The Hatters' form has dipped significantly of late, but they are still on for promotion from League Two, while the Shots are hoping to reach the fourth tier next year.
Since the 2-2 draw with Aldershot at a sold-out Electrical Services Stadium on December 3, Stockport's winless run in all competitions has extended from three to five matches, with a 2-0 loss at Wigan Athletic in the EFL Trophy and a share of the spoils from the trip to Morecambe on the weekend.
The Hatters were close to losing for only the fifth time in League Two this season at the Mazuma Stadium when Michael Mellon put the hosts ahead in the 70th minute, but the promotion-chasing visitors were able to snatch a point courtesy of a Kyle Wootton strike with three minutes of normal time remaining.
Largely because of their record-breaking start to the 2023-24 term - which saw Stockport enjoy a 13-game unbeaten streak in the league - Dave Challinor's men remain top of the fourth-tier tree heading into a busy Christmas schedule, with fourth-placed Mansfield Town seven points behind.
Stockport's downturn in form has coincided with Isaac Olaofe misplacing his clinical edge in recent fixtures, with the 24-year-old making the net ripple on just one occasion in the last eight matches across all competitions, although he still boasts an impressive tally of 12 league strikes so far.
The Hatters have managed to navigate their way to the third round of the FA Cup in two of the last three campaigns, but you have to wind the clocks back to 2001 for the last time they progressed into the fourth round, when Tottenham Hotspur smashed County 4-0 in the last 16.
Aldershot will be looking to continue their good form in knockout competitions at Edgeley Park on Wednesday night, with the National League side getting past Eastleigh in dramatic fashion to secure a place in the fourth round of the FA Trophy on Saturday afternoon at Silverlake Stadium.
The Spitfires raced into a two-goal lead after 55 minutes thanks to strikes from Jayden Harris and Paul McCallum, but Ludwig Francillette's sending off changed the contest, helping the Shots to draw level and ultimately win a penalty shootout 5-4, with Jack Barham netting the decisive goal from 12 yards out.
Having forced a replay with fourth-tier leads Stockport and smashing Swindon Town 7-4 in round two of the FA Cup, Aldershot are showing the English game that they are ready to compete in the Football League, although the Hampshire-based club will probably have to secure their promotion via the playoffs.
The Shots are currently sixth in the National League standings after collecting a respectable tally of 36 points from their first 22 matches, but the sensational form of Chesterfield means Tommy Widdrington's men are 17 points away from the only automatic-promotion spot in the division.
One man hoping to fire Aldershot to League Two is former Switzerland youth international Lorent Tolaj, with the 22-year-old netting nine goals in 22 league appearances so far - the striker also bagged a brace and an assist in the seven-goal mauling of Swindon in round two.
Stockport could be without the services of midfielder of Antoni Sarcevic on Wednesday night, after the 31-year-old was forced off on 24 minutes at Morecambe on the weekend.
Despite trailing in the contest for a considerable chunk of the second half, Challinor kept faith in his attacking line, and we expect Paddy Madden and Olaofe to keep their spots in the XI.
After netting a brilliant brace in the reverse fixture earlier in the month, Aldershot attacker Josh Stokes is set to start - and consequently be man-marked - at Edgeley Park on Wednesday night.
A long-term absentee for Town is centre-back Christian Maghoma, who suffered a serious Achilles tendon rupture in July and is yet to return to first-team activities.
Stockport County possible starting lineup:
Hinchliffe; Southam-Hales, Horsfall, Pye, Touray; Camps, Croasdale, Bailey; Olaofe, Wootton, Madden
Aldershot Town possible starting lineup:
Van Stappershoef; Mnoga, Harries, Rowe, Harfield; Glover, Frost, Stokes, Willard; Tolaj, Barham
We say: Stockport County 3-2 Aldershot Town
Stockport have not been at their scintillating best of late but will be confident of seeing off a National League side in front of the Hatters faithful.
Aldershot are likely to cause their hosts a few headaches on Wednesday night, but we feel that their FA Cup journey will end at Edgeley Park following a high-scoring encounter.
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