By Joel Lampkin
Tranmere have so far managed a trio of results in 2018 with a win, loss and a draw and they will be hoping to continue on the back of their first win in the New Year.
Opponents Maidenhead United are floating just outside of the promotion placed in mid-table but a win over fifth placed Rovers would be a huge statement.
Tranmere look set for a bare boned line up this Saturday with a number of injuries affecting the squad and leaving manager Micky Mellon with a headache.
Larnell Cole is set to be left out of the squad after picking up a hamstring injury and Steve McNulty has barely trained since his horrific injury against Woking.
The captain may need a late fitness test if he is to feature at Prenton Park, although in positive news James Wallace has returned to full training with the squad.
The midfielder is unlikely to feature against United due to a lack of fitness given his extensive time out but according to manager Micky Mellon he may be available for selection shortly.
Andy Cook is also not available for selection due to picking up a sending off against Woking, the striker scored the winning goal in the game but his absence will almost certainly mean a selection for on-loan forward Josh Ginnelly.
— Tranmere Talk (@TranmereTalk) January 17, 2018 There is still no official word on the future of Eddie Clarke, Tranmere do want to keep hold of the young talent but with no guarantee of the Football League next season they may not hold back the young full-back. Not much to report with regards to Maidenhead who seem to have full squad available.
View from the Dugout
Mellon seemed very up for this fixture and following a dissapointing showing in the away format, he is keen to turn that loss into a victory at home.
He said: “It was one of the poorest performances of the season, so we will be looking to turn that round at Prenton Park, expect to play well and get the three points that we need.”
The manager also revealed that since that loss a lot has happened at Rovers but now maintains that the high standards need to be kept high.
Tranmere can still boast a respectful three wins in their past five fixtures and have not long a home league fixture since 23rd September against Wrexham.
With a clean-sheet in his second fixture for the club Rhys Taylor will have gained some confidence that he may have lost through not playing for months.
Maidenhead can also boast the same league form this year as The Super Whites with a win, draw and a loss, and have won just four of their fourteen away trips this season.
Joel Lampkin: 2-0 Tranmere finally got what was looking like an away curse off their back as they beat Woking 1-0 in a match that they had to grind out in same ways. With no Cook, no McNulty, they may be weak in key players but it could be a chance for others to impress. Nothing beats playing in front of 5,000 – 6,000 of the Super White Army so expect the home fans to have a big effect.
Peter Tscherewik: 2-1
Tranmere are back at Prenton Park for the first time in 2018, and will be hoping to put on a bumper display in front of the Super White Army. Rovers have an exceptionally good home record this season and I expect Micky Mellon’s side to edge it against a Maidenhead side that have been ropey of late.
Josh Roberts: 3 – 1
Rovers return to Prenton Park for the first time in 2018 on the back of the first away win of the calendar year last weekend at Woking. Tranmere’s home form this season hasn’t been bettered by anyone in the league and I fully expect another home win against a Maidenhead side whose form is best described as patchy of late.
George Williamson: 3-1
Rovers picked up just their 2nd away win since October last weekend with a victory over Woking, and they’ll be looking to ride that wave to another three points against Maidenhead back at home. I don’t see them encountering many problems despite Cook’s suspension.