By Peter Tscherewik
Tranmere Rovers will be hoping to extend their Prenton Park winning streak to eight matches when they host Ebbsfleet United on Saturday.
The visitors have only won one of their last eight matches, and are seven points adrift of the illusive play-off spots in 11th place in the Vanarama National League table. The Fleet looked set to sign Rovers striker James Alabi in January, but for the deal to fall through.
Micky Mellon revealed there is a chance that both Ben Tollitt and James Wallace could be a part of Saturday’s matchday squad, having come through a midweek behind closed door friendly against Bury unscathed.
Scott Davies is also closer to a return than first expected, having last featured for Rovers against AFC Fylde on New Years Day.
Larnell Cole and Devarn Green remain injured for the time being, but are expected to train on Monday.
Ebbsfleet boss Daryl McMahon has no fresh injury concerns going into this fixture, but is likely to make changes having lost 3-0 to Boreham Wood last weekend.
Tranmere picked up a valuable point away at the Racecourse Ground against play-off rivals Wrexham last Saturday, with Micky Mellon’s side arguably unfortunate not to come away with a win in the end as the game finished 2-2.
Micky Mellon’s side had an impressive January on the whole, albeit for a New Years Day 5-2 away defeat at the hands of AFC Fylde. In their last five matches the Super Whites have picked up eight points, (won two, drawn two, lost one).
Ebbsfleet on the other hand have had a torrid time of late, they have only won one of their last five domestic matches and that was nearly a month ago against Maidstone United.
The Fleet were also on the receiving end of a humiliating 2-0 defeat in the FA Trophy to Warrington Town, and even that tie was a replay after first getting a 1-1 draw against the Yellows.
Tranmere have won each of their last seven home matches and will be hoping to extend that run to eight at Prenton Park on Saturday.
Both Tranmere and Ebbsfleet have sold 31% of their stadium capacities in this campaign, though the Super Whites have a far superior figure in terms of overall attendance. Prenton Park has averaged 5,080 in 2017-18, whilst Ebbsfleet’s Stonebridge Road has only levelled out at 1,545.
(Stat provided via Soccerway)
Tranmere Rovers vs Ebbsfleet United: Last Time Out
The last time these two sides met was in the 11th round of fixtures this season.
Rovers had to settle for an away point, which on the day wasn’t a horrific result. Micky Mellon’s side had to play out the final 41 minutes of the encounter with 10-men, after Jay McEveley was sent off for a second bookable defence.
Tranmere were much the better side in the first-half, starting strongly in attack and pressing the Fleet back into their own half. James Norwood had the best of Rovers’ chances, but could only divert a Jay Harris cross into the side-netting.
McEveley’s sending off forced the Super Whites into playing a back four, and whilst the home side had far more of the ball in the second-half, the Rovers rearguard stood firm.
Scott Davies made a smart save to keep it at 0-0 in the latter stages, as Ritchie Sutton almost diverted the ball into his own net.
Full time: Ebbsfleet United 0-0 Tranmere Rovers
Josh Roberts: 4-1
Tranmere are back on home soil this week, looking for an eighth straight league win against a side that has only won once in their last eight outings. This should be a routine win for Micky Mellon’s side with another four goal at home to go with three more points.
George Williamson: 3-1
Three goals and three more points for a side that improving week-on-week as the Vanarama National League hits the business end of the season. They are five points from the top but look arguably the most dangerous side in the division at the moment. Tranmere should comforably get the victory against a struggling Ebbsfleet side.
Peter Tscherewik: 2-0
Tranmere will still be in high spirits after claiming a valuable point away against Wrexham last weekend, Their home form speaks for itself with seven straight wins and Micky Mellon’s side will be confident of extending that run to eight against an Ebbsfleet side that have only won one of their last eight games.
Joel Lampkin: 4-2
Tranmere will have come away from Wrexham, partly pleased, partly disappointed. An electric atmosphere will be replicated at Prenton park, and Ebbsfleet may not know what hits them. Expecting several goals in to fly in here, but another good win for Micky Mellon’s men.