Tranmere have struggled for results after winning the play-offs in League Two last season, and may well be in for a relegation scrap to retain their newfound third-tier status this season - they can perhaps consider themselves a little fortunate that they're only out of the bottom three by virtue of two teams in even more diabolical form than they are (Wimbledon and Southend) and another beleaguered with off-field issues (Bolton). It's just two wins and three draws from 11 games so far.
They showed some signs of life last month, drawing 2-2 with free-scoring Peterborough before going on to beat Burton 2-1, but since then they've been well-beaten by Ipswich (4-1) and Shrewsbury (0-1 on home soil). They're also particularly poor on the road: they've lost four of five games away from home so far this season, drawing the other, scoring just twice in total and conceding 12.
Left winger Connor Jenkins sits this one out after picking up a red card last weekend, while veteran striker Ishmael Miller remains sidelined, yet to appear this season. Striker Stefan Payne has a reasonable return of four goals so far; he'll continue to lead the line, but he's not quite filling the void left by last season's talisman James Norwood.