MX23RW : Thursday, June 30 00:04:29| >> :600:2695238:2695238:
[monks data]
May 28, 2022 at 4pm UK at Wembley Stadium
0 - 3
Port Vale

Hawkins (30'), Hewitt (44'), Perch (45+4')
Hawkins (35')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Harratt (20'), Wilson (24'), Benning (85')

Preview: Mansfield Town vs. Port Vale - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's League Two clash between Mansfield Town and Port Vale, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Mansfield Town and Port Vale meet in the League Two playoff final on Saturday afternoon having come through tense semi-final fixtures.

However, it leaves both clubs with plenty of momentum ahead of the showpiece at Wembley Stadium, the reward on offer a place in the third tier.

Match preview

Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough pictured on December 2, 2020© Reuters

Having not won more than two games in succession since the end of January, Mansfield would have counted themselves fortunate to make the playoffs, particularly as they ended the campaign with successive draws.

Nevertheless, despite only claiming seventh position by a point, Nigel Clough's team are now the marginal favourites for promotion courtesy of their performances against third-placed Northampton Town in the semi-finals.

There were times during the two legs when Northampton had their moments, but as soon Mansfield opened up an early two-goal advantage in the opening fixture, they generally controlled the tie.

The Stags are now on a six-match unbeaten run with two goals being scored in five of those matches, the only time they did not being when they were defending their aggregate advantage versus the Cobblers.

The fact that Mansfield are in their current position with leading marksman Rhys Oates having netted just once since March 29 highlights how the team have benefitted from the goals being shared around this group of players.

The same can be said for Vale with three of their players being in double figures without any of them having scored more than 12 times.

A statistic which sticks out heading into this fixture is that Vale's last three wins have all come by 1-0 scorelines, with four defeats coming during that run.

You have to go all the way back to April 9 for the last time that Darrell Clarke's team scored more than once in a game, but the Vale boss will not care having witnessed his team battle their way to some important results.

Penalties were required to eventually see off Swindon Town in the semi-finals, Vale impressively fighting back having earlier found themselves trailing by a 2-0 deficit on aggregate after 68 minutes of the tie.

James Wilson has now scored in three successive appearances, and he will hope to continue that streak as Vale look to build on having already collected four points from Mansfield during the regular campaign.

Mansfield Town League Two form:
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • W

Port Vale League Two form:
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W

Team News

Port Vale manager Darrell Clarke applauds fans after the match on January 8, 2022© Reuters

Mansfield will hope to have George Maris available after he was forced to miss the second leg with Northampton through injury.

Jamie Murphy and Matty Longstaff also dropped down to the substitutes' bench for that fixture, the latter the most likely to be recalled to the team.

That would create the possibility of several pieces of tinkering, John-Joe O'Toole reverting back to centre-back, James Perch to right-back and Elliott Hewitt possibly missing out.

Jake Taylor and Harry Charsley are competing for one place in the Vale midfield, while Malvind Benning is expected to feature on the left flank.

Despite having not scored since the middle of March, Kian Harratt appears likely to get the nod over Ryan Edmondson in attack.

Mansfield Town possible starting lineup:
Bishop; Perch, Hawkins, O'Toole, McLaughlin; Longstaff, Wallace, Quinn; Akins, Oates, Bowery

Port Vale possible starting lineup:
Stone; Gibbons, Hall, Smith; Worrall, Pett, Taylor, Benning; Garrity; Wilson, Harratt

SM words green background

We say: Mansfield Town 2-1 Port Vale

Form almost goes out of the window at this stage, but that is not to say that Mansfield have not looked the more secure side in recent matches. Having won each of their two games with Northampton, it leaves us to predict a narrow victory for Clough's side, who may benefit from a fast start.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 2.5:data

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