Port Vale v Cheltenham preview

Team news for Friday's League Two clash between Port Vale and Cheltenham at Vale Park.

Last Updated: 28/03/13 at 16:04

Doug Loft: Back for Valiants

Doug Loft: Back for Valiants

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Captain Doug Loft will come back into the Port Vale squad following his return from suspension.

Loft has missed the last three matches and could replace Chris Birchall in the starting XI following his exertions while on international duty with Trinidad & Tobago.

Manager Micky Adams will also be boosted by the return of full-backs Richard Duffy and Dan Jones and experienced centre-half Darren Purse as he looks to get the Valiants back on track at Vale Park, where they have lost three times during a four-game winless run.

Right-back Duffy comes back into the reckoning after a virus and left-back Jones is fit again following a knee injury.

Purse would have missed last Saturday's postponed home game against Aldershot with a calf strain but the 36-year-old has resumed training and is back in contention after a two-match absence.

Midfielder Sam Morsy will complete a suspension while winger Ashley Vincent remains sidelined with the ankle injury he suffered against Bristol Rovers on March 12 but the problem is not as bad as initially feared and he is expected to return before the end of the season.

Cheltenham are sweating on the fitness of winger Kaid Mohamed and captain Russ Penn for the trip to Vale Park.

The duo, who both have knee injuries, are doubts for the clash with fellow promotion-hopefuls Port Vale. Jason Taylor replaced Penn with 23 minutes remaining of the 0-0 draw with Barnet and he could get the nod if the skipper fails a fitness test.

Manager Mark Yates will have new signing Jack Deaman available. The 19-year-old centre-back has joined on loan from Birmingham until the end of the season and trained with his new team mates on Thursday.

Fellow defender Michael Hector extended his stint with Cheltenham from Reading and is set to continue at centre-back.

The Robins visit second-placed Vale before hosting another of their rivals for a top-three place Northampton on Monday.

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