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Preview: Morecambe vs. Newport County - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Monday's League Two clash between Morecambe and Newport County, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Morecambe and Newport County meet in the League Two playoff final on Monday afternoon having come through two hard-fought semi-final ties.

While Morecambe were able to edge out Tranmere Rovers, their opponents came out on top on aggregate after a memorable second leg with Forest Green Rovers.

Match preview

Morecambe's Liam McAlinden celebrates scoring against Tranmere Rovers on May 20, 2021© Reuters

Having spent 14 years competing in League Two, Morecambe finally have the opportunity to take what will feel like a giant leap into the third tier of English football.

With only one top-10 finish during that time, it highlights the size of the achievement of Derek Adams's squad, who have found themselves in contention for automatic promotion since the early weeks of the campaign.

While there was disappointment at missing out to the likes of Cambridge United and Bolton Wanderers, the Shrimps can take confidence from winning six of their last eight matches.

Tranmere managed to hold them to a 1-1 draw in the second leg of the semi-finals, but Morecambe deserve full credit for seeing out a 3-2 aggregate triumph in front of their returning supporters.

However, the North-West outfit were defeated in both of the fixtures against Newport during the regular campaign, something which can only add to the feeling that their opponents have the edge ahead of the showdown at Wembley Stadium.

Newport County manager Michael Flynn in January 2021© Reuters

Consistency has not necessarily been Newport's strong point since the middle of December with consecutive wins few and far between over the past six months.

Nevertheless, Michael Flynn and his squad will feel that it is now irrelevant after the character which was shown in edging out Forest Green over two legs.

Despite losing 4-3 after extra time on the night, two goals in the closing 15 minutes of normal time were followed by Nicky Maynard's pivotal strike in the 119th minute.

Kevin Ellison is getting plenty of attention in the press courtesy of his rivalry with former boss Adams, but the fact that none of this squad have reached double figures for goals tells you that it has taken a united effort to move the club to the brink of a first appearance in the third tier since 1987.

Morecambe League Two form:
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D

Newport County League Two form:
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • L

Team News

Morecambe manager Derek Adams pictured on January 10, 2021© Reuters

Morecambe are able to call upon Kelvin Mellor after the right-sided player missed out on the playoffs through suspension.

However, Ryan Cooney is expected to keep his place at full-back, with Liam Gibson retaining his spot ahead of Stephen Hendrie on the opposite side of defence.

Liam McAlinden, who made just six starts during the regular season should start on the right flank after having a hand in each of Morecambe's goals against Tranmere.

All three of Newport's goals in the second leg against Forest Green were scored by substitutes, leaving Flynn with plenty to ponder before naming his team.

Midfielder Joss Labadie is most likely to earn a recall to the starting lineup, potentially at the expense of Anthony Hartigan.

However, veterans Ellison and Maynard are expected to be kept among the replacements.

Morecambe possible starting lineup:
Letheren; Cooney, Knight-Percival, Lavelle, Gibson; Songo'o, Diagouraga; McAlinden, Wildig, Gomes; Stockton

Newport County possible starting lineup:
King; Shepherd, Bennett, Demetriou; Lewis, Labadie, Sheehan, Dolan, Haynes; Taylor, Collins

SM words green background

We say: Morecambe 1-2 Newport County

Having encountered less stress in the semi-finals, many will be tipping Morecambe to have the edge in this contest. However, we feel that Newport have more momentum, something which could make all the difference at the crucial stages on Monday.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win 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.Home/Away:data

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Michael Flynn in charge of Newport County on December 1, 2018
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