Preview: Wrexham vs. Farnborough Town - prediction, team news, lineups

sportsmole.co.uk, 24 November 2022, 19:04
Wrexham will have a great opportunity to book a place in the FA Cup third round when they host Farnborough Town at the Racecourse Ground on Saturday afternoon.

It is the first ever competitive meeting between the two sides, with the home team currently competing in the National League, while the visitors turn out in the National League South.

Match preview

Wrexham's bid to return to the EFL for the first time since 2008 has started superbly, sitting top of the table, as they now approach the halfway point of the season.

The Dragons have lost on just two occasions in all competitions this season, not doing so since a 1-0 defeat at second-placed Notts County at the start of October.

Since that game, Phil Parkinson's side have fought through two rounds of qualifying to reach this stage of the competition, beating Blyth Spartans 3-2 in a home replay, after drawing 1-1 on the road, before dispatching of Oldham Athletic 3-0 at the start of November.

The attacking proficiency on show in that encounter has become what Wrexham fans have started to expect, scoring a remarkable 52 goals in the league this season, more than any other side.

Not only that, but Parkinson's men have made the Racecourse Ground a fortress, displaying formidable form on home soil so far, winning every single game in all competitions in front of their own fans.

With that in mind, lower-league Farnborough have a monumental task on their hands Saturday, but they have shown promising signs in the FA Cup this season, making it through four rounds to get to this point.

Now just one game away from the third round and the chance of drawing a Premier League side, the Yellows will need to produce the kind of performance that they did against League Two Sutton United in the last stage of the competition.

Boro left it late, but an 86th-minute Michael Fernandes goal was followed up by an effort from Francis Amartey in injury time to secure a 2-0 victory, in what should be a real confidence booster.

Form elsewhere has not been bad either, as Spencer Day's side are undefeated in their last 11 outings, although a slow start means that they are still 15th in the National League South standings.

Progressing in cup competitions has been Boro's forte this season, and it was more of the same last time out, as they secured progression to the next round of the FA Trophy with a 1-0 away win at Hampton & Richmond.

Wrexham FA Cup form:

Wrexham form (all competitions):

W

W

W

W

D

W

Farnborough Town FA Cup form:

Farnborough Town form (all competitions):

W

W

W

D

W

D

Team News

Wrexham may make a couple of alterations, given that they are taking on a team in the division below and promotion is their main focus, but they should still field a strong team, with a spot in the third round on the line.

One change that Parkinson will be forced into, however, is replacing Bryce Hosannah, who injured his hamstring against Aldershot, so Max Cleworth may come into the Wrexham defence.

Thomas O'Connor has had to settle for appearances from the bench recently, but could come into the midfield for James Jones, while Sam Dalby may be preferred to Ollie Palmer in attack, partnering Paul Mullin.

Farnborough manager Day is likely to keep the faith with the team that was triumphant in the last round and may opt for a five-at-the-back system given the challenge that his side face.

Kevin Lokko, Jack Ball and Oliver Robinson could start at the centre of defence, with Jordan Norville-Williams on the right and Freddie Grant at left-back.

Michael Fernandes and Francis Amartey were the substitute heroes against Sutton, so they may both be rewarded with a start in attack, replacing Selim Saied and Hisham Kasimu.

Wrexham possible starting lineup:

Howard; Cleworth, Hayden, Tozer, Tunnicliffe, McFadzean; O'Connor, Young, Lee; Dalby, Mullin

Farnborough Town possible starting lineup:

Turner; Lokko, Ball, Robinson, Norville-Williams, Grant; Deering, Page, Pendlebury; Amartey, Fernandes

We say: Wrexham 3-1 Farnborough Town

Although Wrexham currently reside in the National League, in truth they have built a squad compiled of EFL standard players, so they should not have too much trouble against National League South opposition. With so much on the line, Farnborough will give it their all, but on paper they do not have the quality to pose too many problems for their opponents.

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