By Joel Lampkin
With Tranmere Rovers yet to win a game in 2018, they have slipped out of a promotion place with their form something that needs to be addressed if they are to escape the National League.
Opponents Woking are in a similar situation with one loss and one draw to their name in the new year but sit considerably lower in the league table in fourteenth.
— Tranmere Talk (@TranmereTalk) January 10, 2018 Tranmere have been given a big boost with regards to injured stars returning to availability with Ben Tollitt set to be at full fitness in late January.
On-loan striker James Alabi looks set to leave Prenton Park on a permanent deal with Ebbsfleet United keen on the player, his move to The Super Whites will likely have been a costly mistake with former club Chester keen to hurry up their tribunal process to agree a few for the 23-year-old.
Tranmere seem to have lost out on the race to re-sign Ollie Banks on either a loan or permanent move with the Oldham Athletic midfielder attracting interest from clubs still in the Football League.
Woking will be without winger as the player has made a permanent switch to Peterborough United after impressing in their FA Cup fixture last month.
View from the Dugout
Ahead of the weekends away clash amid all the speculation manager Micky Mellon resoundingly put his focus on the next fixture saying the players will be prepared.
He said: “The boys will be here tomorrow for training and Saturday’s game.
“It is a huge game as it gives us a chance to keep pecking away at the league table. It gives us an opportunity to jump a few places.
However Mellon said he was wary of the danger his opponents possess adding that his team must remain switched on if the results are to come.
He said: “We are well capable we allow them [the players] to go toe-to-toe with any team in the league. We go down there and we know the value of the three points and we will do everything we possibly can at the minute to keep our form.”
Tranmere went from a period of excellence winning give games on the trot to losing in humiliating style to AFC Fylde in their first fixture of 2018.
Rovers were lucky to salvage a point in their follow up game against Barrow and the expectation and pressure will be high after dropping out of a promotion place earlier this week.
Woking on the other hand are yet to win a game in all competitions since November 21st although the side remain just 10 places away from a playoff spot showing how tight the National League can be.
The team will however be in high spirits after coming back from defeat twice to salvage an exciting 4-4 draw against Maidstone United.
Stat attack (Historic)
e met Woking just once in the football league, outside of the National League, with that game coming in the FA Cup in 2006 as The Super Whites ran out 4-2 winners.
Two goals each from Gareth Taylor and Chris Greenacre allowed The Super Whites to advance into the second round of the cup competition.
Joel Lampkin: Woking 1-3 Tranmere
Tranmere will gain confidence from their last minute draw against Barrow (especially James Norwood). Hopefully the striker will feel rejuvenated by the goal and get back to form instead of running himself into the ground week after week. Rovers need to get back to winning ways and back into the National League playoff spot, but Woking wont go down without a fight.
Josh Roberts: 2 – 2
The woes of Trannere’s poor away form will continue on Saturday after the long journey down to Woking. On paper they should have beaten Barrow last weekend and it’s the same for this match as well, but football isn’t played on paper and Rovers will come away with a point not all three.
George Williamson: 2-1
Tranmere’s away form hasn’t been great of late, and I predict that will continue this week against a Woking side that came back from a deficit twice last week to draw 4-4 against Maidstone. They’ll be rejuvenated from that comeback and could pick up all three points at home.
Peter Tscherewik: 1-1
Tranmere have been poor away from home this season and although they will be looking to come back into form after not being able to put away Barrow last week, expect the match to end in another disappointing stalemate for Micky Mellon’s side.