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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Big Match Preview

Tranmere Rovers vs. Plymouth Argyle
Saturday November 13, 15:00, Prenton Park

Two sides who've had indifferent starts to their League One campaigns meet on the Wirral this weekend as Tranmere Rovers entertain Plymouth Argyle.

With just three points separating them in the bottom half, both managers will be aware this is a game they can't afford to lose.

For Tranmere, currently in the bottom four, it's looking like a second successive battle against the drop at Prenton Park.

Les Parry's men only survived on the final day of
last season after the former physio was left to turn around a torrid start to the campaign under John Barnes.

However, they've struggled again this term, and last week exited the FA Cup at the first hurdle after a topsy-turvy 5-3 loss at Bournemouth.

Parry will be aware Tranmere's hopes of staying up will largely depend on their home form, where they've enjoyed mixed results to date.

Wins have been earned against MK Dons and Peterborough, but they've also been beaten at Prenton Park by Bournemouth, Brentford, and Oldham.

Once again, much rests on the shoulders of striker Ian Thomas-Moore who is joint top scorer with six alongside much-travelled summer signing Enoch Showunmi.

Peter Reid is battling to turn around Argyle's fortunes after relegation

While Rovers might have expected to have a battle on their hands, it's been an underwhelming start to the campaign for their opponents this weekend.

Plymouth were relegated from the Championship last term and hoped to challenge for an immediate return after the appointment of the experienced Peter Reid.

However, it's been a struggle to date for the former Sunderland boss with the Devon side currently sitting in the bottom half and closer to the relegation zone than the top six.

They also suffered a heavy 4-0 loss at home to Swindon in the FA Cup last weekend, so will be keen to bounce back on their travels on Saturday.

Their away form includes impressive victories at Swindon and Southampton, but they have also lost at the likes of Walsall, Oldham, and Notts County.

That inconsistent form has been tempered by the superb form of Bradley Wright-Phillips, however. The striker has 10 goals already, making him the top scorer in the division.

This is a meeting between a Plymouth side who seem more suited to playing away against a Tranmere team who are better at Prenton Park than on their travels.

For that reason, along with the fact that the two teams have been in and around each other this term, this one has draw written all over it.

Nobes' Prediction: Tranmere Rovers 1 Plymouth Argyle 1

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