Bury v Tranmere preview

Team news ahead of the New Year's Day clash between Bury and Tranmere at Gigg Lane.

Last Updated: 31/12/12 at 10:46

Carole: Hoping for a starting berth

Carole: Hoping for a starting berth

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Sebastien Carole is pushing for a start when Bury host the League One leaders.

Carole was introduced as a half-time substitute for Troy Hewitt with the Shakers 2-0 down at Carlisle on Saturday and the former Leeds midfielder played his part in an improved display after the break that could not avert a 2-1 defeat.

Boss Kevin Blackwell suggested in his post-match remarks that striker Tom Hopper could be rested due to fatigue.

On-loan Leicester forward Hopper has not found the net in 12 matches since October's 2-1 win over Hartlepool.

However with Andy Bishop sidelined due to a foot injury and fellow forwards David Healy (flu) and Lenell John-Lewis (foot) also missing from the matchday squad at the weekend - Blackwell could only name six substitutes - the 19-year-old may have to continue.

Defenders Adam Lockwood (groin) and Phil Picken (knee) are long-term absentees.

Weekend match-winner Cole Stockton could push for a place in Tranmere's starting line-up.

Stockton was introduced as a half-time substitute up front against Scunthorpe in place of Michael O'Halloran and scored the game's only goal which, along with Sheffield United's shock defeat at home to Hartlepool, sent Rovers back to the top of the table.

Captain James Wallace remains out with a medial knee ligament injury, while fellow midfielder Liam Palmer and top scorer Jake Cassidy are due to play the final games of their respective loan spells from Sheffield Wednesday and Wolves.

Tranmere boss Ronnie Moore is hoping to agree an extension for Bolton's O'Halloran, whose current spell expires after the FA Cup third-round tie against Derby, but Cassidy will return to Wolves as previously arranged and Palmer's situation is complicated by negotiations over a new contract at Hillsborough.

Moore told his club's official website: "We've spoken to Bolton about Michael, we're hoping we can extend his loan for a month. I'm just waiting on their manager (Dougie Freedman) to come back to me.

"Palms has been offered a new contract at Sheffield Wednesday and if he doesn't sign it they're going to take him back.

"He's due back after the Bury game but we're hoping we can speak to Dave Jones and get him to agree to let him come back here. We'll have to wait and see.

"Cass, we've just got to wait. But I won't wait too long and if I can get another striker in I will."

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