Stevenage host Port Vale this weekend, with both teams in need of a victory. The home side are the favourite to win the game, however their most recent encounter saw the Valiants win 2-0.
Steve Evans’ side sit in fifth place after 13 games on 21 points, which is somewhat of an achievement considering they were promoted to League One this season. In front of goal, Jamie Reid has taken on a lot of the goal scoring responsibility, netting eight times which is 44% of Stevenage’s goals. Their overall record and goals scored is actually better whilst travelling than at home but defensively, they are always solid, conceding an average of 1.15 per match.
That said, Stevenage suffered a 3-0 defeat away to Blackpool last time out. The hosts applied pressure from the start, dominated the ball and opened the scoring in the 38th minute, yet the second half saw a swing in play. Boro began to see more of the ball but they were unable to break down Blackpool, who scored twice on the break between the hour mark and the 80th minute.
The Valiants started the season in excellent fashion, winning five of their six games after the opening weekend 7-0 defeat to Barnsley. However, they have struggled massively in recent weeks, losing four of their last five in the the league. This puts Port Vale in 11th place after 12 matches. Their main issue has been in attack, as they’ve scored an average of less than one a game and when you combine that with the fact they’ve conceded the second highest average per match, alarm bells start ringing.
Port Vale didn’t play last weekend, but their most recent match saw them lose 2-0 on the road to Portsmouth. Andy Crosby’s side held their own in the game and matched the hots for shots, but they were unable to take their chances. They conceded the two goals five minutes apart just after the break and never recovered from that point on. That was the third match in a row that Port Vale have not scored in.
Port Vale have problems at both ends of the field but their poor run in front of goal is the biggest concern, especially as Stevenage are strong at the back. The game should be close, but the hosts may just steal all three points.
The final prediction is Stevenage 2-0 Port Vale.