With both teams approaching close to six months without playing a competitive game of football, this Carabao Cup first-round tie represents a unique challenge for both as we hurtle closer towards the start of the league season.
For Grimsby Town, the game gets Ian Holloway’s first full season at the helm underway, with optimism and anxiety aplenty regarding the strength and preparation of the squad heading into a jam-packed first week of the season.
The Mariners, along with Saturday’s opponents Morecambe, will play three games in the first week, with an EFL Trophy outing shortly following this fixture before the League Two season gets underway next weekend.
When Holloway’s side announced their retained list back in May, the club were left with just 13 senior players, with key figures from last season such as Charles Vernam and Jake Hessenthaler amongst the departed. Eight new signings have come the other way since for the Mariners, who have called upon their gaffer’s extensive contact list in football.
One player among the Morecambe arrivals is centre-back Harry Davis, who was one of the nine players shown the door at Blundell Park in May, and speaking to Morecambe’s website, the 28-year-old admitted it will be strange to come up against his old side.
“When I saw the draw, it was pleasing although I’m pretty sure the game will be played in a bit of a different atmosphere than I was used to there,” said Davis.
“I had a good time (at Grimsby) and I’m looking forward to going back but obviously I’m a Morecambe player now and that’s my focus.
“It will be strange behind closed doors, but we are all raring to go.''
Striker James Hanson, full-back Luke Hendrie and new signing Bilel Mohsni have all been confirmed to be out with an injury for Grimsby and will not feature on Saturday.
Additionally, midfielder Harry Clifton is away on international duty with the Wales U21 team and non-league arrivals Montel Gibson, Ira Jackson Jr and Touray Sisay are all doubtful.
Nine players joined and 11 departed over the summer for Morecombe with two, Burnley loanees Ryan Cooney and Adam Phillips, back for a second stint and likely to feature in some capacity on Saturday.
Grimsby Town (4-3-3): McKeown; Ohman, Waterfall, Pollock, Preston; Hewitt, Williams, Rose; Wright, Green, Tilley.
Morecambe (4-3-3): Turner; Mellor, Davis, Knight-Percival, Hendrie; Diagouraga, Kenyon, Wildig; O’Sullivan, Slew, Mendes Gomes
Ones to watch
Grimsby Town – George Williams
Holloway’s side have played just a single friendly during this pre-season and arguably the most impressive player in the game was the former Forest Green midfielder, who showed has prowess from dead-ball situations.
The 24-year-old curled in a wonderful free-kick against Cleethorpes Town to open his Grimsby account, and he told GrimsbyLive that he wants to contribute in a big way this season.
Willaims said: “I want to get into double figures for goals and double figures for assists. My aim is to be part of a team that’s winning games and enjoying playing football.”
Morecambe – Harry Davis
For reasons mentioned earlier, this opening game is a big one for Davis, who will look to prove his worth for his new team and show his old one what they are missing.
His knowledge of his former teammates may come in handy when he matches up against the Grimsby forward line and it may be the key to victory on Saturday.
Last time out
These two teams last faced each other back in February where second-half goals from Hanson and Josh Benson were enough to see Grimsby complete a league double over the Shrimps for the first time.
Despite this, Derek Adams’ side match up well with their next opponents having only lost three of the last 14 meetings between the two clubs, which makes for good reading for Morecambe fans.
How to watch
Purchasing an 'iFollow' match pass on either club’s website will be the only way to view this 3pm kick-off on Saturday 5 September.