Yeovil Town take on Cheltenham Town at Huish Park tomorrow in a League One match that is vital to their aims to stay clear of the bottom seven pack that are currently cut away by five points from the Glovers who are sat in 17th place. Cheltenham are one of those clubs sat five points away, in 19th place, and so by 5.00pm the two clubs could be as little as two points apart, or as many as eight points apart. On that basis, can we get through the rest of this preview without saying the phrase "six-pointer"?
The Glovers go into tomorrow's game with the injury position from last weekend more or less unchanged, although a quartet of players lie on the verge of being available for selection. Midfielder Marc Bircham (hamstring) and winger Zoltan Stieber (thigh) returned to training yesterday whilst the plan was for Matthew Rose (ankle) and Martin Woods (ankle) to return to training today. The chances are of course that tomorrow's match may come a little too soon for the four players, although one or two may sneak onto the bench.
There are of course some definite absentees though. Long term injury victims Lee Morris (knee), Steve Mildenhall (knee ligaments), Nathan Jones (broken arm) are joined by Stephen Maher who serves the first of a three match ban and Lee Peltier who serves the first of a two match ban. The loss of Peltier is likely to be the biggest headache, with manager Russell Slade facing a dilemma of whether to drop Craig Alcock or Terrell Forbes into that position, or whether to take a chance on Rose's fitness. Probably the least likely of the club's right-backs is Mark Lynch, who is currently covering in the opposite full-back position.
Cheltenham go into the match with a number of players short of fitness or in the middle of rehabilitation. Gavin Caines (knee) and John Finnigan (ankle) are not expected to play again this season. Michael Townsend (illness) played 90 minutes for the Reserves in midweek and so could figure, although is unlikely to be much more than a bench warmer. Ditto midfielder Alex Russell, who has had stomach muscle problems, but is back in training and so is likely to be back in their sixteen. One player that won't be though is midfielder Scott Brown who is in the middle of a three match suspension.
Of course one of the biggest 'stories' of tomorrow's game will be the return of Yeovil-born Andy Lindegaard to the town he was born in. Most of Lindy's family will be in the Yeovil end praying that he doesn't score against the club he had spent his entire professional career at until being released last summer. Another former Glover making a more regular return is fellow full-back Jerry Gill. With Gill normally occupying the right-back slot, expect to see Lindy playing in a more advanced role up on the right wing.
In terms of form, Cheltenham go into the match having not won for five games, albeit with three of those matches ending up in draws. They've also not won on their travels for five matches, and have only won twice away from Whaddon Road all season. Their main dangermen are Steven Gillespie, who has netted eight league goals this season, and Bristol City striker Steve Brooker who has scored three times during a loan period, and looks at last to be finding his shooting boots, with all of those three goals having come in their last three matches.
The game kicks off at 3.00pm, and if you've not bought your ticket yet don't forget that the club are running a combination ticket offer that allows you to purchase your ticket for Tuesday's Millwall game at a discounted price. If you're considering going to both games, see our March 4th News Item for full details on how to take advantage of this offer.
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