Match Preview: Dagenham and Redbridge vs Tranmere Rovers

By Peter Tscherewik

Tranmere Rovers make a long trip down south as they face Dagenham and Redbridge at The Chigwell Construction Stadium. Micky Mellon will be hoping that the week without a fixture, albeit due to adverse weather conditions won’t have affected the sharpness of his squad.

The Super Whites bounced back from a 4-1 defeat to league leaders Macclesfield in their last match away at Maidstone United, as an Adam Buxton penalty got the score to 3-2 in Rovers’ favour. The Daggers have had a tough time of it recently, with only two wins from their last seven league fixtures (won two, lost five).

Team News

Manny Monthe could retain his place in the heart of Rovers’ defence alongside Ritchie Sutton, although captain Steve McNulty is available for selection after recovering from a knock.

Eddie Clarke and Liam Ridehalgh will also be ready for a return after both being sidelined for a few weeks.

New signing Drissa Traore had been training with Forest Green Rovers, and is thought to be in a good condition to potentially make his debut here.

James Wallace is edging closer to a return, while Evan Gumbs and Jake Kirby remain sidelined with long-term injuries.

View from the Dugout

Micky Mellon:  “We’ve worked hard to get ourselves in a position with 10 games to go where all the games are going to be important.

“It will be a tough game, because they all are at this stage of the season, and we’ll try and perform as well as we can.

“We need to be at our best, well prepared and in the right frame of mind to go down there and pick up a valuable three points.”

Recent Form

Despite their almighty hiccup against Macclesfield Town, Rovers remain in good form domestically and showed their bounce-back ability away at Maidstone United last time out.

Micky Mellon’s side sit seventh in the current form for the division, picking up 11 points from their last six matches.

Dagenham on the other hand are far worse off, all the way down in 18th position. There had been hopes for a play-off spot being achievable not long ago, but the poor patch of form leaves them nine points off seventh place (with a game in hand).

John Still’s side will come into the match against Rovers with some confidence though, having beaten Chester at home in their last match. The game may have been won by an own-goal, but the Daggers did score twice in the last ten minutes.

Tranmere Rovers vs Dag and Red: Last Time Out

The two sides met back in November 2017 at Prenton Park, a period where Rovers were still getting into their stride.
Micky Mellon’s side got off to the best possible start, as James Norwood got on the scoresheet after only four minutes of play.
Ollie Norburn added a second for Tranmere before half-time, volleying home from a Liam Ridehalgh corner.
The performance was a dominating one from Rovers, as the Daggers found themselves unable to withstand heavy Tranmere pressure throughout the match.
Tranmere’s win sent them up into 13th place in the league table, with Dagenham dropping down to ninth. Micky Mellon’s side were only two points outside the play-offs with that result, highlighting how tight the table was.

Author Predictions

Joel Lampkin: 0-1 – It has been a long time since Tranmere played and no amount of fitness or training can replicate a proper match. Expect some tired legs out there and it may be a struggle to get the win, no matter who is placed in front of them.

Peter Tscherewik: 1-2 – It remains to be seen whether Tranmere will benefit or struggle because they haven’t played since February 24. Dagenham have been in poor form of late but boast a great home record, and Tranmere will have to be at their best to get something out of this fixture. Micky Mellon and his men know how important every game is now, and they’ll edge this one with a late winner (again!)

Josh Roberts: 1-2 – Rovers should be well rested having last week off with the postponement and that should give them the edge over their southern rivals. The Tranmere squad is far superior and the week off could be what Rovers need to make it back to back away wins to boost their away form slightly.

George Williamson: 1-3 – Rovers have had a couple extra days to prepare for this one, and with their ‘one game at a time’ mentality, the extra rest and preparation time should work in their favour.


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