Town host a familiar foe this weekend when Salford City make the journey across the Pennines to the EnviroVent Stadium.Although this is the first meeting between the sides in the EFL they are of course well acquainted from their National League days.
Heading into the clash the Ammies have posted back to back draws at home against the top two sides in the league – Newport and Cheltenham - to leave them in ninth spot and just a point off the playoff positions.
In their last game away from home though a 1-0 win at Barrow halted a run of four successive defeats on their travels.
Ones to Watch
Following the curtailment of the 2019/20 season the club bolstered their ranks with a number of new signings who have made immediate impacts so far this season, such as goalkeeper Vaclav Hladky, Tom Clarke, Jason Lowe, Jordan Turnbull and veteran Iain Henderson, who arrived from Rochdale with a good record of goalscoring at this level.
And the move for Henderson has paid off, with him netting five goals over the first third of the season and striking up a partnership with former Manchester United forward James Wilson, who has four goals to his name.
Town will also have to be wary of the midfield threat of Ashley Hunter, who has six goals and three assists so far.
The Man in Charge
Richie Wellens took charge at the Peninsula Stadium in early November after the club had sacked previous boss Graham Alexander, who had guided them to promotion from the National League.
Wellens, who had a lengthy playing career at Blackpool, Oldham, Doncaster and Leicester, has made a positive start at the helm as the club looks to mount a promotion bid.
Prior to joining the club he was previously manager at both Oldham and Swindon, guiding the latter to promotion from League Two last season before departing for his current role.
The club has of course had a rapid rise to reach this level, appearing in the North West Counties League just over a decade ago. The takeover of the club by the ‘Class of 92' in 2014 whilst members of the Norther Premier League kickstarted the rise to Football League status and the club reached National League North in 2016.
The two sides locked horns during City's time at this level with both being promoted in 2018 after a neck and neck battle throughout the season, with Town ultimately progressing through the playoffs with Salford pipping them to the title.
The last meetings between the two sides were in the 2018/19 season in the National League with Salford winning both games, 3-2 at the Peninsula Stadium before securing a late season 1-0 victory in Harrogate.
After being forced off at Exeter on Tuesday night, Town will make a late check on the fitness of skipper Josh Falkingham. If he fails to recover in time it could mean a first start for new-boy Edward Francis, who made his impressive debut as a substitute in the 2-1 win at St James' Park.
Dan Jones, Jack Emmett and Will Smith again remain on the sidelines.
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