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Match Previews

HERE'S LOOKING AT YOU: Morecambe

We take a look at tonight's opponents

29 August 2017

Attentions temporarily turn away from Sky Bet League Two for United as we prepare to travel to Morecambe for the first of our Checkatrade Trophy group games.

Leicester City and Fleetwood will later make the trip to Brunton Park as the Blues look to make it to their seventh final in this competition.

Ahead of the opening game, we cast our eye over Tuesday’s hosts:

The manager's view

Speaking about tonight's game, manager Keith Curle said: "It’s a competitive game where we’re representing Carlisle United, and that means we go out there to win it.

"We want to do well in every competition we enter because our job is to represent our club as well as we can. With the skill sets we have here we know that when we perform we'll get the right result.

“There will be an opportunity for some of the players who are chomping at the bit to get some game time and to show everybody that they're ready to play their part.

"Training has been lively because there are players from Saturday who know they need a reaction. They also know they need to show they're the ones who should be wearing the shirt.

"I know Jim [Bentley] really well and I know his team will be well-drilled, organised and up for the game. We'll have to do our jobs from back to front because we want to put the weekend behind us and start to build momentum going into a run of important league fixtures."

Promising start

After uncertainty off the pitch thwarted the Shrimps’ progress last season, Jim Bentley’s side have enjoyed a good start to the 2017/18 campaign and have lost only once in League Two so far.

That defeat came at home to promotion hopefuls Swindon, with draws secured away from home against Lincoln City and Cambridge United.

Their only win of the season came on the opening day at home to Cheltenham, and Bentley will be keen to ensure his side get back to winning ways sooner rather than later.

But nonetheless, a five point haul from the opening four games represents an impressive start for Morecambe and sees them sitting 15th in League Two at this early stage.

Now, the North West outfit will be hoping to carry their promising league start into the Checkatrade Trophy.

Full debuts and potential recalls?

After a gruelling defensive display at Cambridge on Saturday, there’s likely to be some tired legs in the Morecambe squad and Bentley may well ring the changes.

Among those who could be handed an opportunity is German centre back Max Muller who joined the Shrimpers on loan from Wycombe last week and came off the bench at the weekend.

Fellow defenders Aaron McGowan and Luke Conlan were also introduced at the Abbey Stadium and could be given a started, while former Carlisle loanee Adam Campbell will be hoping to earn himself a start after failing to start since the Carabao Cup defeat at Barnsley.

We like a draw ...

While fixtures against the Shrimps have become a staple over recent years, our first meeting with Morecambe came back in 2004/05 during our one season in the Conference.

Since then, we’ve me 13 times with United claiming victory on four occasions. Morecambe have only once beaten the Cumbrians outright - a 3-2 success at Brunton Park in 2015 - although they did triumph on penalties after a cup tie in 2005.

Interestingly, eight of our meetings have ended in draws. Could we see a similar result this week?

There’s history in this competition

We’ve already met Morecambe twice in this competition in recent years, with United winning both games on penalties.

The first cup clash came in 2009/10 in what was Carlisle’s first win on the road to an eventual Wembley appearance. Morecambe twice took the lead only to be pegged back by two Graham Ka-vanagh strikes - the second coming deep into injury time - which forced penalties, with the Blues then triumphing 4-2 on spot kicks.

We then met again in 2013/14 in a far less dramatic affair. After a 0-0 draw the Blues edged past the Shrimpers, winning 4-3 on penalties.

Ones to Watch

+ Garry Thompson - An experienced attacker, Thompson returned to the club where he began his career during the summer. He spent the last two years at Wycombe and proved his worth as a real threat in League Two. The winger has also represented Bradford, Notts County and Scunthorpe in a career spanning almost two decades. Comfortable providing assists and scoring himself, Thompson will undoubtedly be a key member of the Morecambe side this season.

+ Aaron Wildig - The former Shrewsbury Town midfielder moved to the Globe Arena in 2015 having previously spent time on loan with the Shrimpers. A box-to-box midfielder, Wildig will look to drive Morecambe forward and has been a pivotal part of their squad since his arrival. Expect him to see plenty of the ball on Tuesday evening and make vital contributions at both ends of the pitch.

+ Kevin Ellison - With over 500 career appearances, Ellison adds some much needed experience to what is a relatively young Morecambe squad. Happy playing in any attacking position, whether centrally or out wide, Ellison is still contributing goals aplenty at the age of 38. He’s netted 69 times since joining the Shrimps in 2011 and will be keen to increase that tally this season.

Ones to Watch


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