Neil Wood’s Salford City make the trip to the Mazuma Mobile Stadium on Saturday 2 September in Sky Bet League Two.
It was defeat for the Shrimps in our last outing at Harrogate Town by two goals to nil. Luke Armstrong’s first half penalty was added to by George Thomson, who struck an impressive free kick to round off the scoring for the home side.
The Ammies head into Saturday’s fixture in high spirits having defeated Championship side Leeds United on penalties in Round Two of the Carabao Cup during midweek. Premier League Burnley will visit the Peninsula Stadium in the next round.
In the four previous competitive meetings between the two sides, Morecambe have lost two, drawn one and won one, which came in dramatic fashion back in 2021 as two goals in second half added time courtesy of Carlos Mendes Gomes and Aaron Wildig respectively completed an unforgettable comeback.
Last season, Salford enjoyed a largely successful campaign, winning 22, drawing nine and losing 15, which saw them cement a place in the League Two play-offs. Despite taking a 1-0 lead into the second leg, Stockport County eventually progressed through to the final after a dramatic penalty shootout.
Looking at the early stages of this season, City sit 10th, one place above the Shrimps in the table on goal difference having matched each other’s form – winning two, drawing one and losing two.
Manager wood was appointed in May 2022 following tenures within the Manchester United and Aston Villa academies. As a player, the 40-year-old represented the likes of Peterborough United, Oldham Athletic, Blackpool, Burnley and Coventry City, as well as spells abroad for FK Zeljeznicar Sarajevo and Royal Antwerp respectively.
Joint top scorer Callum Hendry has netted three league goals so far this campaign in five League One appearances. Last season, his return across all competitions was 14 in 49. Son of former Blackburn Rovers man Colin, the 25-year-old enjoyed spells north of the border with Brechin City, Aberdeen, Kilmarnock and St. Johnstone before making the move to Greater Manchester.
Newly appointed club captain Alex Cairns kept a clean sheet in an opening day victory over Forest Green Rovers. An experienced man between the sticks, the 30-year-old played 240 times for Fleetwood Town, keeping 77 clean sheets in the process.
Summer arrival Luke Garbutt is another player who boasts a wealth of experience. The Harrogate-born defender has played across all of England’s top four tiers, including five Premier League appearances for Everton. The 30-year-old also represented England from U16 to U21 level, totalling 53 appearances and three goals for the young Three Lions.
Eli King's Pre-Match Thoughts
Cardiff City loanee Eli King says there's no reason why the Shrimps can't continue an impressive home record.
"It's a good game to play in," King said.
"They've got a bit of a repuation and they were up there last year, so they've got a strong team, we know that.
"It's a good challenge and I think we back ourselves at home - the games at home, I think we've played really well.
"Bradford [City] were a big, good team coming here last week and they got beat, so we can do the same I think."
Following his sending off at Harrogate, defender Farrend Rawson misses out through suspension.
JJ McKiernan, who was forced off through injury at the EnviroVent Stadium, is fit.
Meet The Officials
Will Finnie will be the man in the middle on Saturday afternoon. Simon Clayton, Jack Forder and Wayne Grunnill complete the officials’ line-up as linesmen and fourth official respectively.
Finnie has taken charge of seven games so far this campaign; three in League One, two in League Two and two in the Carabao Cup. In those games, he has issued a total of 25 yellow cards and one red.
The official last took charge of a Morecambe game last January, as the Shrimps swept aside Bristol Rovers by five goals to one.
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