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Port Vale Preview

20 November 2015

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With six away wins already this season the Spireites will be aiming for a lucky seventh as they travel to Port Vale in Sky Bet League 1 on Saturday afternoon.

The travelling form has contrasted starkly with home struggles and three consecutive away wins coupled with five goals in five league games for striker Sylvan Ebanks-Blake will inspire optimism among the visiting Spireites.

Team News

The Spireites, long-term casualty Angel Martinez aside, have a fully-fit squad to select from. Richard Wood came through his first league home start last weekend without any major knocks.

A mixture of fringe first team players and reserves played in a midweek behind-closed-doors friendly with Barnsley, with manager Dean Saunders having no further injury worries to contend with and happy for his squad to get the minutes and experience under their belt.

While Chesterfield have had a week to prepare, Port Vale played as recently as Thursday night, with their FA Cup first round reply match at Maidenhead United moved to accommodate TV coverage.

In that game, the Vale started with the same 11 that had started in the league win at Barnsley the previous Saturday - meaning that this weekend's match-up will test the fitness of Robert Page's men.

Form Guide

The Spireites' recent run of good form was jolted by a 2-1 home loss last weekend as in the driving rain Oldham Athletic recovered from conceding an early Sylvan Ebanks-Blake goal to snatch a late Proact win.

Before last weekend Chesterfield had been on a run of four wins in five and currently sit level on points with Saturday's opponents, the two sides occupying 13th and 14th positions in Sky Bet League 1.

After four losses in October Port Vale have struck back with two successive league wins over struggling pair Shrewsbury Town and Barnsley, moving them away from the danger zone in what is a very tight division.

The Valiants have also secured an FA Cup second round berth with Exeter City at the second time of asking after coming from behind to beat Maidenhead United 3-1 last night.

From the Dugout

Spireites manager Saunders knows his Vale counterpart well having served together on international duty, and he reported on what he expects from Page's side.

"They're an experienced team with good players," he said. "Robert Page used to play here with Chesterfield and I used to play with him for Wales.

"He's got some desire in him and he wants to do well. He's got the team organised and working hard, so it's going to be a tough game for us, but we've beaten the top of the league side away from home already so we've got nothing to fear.

"I know their team and they've all played higher up, near enough. We've got to match their work rate and organisation and hopefully our attackers will be able to hurt them."

With less than 48 hours between the Saturday match and Vale's last game away in Berkshire on Thursday evening, Saunders commented on the tight congestion on his opponent's run of fixtures.

"They've got another game on Tuesday as well and if the shoe was on my foot I'd be thinking that it's not right.

"We always rush out the blocks anyway, we start games well. We know the lads are right physically, hopefully we'll be right mentally, we don't have any injuries - so let's go there and get the points."

Follow all the action at Vale Park via our official channels. We'll have photos and updates on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and of course full live commentary on PlayerHD.

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