Why should I watch..?

To see how Northwich Victoria respond to a 2-0 defeat in a midweek derby encounter with their neighbours 1874 Northwich.

Steve Wilkes’ side will be hoping to record a first league victory since the turn of the year after following successive draws at Barnoldswick and Congleton (both 1-1) with back-to-back defeats on home turf.

They have slipped to 12th in the North West Counties League top-flight as a result.

Squires Gate are similarly keen to return to winning ways after going down 4-2 at Padiham last weekend – their first reverse in 2018.

Their home form gives reason to be optimistic; they are unbeaten in their past seven Premier Division fixtures in front of their own supporters, winning six of those.

What they’ve said

“The new players are settling in well, and that helps with one eye now on next season.

“I’ve got 19 players to pick from this weekend, although it’s disappointing Brian Matthews isn’t one of them after he had a couple of stitches in his shin following a tackle in midweek.”

Steve Wilkes, Northwich Victoria manager

Numbers game

Vics are attempting to end a four-match run without a win, their longest sequence without collecting maximum points since Steve Wilkes was appointed as manager

Man to keep an eye on

Olly Walker

He was introduced to Vics’ attack in place of Brian Matthews when the striker limped out of Tuesday’s game against 1874 Northwich with an injury.

If asked to lead the line, along with Jay Hart, at Squires Gate then he has an opportunity to show what he can do.

A late winner in a 3-2 victory against Hanley before Christmas is proof he can deliver when the team needs him.

Vics team news

Manager Steve Wilkes has suffered a blow after discovering that leading goal-scorer Brian Matthews faces a spell on the side-lines after suffering a nasty gash to his shin during a midweek defeat against 1874 Northwich.

Liam Bickett, Adam Lawrence and Ian Willis all return to the squad after missing that game, but Daniel Johnson is suspended.

Yaw Gyimah (knee) is ruled out by injury too.

Form guide (past six in league)

Squires Gate L W D L D W

Vics L L D D W W

Most recent meetings

None; this is a first competitive meeting between the teams

Essential information

When Saturday, February 3

Kick-off 3pm

Address Brian Addison Stadium, School Road, Marton, Blackpool, Lancashire FY4 5DS

Admission Adults £6, Concessions £3, Accompanied under 12s Free

Parking Available at the front of the club on School Road. Overflow spaces are available at Common Edge.