MATCH PREVIEW: Tranmere Rovers vs Torquay United

By George Williamson

Tranmere Rovers return to National League action after scheduling complications left them fixtureless last week, while Torquay are looking to climb out of the relegation zone after a disastrous start to the season.

Team News

Jeff Hughes returned to training over the break after missing the last few weeks with injury, while Jay Harris and Steve McNulty return from suspension.

For the visitors, new signing Axel Andresson could be in line to make his debut after arriving on loan from Reading.

View from the Dugout

Micky Mellon: “We always look at the positives and the break has given us a chance to get some of the injured players back into the group.

“We’ve had a bit more training ground under our belts, so we’ve made the most of that.

“The players look very sharp in training and we’ll be ready to go in what will be a tough game against an improving Torquay side.

“We’ve got the lads as best prepared as we can and they’re all raring to go.

“Everybody is champing at the bit to play so it’s a good position for me to be in as the manager.”

cook maidstone

Andy Cook taps in his first and Rovers’ second in the 4-0 win over Maidstone.

Gary Owers: “It is going to be hard to change that defensive unit, but Mich [Michee Efete], his loan expires on the 1st [of January]. Alex Davey’s expires on the 2nd [of January].

“A couple of the lads are on three bookings which could very quickly, with three games in a week, turn to five, and then I’ve got a suspension to deal with.

“I’m trying to cover every eventuality and not be short.

“Certainly if we are to play with three centre-backs, which we have done, I need some cover and at least three to start.”

Stat Attack

The two sides have played each other seven times previously, and Torquay are still searching for their first ever League win against Tranmere.

Rovers have won five of the seven, while the other two fixtures ended with the points being shared.

Last Time Out

The last meeting between the two clubs came in the first game of the 2017/18 season at Plainmoor. It ended in a 0-0 draw.

xmas signing day

Players and staff took advantage of the extra week’s break by hosting a Christmas signing session

Author Predictions

Joel Lampkin: 4-0

“It will be like sending a lamb to the slaughter as an inform Tranmere Rovers will be well rested and hungry to get back to winning after a near two-week break. Rovers dominated their last game and this could be the turning point in a busy Christmas schedule.”

Josh Roberts: 3-0

“Tranmere will be looking to extend their three match winning run at home in the league when Torquay come to town on Saturday. Rovers have been free scoring in front of the Prenton Park faithful lately and I can see them adding a few more for the crowd to cheer.

“Don’t expect it to be as cut and dry as that however, they might be in the bottom four but Torquay stunned the league leaders Sutton away from home a couple of weeks ago so Tranmere should be mindful not to fall into the same trap.”

Pete Tscherewik: 2-0

“Micky Mellon’s side will have benefitted from the extended break, with players returning from injury and their current run of form at home I can see them picking up all three points at Prenton Park.”

George Williamson: 2-1

“Tranmere will definitely have benefitted from their enforced break at the weekend, and the only way I can see them losing this one is if they beat themselves.

“They’re aiming to make Prenton Park a fortress, particularly over the Christmas period, and the onus is on them to set that in motion this week after a great victory a fortnight ago against Maidstone.”

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