Why should I watch..?

Because this fixture is one of the biggest – and most eagerly-anticipated – in the North West Counties League calendar.

1874 Northwich put behind them a midweek defeat at home to Ashton Athletic, which brought to an end an eight-match winning sequence in the Premier Division, when they squeezed past Runcorn Town at Wincham Park on Saturday.

A victory against their old rivals would propel them back into the table’s top 10.

Runcorn Linnets saw their own run of league victories, which had totalled 12, halted by neighbours Widnes at the weekend.

However they remain seven points clear at the standings’ summit.

They will be buoyed too by a 4-2 win in the return game in October.

What they’ve said

“It’s a good thing to have this game before the FA Vase tie because it will keep minds focused on the task at hand.

“People view playing Linnets as important, and if we’re not at our best against a side I consider to be the best in the league then we’ll be in trouble.

“To go down to Leighton with three points from this fixture would be a huge boost.”

Wayne Goodison, 1874 Northwich co-manager

Numbers game

The statistic that 1874 Northwich want desperately to change; they have failed to beat Runcorn Linnets in seven previous attempts

Man to keep an eye on

Matthew Russell

The full-back, signed from Glossop North End last week on dual-registration terms, has been prevented by an injury from starting a game since before Christmas.

However with Lee Jackson now ruled out of next weekend’s FA Vase quarter-final at Leighton Town through suspension, 1874 will likely count on him.

He is no stranger to the club though after making more than 50 appearances last season before returning to the Hillmen.

1874 team news

The visitors are expected to make changes to a side that edged out Runcorn Town at Wincham Park on Saturday.

Sam Hind (hip) and Taylor Kennerley (foot) have recovered from injuries that have prevented them from playing the past fortnight.

Meanwhile management duo Paul Bowyer and Wayne Goodison report that Rory Fallon, Danny Meadowcroft and Matthew Russell will be in the squad along with recent recruit Josh Winthrop.

Jake Parker and Danny Thomas are both unavailable due to work commitments.

Form guide (past six in league)

Linnets L W W W W W

1874 W L W W W W

Most recent meetings

1874 2-4 Linnets (NWCFL Premier Division, October 17 2017)

1874 1-4 Linnets (NWCFL Premier Division, March 11 2017)

Linnets 1-1 1874 (NWCFL Premier Division, September 13 2016)

Essential information

When Tuesday, February 20

Kick-off 7.45pm

Address Millbank Linnets Stadium, Stockham Lane, Murdishaw, Runcorn WA7 6GJ

Admission Adults £6, Concessions £4, Under 16s £1 (or free if accompanied by a paying adult)

Parking Available for free at the ground