Match Preview: Solihull Moors vs Tranmere Rovers

By Josh Roberts

This week the Buildbase FA Trophy commences for those sides in the National League and Tranmere will be looking translate their recent good form in the league to this competition.

One defeat in the last seven leagues matches for the Super White’s has brought them back into play-off contention but that will be on the back burner as Rovers kick start their FA Trophy campaign looking to go better than last season’s semi-final appearance.

Solihull on the other hand are in the midst of a poor run of form, amassing just the one win in the last 10 matches and Tranmere will be looking to take full advantage to advance into the next round.

Team News

Micky Mellon has a selection headache going into Saturday’s match, for what feels like the first time this season.

Jeff Hughes and Jay Harris will be looking to play a part in the Midlands after both returning to the bench at the weekend from injury and suspension respectfully.

Larnell Cole and Jack Dunn all returned to training as did Liam Ridehalgh which allows Eddie Clarke to continue at full-back which Micky Mellon confirmed on Thursday.

Jake Kirby is near a return and James Wallace and Ben Tollitt are nearing a return to training and should be available in the New Year.

View from the Dugout

Solihull Moors Manager Mark Yates: “It’s the next game for my players to improve and to get a better understanding. It will be a tough one; they’re a good side so we know we’re up against it.”

Tranmere Rovers Manager Micky Mellon: “We value the FA Trophy because it’s an opportunity to try and get to Wembley, and to take Tranmere there would be massive and we want to achieve that for the football club and the fans.

“So we’ll be attacking the game and pick the strongest team we possibly can, particularly as we’ve not had much football lately, so it’s important to keep the momentum moving forward.”

Solihull Moors vs Tranmere Rovers: Last Time Out

These sides last met in the National League when Tranmere came away with all three points thanks to goals from Ollie Norburn and Andy Cook.

Cook and Norburn combined for the first goal as the big no.9 squared the ball to the midfielder who fired home.

Cook turned from provider to finisher as he scored Tranmere’s second of the afternoon after good work from Adam Buxton and Connor Jennings.

Full Time: Solihull Moors 0 – 2 Tranmere Rovers

Author Predictions

Josh Roberts: 0 – 3

Micky Mellon has confirmed he will field a strong side so I accept Tranmere’s strong recent form to continue against Solihull. The Moors are in a bad place in the league but will see the FA Trophy as a distraction and a fresh start so I don’t think it will be a 9 – 0 drubbing Rovers dished out at the end of last season.

Joel Lampkin: 0 – 4

Tranmere fought well against a resilient Torquay side but their persistence paid off. With Solihull rock bottom of the National League having conceded 42 goals already this season, couple that with Andy Cook and James Norwood reading off the same page, it should be a walk in the park for Rovers.

Pete Tscherewik: 0 – 2

Tranmere have been in good form of late and I expect that to continue here, Micky Mellon should have more players returning in the coming weeks and that will only help his side. Solihull are struggling in the National League and for that reason I expect Rovers to cruise into the next round quite comfortably.

George Williamson: 0 – 5

Rovers should have no problem dispatching a Solihull side that sit below in the division. They’ll rest players, as Micky Mellon said their primary focus is on gaining promotion back into the football league but he’s also said his aim is to win every game they play, so look for him to still field a strong side while giving his key starters a rest.


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