It was almost, I repeat almost time for me to write about a Macclesfield Town win. However, this was not the case as Macc conceded in the 85th minute against Cheltenham this past Tuesday resulting in a 1-1 draw.
Nevertheless, It’s nice to be writing about a draw rather than a loss. But to be writing about a draw in the manner it happened, it is a disappointment.
Danny Whitaker grabbed Macc’s goal in the 19th minute, before Immanuelson Duku leveled for the visitors on the 85th minute. Statistically, the home-side were the better team, with more overall shots (13) and more shots on target (six) than Cheltenham.
Tuesday’s final scoreline resulted in the sacking of Cheltenham manager Gary Johnson. Both teams now sit 22nd (Cheltenham) and 23rd (Macclesfield) in the table with one point – Cheltenham have a better goal differences.
Looking ahead to this Saturdays game, the Silkmen face 10th place Mansfield Town at Moss Rose. This is the club’s second home league game in five days.
Mansfield come into the game with one win and three draws in league so far, their most recent result being a 0-0 draw with Tranmere Rovers on Tuesday night.
The Stags beat Newport county 3-0 on the opening day of League Two, but have since struggled to get three points.
David Flitcroft seems to favour a 3-4-1-1 formation, but has also used a 4-2-3-1 formation this season.
Mansfield will be tough competition for the Silkmen, as they are currently undefeated since April 10th.
Midfielders Elliot Durrell and Ryan Lloyd will missed the game as they continue rehabilitation. Whilst Peter Vincenti and Ben Stephens could potentially feature on Saturday, but that depends on their fitness.
Stags’ defender Matt Preston will be absent from the game due to a concussion he sustained against Yeovil in their 2-2 draw earlier this month.
Both David Mirfin and Zander Diamond will also miss the game as they continue their recoveries from long-term knee and back injuries.
The last Football League meeting between the two sides was in April 2008, the game ended in a 0-0 draw.
However, the clubs have met since in the then Blue Square Bet Premier in April 2013. The game ended 3-1 to this Saturdays visitors, with Matt Green, Luke Jones and Lee Stevenson grabbing the goals for Mansfield, whilst Pablo Mills got on the scoresheet for the Silkmen.
Tuesdays game saw Mark Yates yet against opt for a different formation. This time setting his team up in a 4-3-3.
Loanee-goalkeeper Kieran O’Hara made his debut on Tuesday, I expect him to remain between the sticks against Mansfield. Miles Welch-Hayes and Callum Maycock were dropped, this allowed James Pearson to start at right back and Koby Arhur to shift to centre midfield. Nathan Blissett came in for Malachi Napa, whilst Scott Wilson filled the void up front that Arthur left.
After gaining his first point as the Silkmen boss, I don’t expect Mark Yates to make any changes to his starting XI. However, if Vincenti is fit, I can see him making the bench.
With that being said, here is my predicted Macc starting XI (4-3-3):
GK – Kieran O’Hara
RB – James Pearson
CB – Fiacre Kelleher
CB – Jamie Grimes
LB – David Fitzpatrick
CM – Danny Whitaker
CM – Michael Rose
CM – Koby Arthur
RW – Nathan Blissett
ST – Scott Wilson
LW – Harry Smith
Finally, to the score prediction. After a disappointing last few minutes against Cheltenham and the current undefeated run Mansfield have, I can’t the Silkmen coming away with the three points.
Macclesfield 1-2 Mansfield
Picture Credit: Macclesfield Town