Port Vale recorded their fifth consecutive victory on the road when they won Exeter 2-0 last weekend to move second in League Two, but they are now back on familiar soil as they welcome Oxford United.
Tom Pope has been in unstoppable form this season, bagging a brace at St James’ Park to bring his league tally to 11, and this week stated that wingers Jennison Myrie-Williams and Ashley Vincent are “a pleasure to play with,” as Vale lie just three points behind league leaders Gillingham.
The striker also netted in midweek in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy clash against Walsall, along with Ryan Burge, as Micky Adams’ side beat their League One opponents on penalties after holding them to a 2-2 draw.
Oxford, meanwhile, held the table-topping Gills 0-0 at home last Saturday, ending their opponents’ 100% away record in the process as they look to recover from their five-match losing streak in September. They were indebted to goalkeeper Ryan Clarke for the point after he made a string of outstanding saves.
The U's are halfway between the relegation zone and the play-off places, having taken four points from their last two home games, although they have lost all but one of their league fixtures on the road.
However, a 4-2 victory away at Cheltenham in the JPT will boost their confidence on the road, with Tom Craddock, Harry Worley, James Constable and Peter Leven all finding their shooting boots.
Even so, they should find the Monday evening trip to Staffordshire too difficult to overcome and Port Vale are likely to claim their eighth win of the campaign, with that man Pope yet again the catalyst for three points.Liz Owen
Verdict: Port Vale 2-0 Oxford
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