Bootham Crescent, Saturday 17th January, 15:00
York last starting XI (vs Wycombe, A): Olejnik; McCoy, McCombe, Lowe, Ilesanmi; Coulson, Summerfield, Penn, Carson; Hyde, Fletcher
Stevenage last starting XI (vs AFC Wimbledon, H): Day; Henry, Wells, Okimo, Charles; Whelpdale, Walton, Parrett, Pett; Marriott, Beardsley
Match Odds (from William Hill): York 6/4, Draw 21/10, Stevenage 2/1
- York form: WDLDWWDL
- Stevenage form: DLDWWWDW
- The two sides have only met once in the Football League, earlier this season, when York won 3-2 away from home.
- Stevenage have an excellent record on their travels to York – they have won on four of their six visits to Bootham Crescent. The last time York beat Stevenage at home was in the Conference in 2004/05.
After parting company with Nigel Worthington in October, Russ Wilcox’s first three months in charge have seen York gradually pull away from relegation peril and deliver a consistent improvement in performances. There can be no question that Wilcox has been a success thus far: he has really galvanised the group and added substantial quality to the squad through the loan market.
They have been particularly strong on the road recently, picking up victories at Cheltenham, Hartlepool and Carlisle. In their last outing, the Minstermen fell 1-0 to league leaders Wycombe but emerged from the game with significant credit.
Home form remains a vexed question. They had to wait until Boxing Day for their first, and lone, victory on home soil against Accrington. Concerningly, York have only found the back of the net nine times in twelve games this term at Bootham Crescent.
Russ Wilcox has a number of selection dilemmas ahead of Saturday’s game. He must choose between Marvin McCoy and Brad Halliday at right-back, while Dave Winfield is also pushing for John McCombe’s place in the centre of defence.
After promising displays for the reserves in midweek against Redcar Athletic, Lindon Miekle and Anthony Straker, who scored, are in contention for recalls. Keeper Michael Ingham (shoulder) is the only injured player for the home side.
After a difficult start to the season, Stevenage find themselves in a rich vein of form and one point shy of the play-off places. Promotion has always been the aim for Graham Westley (pictured), who iis in his third spell in charge at Broadhall Way, as the Boro look to bounce back into League One at the earliest possible opportunity.
Before Christmas, Stevenage were dogged by inconsistency, but have won four of their last five games – defeating Exeter, Dagenham and Redbridge, Cambridge and Wimbledon. They also eked out a draw in a difficult away game at Morecambe.
Only Jon Ashton and Harry Worley are definitely ruled out of Saturday’s game, although there are a number of minor injuries that will be monitored in the lead-up to kick-off.
Prediction: York 1-1 Stevenage
A draw is probably the most likely outcome as stoical City meet a Stevenage side who know how to settle for a result away from home.