There may be matches in the FA Cup, but League One still continues with the Valiants hosting Bristol Rovers at Vale Park this Saturday. A crucial game for Port Vale as they sit two points above relegation zone.
Port Vale have been on poor form in their last five games, and have struggled to make a consecutive win since December. They visited Millwall on Valentines Day, where their 2-0 defeat pushed them even closer to relegation.
However, Bristol Rovers went away with their third draw this month after playing promotion hopefuls, Sheffield United. The Pirates were saved by the woodwork after John Fleck’s low shot was denied by the side of the post after Joe Lumley’s poor clearance.
The last time these two teams saw each other was back in the beginning of the season at the Memorial Ground where Bristol Rovers took the lead in the 63rd minute after substitute, Byron Moore was knocked down by midfielder, Paulo Tavares – giving the Pirates the winning penalty.
Bristol Rovers currently sit 10th in the league, five points below play-offs. A win against the Valiants could put them in 8th place. If either Rochdale or Peterborough United both lose or draw either of their matches.
Unfortunately for Port Vale who are desperately trying to stay away from relegation, a win would push them potentially into 17th, three places ahead of where they currently stand. Fans will hope for Bury to lose against Chesterfield as they are only two points above.
Port Vale: The club has announced on their Twitter that midfielder, Anthony de Freitas has suffered a groin strain and will be out for six weeks. Also, defender Remie Streete will be ruled out due to a suspected fractured leg.
Bristol Rovers: Peter Hartley and Chelsea loanee, Jake Clarke-Salter are both still recovering from a foot injury and a broken arm respectively, both against Charlton Athletic.
I predict that Bristol Rovers will steal the three points from the Valiants. Port Vale have won just one of their previous home games, but the Pirates have not won a game away from home since October against Oldham Athletic. However, I believe that now Bristol Rovers have a stronger defence since the January transfer window, they could win. My prediction is Port Vale 1-2 Bristol Rovers.