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MATCH PREVIEW: Swindon Town v Port Vale

SWINDON TOWN host Port Vale as the league-leaders look to get back to winning ways after losing at Newport last week. Total Sport Swindon's Rajan Hothi previews the clash.

The bigger loss to Swindon will be the choice to recall Jerry Yates from his loan spell at Town by Rotherham United due to the number of injuries that the Millers are plagued with. 

Yates had bagged 12 goals and looked to be the perfect replacement to fill the boots left by Eoin Doyle, but Swindon are now left with very few options up front following the recall. 

Hallam Hope was named as Swindon's newest recruit during the week, signing on an 18 month deal from Carlisle United for an undisclosed fee, and will likely make his debut for the visit of Vale.

Losing the pair that have scored 35 of your 49 league goals isn't going to make your promotion challenge easier, but it allows the stage for others to shine and Hope will be keen to impress on his Town debut.

Port Vale inflicted Swindon's first loss in ten games in the reverse fixture at Vale Park courtesy of goals from Scott Burgess and Jake Taylor who gave John Askey's side a 2-0 win.

The Valiants have struggled for consistency this season which sees them lie in 10th spot - four points adrift of a play-off place, but they have a good record against the top-seven sides.

While Vale have maintained a solid home record this season, they have struggled on the road and have only won three of their 14 away games in the league - shipping an alarming 22 goals in the process. 

However, they do come into the clash in good form and have tasted defeat just once in their last eight league games - the loss coming away to struggling Morecambe.

The visitors will be without their top goalscorer Tom Pope who misses out after being suspended by the FA due to an 'improper' tweet.

Swindon have been hit with an injury crisis in recent weeks, but have managed to win crucial games against promotion rivals, away at Plymouth and home to Crewe. 

What has been pleasing for Richie Wellens and co. is the change of fortunes at the County Ground this season. 

Wellens struggled to get a feel-good factor at home last season, but Swindon currently boast the joint-second best home record in the division - winning nine and drawing two of their 14 home games in League Two this season.

The County Ground hasn't been a happy hunting ground for Vale in recent years. The Valiants haven't won at Swindon since 2005, and have conceded five or more goals three times at SN1 since that win. 

Despite the Newport defeat, Swindon have so far fared well in difficult circumstances. Seven points from a possible nine against Plymouth, Bradford and Crewe see Swindon maintain their stay at the top of League Two, but with Exeter breathing down their necks, Town will want to bounce back to winning ways against Vale. 

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