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Match Previews


19 December 2013

We look ahead to Friday night's league fixture


Prenton Park

Sky Bet League One

Friday December 20

Kick-Off, 7.45pm

Team News:

Peter Taylor will be without both Chris Whelpdale and Danny Hollands for the trip to Tranmere on Friday evening.

and neither will be available for selection.Saturday against PeterboroughWhelpdale (leg) and Hollands (knee) both had to be substituted before half time on

Charlie Lee (hamstring) and Craig Fagan (thigh) however should both be ready after their respective injuries. Amine Linganzi (hamstring) has had a bit of a setback as he attempts to recover, but could take his place in the squad.

Jake Hessenthaler had a tight groin as he came off in the same game, but is fit to travel.

As for Tranmere, they may be without Captain James Wallace who has been suffering with a groin injury. He will only train towards the back end of the week and a decision as to whether he plays will be left until the last minute.

Defender Ian Goodison is definitely out for at least a month, he too is struggling with a groin problem.

Andy Robinson may make his first appearance for three months after overcoming a knee problem.

Manager Comments:

With the Gills approaching a busy festive period Peter is hoping his team can build on the strong performance against Peterborough last weekend and achieve another positive result.

He said: “I saw a lot of progress against Peterborough on Saturday and it cheered up my weekend.

You've got no divine right to win a match or score a goal; you have to earn it every time you go out and play.

"Decent and honest professionals will always look to bounce back. If you are facing a team on a bad run it will make them more determined to be solid.

"Every game is different but we have got to concentrate on ourselves. If we start better than them it will make them nervous.

Tranmere boss Ronnie Moore said: "We've got nearly everybody fit now so the competition for places is on.

"It's up to the 11 who start to really get the crowd going. I've told them they've got to give blood, guts and get into it. If they do that, the crowd will stick with them.”

The Gaffer – Ronnie Moore

Ronnie, who had two spells at Prenton Park as a player, has repeated the feat as a Manager having returned to the club in the summer of 2012 having previously been at the helm for three years between 2006 and 2009.

A striker by trade, he had successful stints at Tranmere, Rotherham, Cardiff, Charlton, Chicago Sting and Rochdale before hanging up his boots in 1989.

He moved in to management and got his first chance with Southport in 1996 – he was there a year before moving to Millmoor to take over at Rotherham.

He guided the club to back to back promotions, making the Millers a first division club by 2001 and was at the club for a few more years before taking the reins at Oldham in 2005.

He spent a year at Boundary Park, helping the Latics avoid the drop before achieving a mid-table finish in the 2005-06 campaign.

He returned to Tranmere after parting company with Oldham in the summer of 2006, and enjoyed three seasons in his second spell before returning to Rotherham in 2009.

In 2009-10 he guided the club to the League One play-off final but were beaten 3-2 by Scunthorpe, and left the club the following season with the side sixth in the table.

The Skipper – James Wallace

James may not feature in the club’s final game before Christmas due to injury, having only played five games so far this season as the Captain.

The midfielder came through the youth ranks at Everton and had several loan spells away from Goodison Park, including at Tranmere last year.

He impressed sufficiently to earn a contract at Prenton Park, Ronnie Moore fending off interest from Championship clubs to clinch his signature.

Star Man – Ryan Lowe

The striker signed for Rovers on a two year deal in the summer following one year stints at both Sheffield Wednesday and MK Dons.

His goal scoring record is impressive reading, his best spell coming at Bury where he scored 49 goals in just 90 league appearances.

He began his career at non-league Burscough before joining Shrewsbury Town in 2000.

Tranmere – the season so far

Rovers didn’t start the league season particularly well, winning just one of their opening 10 league fixtures – that coming against Oldham in a 1-0 win on August 31.

The month of September failed to produce a victory in all competitions, but Ronnie Moore’s side got back on track in October as they beat both Bradford and MK Dons to escape the clutches of the relegation zone.

They come in to today’s match having won once in their last four outings. Their last two games have resulted in defeat with Peterborough inflicting a 5-0 loss in the FA Cup.

In the Capital One Cup the team reached the third round, losing 2-0 to Premiership side Stoke City, while in the JPT they were eliminated at the first hurdle after being beat by Fleetwood Town.

Previous Meetings:

The two sides last met on February 9, 2010 when Tranmere took all three points from MEMS Priestfield Stadium with a 1-0 win, courtesy of Ian Thomas-Moore’s 68th minute strike.

The Gills haven’t won a game against Friday’s opponents since January 2007 when a Chris McCready own goal and a solitary strike from Andrew Crofts were enough to seal all three points at MEMS Priestfield Stadium.

In total the teams have met on 32 occasions with Tranmere well on top in the head to head statistics. They have won 13 matches, Gills have won five and the other 14 have resulted in a draw.

Current Form (last six games in all competitions):

Tranmere: DWLWLL (7 points)
Gills: LLWLLD (3 points)


Gills last won at Prenton Park in December 2006 in a 3-2 win – for a repeat score line Sky Bet are offering odds of 28/1.

For Jake Hessenthaler to score the opening goal you can get a return of 20/1, while a 1-1 draw gives odds of 11/2.

For more odds and to sign up to Sky Bet, click here.


Referee – Rob Lewis
Assistants – Karl Evans & Nick Greenhalgh
Fourth Official – Philip Dermott

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