Chesterfield will be looking to grab a vital three points in Saturday’s home game with Oldham Athletic, in what is a massive relegation six pointer.
Both sides go in to the game with relatively new managers, with the Latics replacing Stephen Robinson with former Spireites boss John Sheridan joining for his third permanent managerial spell with the Greater Manchester club in early January.
Sitting in similar league positions, the Latics being placed one position below Chesterfield, Caldwell’s men and Oldham come in to the game in similar form. Chesterfield have taken five points in their previous four outings and the Latics have taken six from the same number of games.
Neither side have found life easy in the EFL 1 so far this term and both find themselves in difficult situations in the bottom four. Both clubs will be hoping new January additions will be enough to help them beat the drop.
Oldham have made four signings this window, strengthening their defence with veteran centre-back Anthony Gerrard and promising full-back Rob Hunt on-loan from Championship leaders Brighton. They have also bolstered their attack with powerful forwards Michael Ngoo and Aaron Amadi-Holloway.
With the Latics and the Spireites struggling it should be a tight and hard fought affair with the victor claiming what could prove to be decisive three points.
KEY BATTLE: CHED EVANS V CONNOR RIPLEY
Experienced forward Evans will have to be on top form if he is to find his way past on-loan ‘stopper Ripley in the Oldham goal.
The Middlesbrough loanee has kept 10 clean sheets in the league so far and has been a part of a defensive unit which has conceded only 30 league goals.
Ripley has certainly been a player relied upon many occasion and is a key reason why Oldham are still in with a shout of beating the drop.
OLDHAM PLAYER TO WATCH: AARON AMADI-HOLLOWAY
Sheridan’s new January signing is no stranger to the Latics having played for them on-loan from Wycombe at the end of last season, so despite only just being brought in, the Welsh forward already knows Sheridan’s management technique and playing style and should fit in immediately.
Although not scoring many, the strong forwards work rate and hold-up play can be extremely effective in bringing others in to the game and getting them on the scoresheet.
He is strong in the air and powerful on the ball and will take some stopping by the Spireites defence when he gets going.
OPPOSITION MANAGER: JOHN SHERIDAN
The Manchester born manager is no stranger this area of Derbyshire and will need no introduction to the Chesterfield fans having guided the club to a Johnstone’s Paint Trophy and promotion to League One.
Although after suffering relegation with the club and failing to make an immediate impact after relegation, Sheridan was placed on gardening leave and then later sacked before moving to Plymouth Argyle.
Sheridan is now in his fifth stint as Oldham manager, having been in-charge twice in an interim role and three times permanently.
Most Latics fans would see Sheridan as a club legend at Oldham, having ended his playing career there and has guided the club to some of their most successful campaigns in Oldham’s recent history.
He will be looking to replicate the ‘impossible’ that he achieved at the end of last season In beating the drop with Oldham, with some viewing it as an even greater task than last year despite being fewer points adrift.
Saturday 10th September 2016: Oldham Athletic 0, Chesterfield 0
A bore draw was played out by the two sides in the reverse fixture at Boundary Park, this already being Oldham’s third 0-0 of the season after only seven games.
Both ‘keepers were tested throughout but neither side could make the breakthrough.
Oldham forward Billy McKay, who today left the Latics for a move to Scotland, came the closest brushing the post with an effort from 12-yards, however it wasn’t to be for either side and the points were shared.