

Can the Blues retain top spot in League One for a further week and extend this mammoth unbeaten run to 23 league games?

Join Express FM for all of the unmissable action when Pompey Live returns with full coverage of the Blues' League One clash with Port Vale at Fratton Park, this Saturday (October 7th) from 2pm!

Kick-off: 3pm

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