Salford City welcome Oldham Athletic to The Peninsula Stadium on Saturday in the first derby of the season.
A match that will miss the presence of fans more than most will hopefully still live up to expectations.
The Ammies have had the benefit of an extra couple of days’ rest after Tuesday night’s trip to Scunthorpe United was postponed. However it leaves Salford with catching up to do at some point, and all The Ammies can do in the meantime is pick up as many points as possible.
Interim Head Coach Paul Scholes comes up against his former side for the first time, and isn’t expecting it to be straightforward.
“[I’m] looking forward to it, it won’t be easy but I don’t think any games in this league are going to be easy. They’ve got some good players, they’ve had a couple of really good results they beat Bolton away and they beat Southend away so it’s a team we’ve got to be wary of, but with the players we’ve got I’ve got every confidence we can win the game.
“I think we would have rather played the game [on Tuesday], we were all set to go to Scunthorpe and try and win the game but as you said it’s given us an extra few days to rest and recover from a tough game against Crawley.
“We were a little bit tired I thought towards the end of that game so lads have had a really good chance to, we’ve got some work into them but enough to get some rest as well, so it came at not a bad time I think and hopefully with that little break everyone’s fresh and ready to go tomorrow.
“In this league it’s going to be tough, they should be up for the game they should be ready to go, the attitude should be right and I think it is. But we really don’t know until we’ve played the game tomorrow.
“We’re all good, I think everybody’s trained more or less, there’s only Richie Towell who’s out.”
The Latics underwent another change in the summer when Harry Kewell came in to replace Dino Maamria. The Australian is the eighth permanent manager of Abdallah Lemsagam’s ownership, but has started to find his team and performances in recent games.
Oldham have picked up seven points from the last five games which is the joint best in the bottom half and in Zak Dearnley have a striker in form; the former Manchester United striker has scored in each of the last four games, and has five in six. Conor McAleny too is having a decent season after joining from Fleetwood Town in the summer, while at the back Carl Piergianni is a presence Salford know all too well.
Last season Salford produced a wonderful display to win at Boundary Park, but a tougher Oldham side left the Peninsula Stadium with a 1-1 draw after Danny Rowe cancelled out Brandon Thomas-Asante’s opener.
HOW TO WATCH
The game is behind closed doors but supporters can watch the game via live.salfordcityfc.co.uk for £10 in the UK or £7 abroad.
Click here for more information about streaming the game.