By Josh Roberts
Tranmere will look to put the misery of the Fylde defeat behind them as they travel to Barrow on Saturday to kick start 2018.
Rovers were in stellar form heading into the new year but a loss against the Coaster’s on Monday means the Super White’s will be searching for a sixth win in seven in Cumbria.
Barrow are on an indifferent run of form of late with two wins, two losses and two draws in their last six games. Languishing just one place above the relegation places but seven points clear, the Bluebirds will want to put as much distance between themselves and the four sides below them.
Barrow will be without on-loan defender Jimmy Dunne who has returned to his parent club Burnley after impressing during the first half of the season.
They will, however, have Calum Macdonald available after his loan deal was extended till the end of January. The defender, who can play either left-back or centre-half, scored the winner on New Year’s Day against Wrexham.
Staying with the theme of loans, Gerry McDonagh has returned to Nottingham Forrest after his loan deal with Tranmere expired.
Goalkeeper Scott Davies is also out for a undetermined amount of time at the time of writing. He pulled his groin in the defeat against Fylde, coming off before half time.
Liam Ridehalgh made his first start since returning from injury against Fylde but faces competition from Eddie Clarke to keep his place.
View from the Dugout
Tranmere Rovers Manager Micky Mellon: “We have to go there with the right mentality, as we always do, and whatever gets flung at us, be good at answering that.
“We know that Barrow have threats that we’ll make sure the boys are aware of and at the other end of the pitch, we’ll have to be good in order to try and punish them.”
Barrow AFC vs Tranmere Rovers: Last Time Out
These two sides last met earlier in the season at Prenton Park as Tranmere won the game 1 – 0 in dramatic fashion.
James Norwood popped up with the winner in injury time after Barrow had kept Rovers at bay for almost the entirety of the match.
It was a crucial goal as Tranmere’s form back then was scratchy to say the least a win was a massive relief for the Super White Army.
Josh Roberts: 1 – 2
The defeat to Fylde will have brought everyone back down to Earth and what Tranmere can’t afford to do it lose two on the bounce as that would eradicate all the momentum they have gathered. It is a tough journey to make for Rovers so I can see a tight, hard fought victory for the away side.
Joel Lampkin: 0 – 2
Barrow have struggled and despite Tranmere seemingly imploding away from home in their first fixture of 2018, that should go down as a loss that was impending after going five games unbeaten. Away from Prenton Park has been a struggle, although I expect a win, but a hard fought one at that.
Pete Tscherewik: 1 – 2
Tranmere’s long unbeaten run came to an almighty halt at the hands of AFC Fylde on Monday, which will have dented the players confidence somewhat. Barrow have struggled of late and although they probably won’t lie down for Rovers, expect Micky Mellon’s side to pick up all three points, just.
George Williamson: 0-1
Rovers were soundly beaten in their opening fixture of 2018 at the hands of AFC Fylde, but they’ll learn some tough lessons about complacency from that defeat to bounce back and beat Barrow on Saturday.