We analyse Morecambe's form so far this season, take a look at some previous encounters, identify their key man for the hosts and also profile the man at the helm…
A similar start…
Morecambe currently sit one place below the Reds in the table in 21st place, with both sides on 10 points after the first eleven league matches.
Their two victories have both come on home soil – one of which was on the opening day of the campaign. They defeated Cheltenham Town 2-1 at the Globe Arena, with a double from the experience Garry Thompson cancelling out Mohammed Eisa’s first half effort.
The other win came at home to Newport County in the middle of September where a brace from Kevin Ellison was enough to give Jim Bentley’s men a welcome three points. The side have picked up three points on the road with draws at Lincoln City, Cambridge United, and Yeovil Town respectively, as well as ending all square at home to Luton Town with a 0-0 draw.
Two in a row?
Last year’s meeting between the two teams at the Globe Arena ended in a dramatic 3-2 win for the Reds – and that victory was our first ever over Morecambe in the Football League. Goals from Adi Yussuf, James Collins and Jimmy Smith gave the side a much-needed win with all five goals in a memorable contest coming inside the final 18 minutes of the game.
Before that, the other point we picked up against the Shrimpers was in the 2011/12 season – our first in the Football League, where a goal from Scott Neilson meant the sides drew 1-1.
Harry Kewell’s men will be hoping for a similar result this weekend to follow up last season’s three points in Lancashire.
Keep an eye on…
Four goals in six league matches makes Kevin Ellison the side’s top goalscorer so far this season. His first came in a home defeat to Accrington Stanley at the start of September, before he was also on target away to Yeovil Town in the 2-2 draw.
His brace gave the side their aforementioned victory over Newport County last month, and at the age 38 he remains a key player for the side.
At the helm…
Jim Bentley has been in charge at the Globe Arena since 2011, having taken charge of over 300 games. Bentley was originally signed as a player-coach during that time but went on to focus primarily on his role off the pitch – resulting in numerous contract extensions since.
The fan favourite and former defender also spent 10 years at the club as a player too, amassing over 300 appearances and scoring 34 goals in the process.
Making the trip?
Away supporters can buy on the day at the Globe Arena – find the prices here.