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Match Previews

PREVIEW | Exiles welcome Salford City in first league fixture of 2021

15 January 2021

Newport County AFC kick off their 2021 league fixtures with the visit of Salford City to Rodney Parade on Saturday afternoon.

The Ammies have become a familiar foe for County this season, with the teams having met twice already. It is sure to be a tight affair, with County's two games in hand ensuring just two points separate the sides.

Here, you can find all the facts and statistics ahead of this SkyBet League Two fixture...

The opposition - Salford City

Salford City remain in the hunt for promotion this season, currently sitting in fifth place in the Sky Bet League Two table. City have managed 36 points so far from their 22 games, winning 10 of their matches.

Salford started the season losing just one of their opening nine league fixtures, picking up four wins during this run. However, backt-to-back defeats temporarily halted their progress.

Since then, the Ammies have rediscovered their form that now sees them three points off the top of the table, and they will be heading into the weekend’s game off the back of an away victory against Scunthorpe.

Team news

Last week’s Emirates FA Cup tie saw a few faces return for the Exiles. Joss Labadie and Ryan Taylor returned, while David Longe-King made his first start for the club since joining in the summer window. Saturday could also bring debuts for the three new loan signings in Jack Evans, Jake Scrimshaw and Owen Windsor.

One blip on the injury front is that Robbie Wilmott, who was forced off early against Brighton, could miss out on Saturday's action.

Salford reported no new injury concerns for their match with Scunthorpe on Tuesday, but remain without Richie Towell and Darren Gibson.

One to watch – James Wilson

James Wilson currently has seven goals in 19 appearances in all competitions so far for Salford, making him their second top scorer. Six of his strikes have come in the league, with the other coming in the Papa John’s Trophy.

Throughout October, the 25-year-old went on a run of five goals in seven appearances for the Ammies, with his side remaining unbeaten in every game he scored in. But he only has two goals since that run of games and is without one in his last three, so he will be hoping to end this run on Saturday.

The Englishman started his career at Manchester United, scoring twice on his debut for the first team. He has since played for Brighton & Hove Albion, Derby County, Sheffield United and Aberdeen.

Manager – Richie Wellens

Richie Wellens was appointed at the Peninsula Stadium at the beginning of November until the end of 2022/23, replacing interim boss Paul Scholes.

Since taking over at Salford, Wellens has seen his team win six of their 12 Sky Bet League Two matches, picking up 20 points to propel themselves into promotion contention.

Wellens joined Salford from Swindon Town, with whom he won the Sky Bet League Two title last season. Prior to Swindon, the 40-year-old held the Oldham Athletic job in the 2017/18 campaign.

Last meeting between the sides

County and Salford shared the spoils in their last meeting in December, with a last-gasp Josh Sheehan penalty rescuing a draw for the Exiles.

County had gone behind through a Tom Clarke header, but an inspired performance from Nick Townsend, including a penalty save, kept them in the match until the dying stages, when Sheehan stepped up from the spot.

The two sides have also met in the Emirates FA Cup second round this season where County came out 3-0 winners after goals from Jamie Proctor, Padraig Amond and Saikou Janneh.


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