Exeter City vs Cheltenham Town preview: How to watch, kick-off time, team news, predicted lineups and ones to watch
Exeter City midfielder, Matt Jay |  (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

On Saturday afternoon at 15:00, Cheltenham Town travel to St. James' Park to face Exeter City for the first time since the eight-goal thriller between the two sides in December.

The Grecians have won their last two League Two games and have only lost one of the previous eight games. Matt Taylor's men are currently sat in 8th, one point from Bolton, who occupy the final playoff spot.

Saturday's visitors are top of the table with two games in hand. The Robins' most recent 3-1 defeat to Mansfield Town came as a shock to the system for Cheltenham, who had won four successive league games prior to the midweek loss.

Three points for the hosts could see them move into the playoff places, depending on other results. For Michael Duff's side, a win would help them further cement their place at the head of the division.

Team news

Long-term absentee, Randall Williams, remains ruled out for Exeter but is nearing full fitness again, after nearly three months out with a stress fracture.

The hosts will also be without Tom Parkes, who is still serving a suspension for his sending off in the 2-0 defeat to Crawley Town.

Pierce Sweeney is still unavailable for Exeter with an ankle ligament injury he picked up against Crawley.

Duff confirmed that Ellis Chapman remains "a good bit off" in his pre-match press conference, but the 21-year-old has been running out on the grass.

Will Boyle's injury is not as bad as first feared; the defender is expected to be out of action for five weeks, rather than the remainder of the season, as originally suspected.

Elliot Bonds is out of the running for the Robins, while young George Lloyd is also considered a doubt for Saturday.

Predicted lineups

Exeter City: Andrésson; Sparkes, Hartridge, McArdle, Key, Randall, Taylor, Collins, Willmott, Jay, Bowman.

Cheltenham Town: Griffiths; Long, Tozer, Raglan, Hussey, Blair, Thomas, Sercombe, Wright, Smith, May.

Ones to watch

Matt Jay

Matt Jay has been nothing short of sensational recently; Exeter's attacking midfielder has scored four goals in his last two appearances, including a hat-trick against Leyton Orient last weekend.

Jay's recent goals have taken his tally to 17 for the season, making him the Grecians' highest scorer. The 25-year-old has also notched up five assists over the course of the season, meaning he has contributed to over 1/4 of Exeter's goals this season.

Jay scored against the visitors when the two sides faced at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium in December, and his impact is not to be underestimated, particularly in his current vein of form.

Conor Thomas

Conor Thomas has been the Robins' unsung hero this season. The 27-year-old controls the midfield for Cheltenham Town and has become an absolute rock in Michael Duff's side lately. Thomas has played 90 minutes in all of Town's last 14 games and boasts the second-highest pass percentage at Cheltenham.

The midfielder also registers more tackles and interceptions per game than any of his teammates, further showcasing his influence. Thomas will be key if Saturday's visitors are to bounce straight back with a win at St. James' Park.

Past meetings

Earlier this season, Cheltenham beat Exeter 5-3 in an unforgettable League Two tie which saw eight different goalscorers. Nicky Law gave Cheltenham a cause for concern with his 88th-minute goal to half the deficit. However, Will Boyle put the game to bed with his injury-time header for the Robins.

Exeter City last beat Cheltenham in 2019; a 1-0 victory at home, courtesy of an early Nicky Ajose goal.

 

How to watch

The match is available to watch on iFollow through Exeter City or Cheltenham Town's respective club websites/apps, with match passes available at £10 for those across the United Kingdom. 

From 3:00 pm, goals and key events will be available to watch as they happen for paying Sky Sports customers on Soccer Saturday.

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