PREVIEW: Fleetwood Town v Wanderers

Wanderers head north to Fleetwood Town looking to regain their place back in League One’s top six.

The Whites will return to the play-off zone if they become the third team – after Barnsley and Shrewsbury – to win a league game at the Highbury Stadium this season.

Ian Evatt’s men play their last league game of the month before a Papa Johns Trophy tie at home to Barrow next Tuesday night.

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Manager quotes

Ian Evatt: “They have been hard to beat this season. They’ve only lost four games and been competitive in virtually every game.

“We know it’s going to be a challenging game. They’re always good at home, so we need to make sure we go and play to the levels I know we can get to.

“I saw glimpses last week. I thought we had more consistent good spells in that game, especially away from home at a difficult place to go.

“Let’s build on those moments this week and try to have them more consistently and try and get the right result.

“We’re okay with where we’re at. We want and think we can be doing better. We’re honest enough to know that and we’re working extremely hard on the training pitch to put things right. But I don’t think there’s a great deal wrong.”

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Fleetwood manager Scott Brown: “We need to turn the draws into wins and keep looking forward. We need to get more wins at home.

“It’s important you have that understanding of when we do play at home, we are a hard team to beat and that it isn’t going to be a bog-standard draw.

“Ian has done a great job there and we know they’re a possession-based team who also like to create lots of chances.

“They have scored 19 goals this season, similar to us in that respect, and conceded 17 goals and that’s maybe why they have changed shape.

“I know we have changed shape in recent weeks but for us, it’s going to be a good day because they might switch it up and go man for man with us. We need to deal with whatever structure they bring to the game.”

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Team news

Wanderers will be without former Fleetwood midfielder Kyle Dempsey who serves a one-match ban following his dismissal at Cambridge last Saturday.

Striker Amadou Bakayoko is unavailable due to international duty but midfield man MJ Williams is available following suspension.

The Whites will check on Jon Dadi Bodvarsson and Kieran Lee following illness but Will Aimson and Lloyd Isgrove remain out through injury.

Fleetwood are without injured on-loan Luton striker Admiral Muskwe, while defender Darnell Johnson is still yet to figure this season.

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Form guide

Wanderers have lost just one of their last five league games and still hold the joint best defensive record in the division following a clean sheet in last Saturday's 0-0 draw at the Abbey Stadium.

The Whites have taken four points from their last two away games and been beaten three times in eight away games this season.

Fleetwood are unbeaten in five games in league and cup.

The ‘Cods’ – who are 16th in the table – have drawn 10 of their 18 league games so far, including five at home.

The two sides are yet to draw in their previous six meetings.

Officials

Referee: James Bell

Assistant referees: James Wilson and Akil Howson

Fourth official: Benjamin Speedie

Kick-off

Saturday 3pm

Coverage

All Wanderers’ games in the run-up to Christmas during the World Cup Finals will be available to watch live on iFollow with a £10 video match pass. For full details click HERE and to buy go HERE

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