Port Vale vs Brentford preview: How to watch, kick-off time, team news, predicted lineups, ones to watch
Port Vale's Matt Caragher (right) chases down Scott Partridge (left) in the 2001 LDV Vans Trophy Final at the Millennium Stadium. Photo: Shaun Botterill/Allsport. 

Brentford travel to Stoke-on-Trent for the second time this season as Port Vale welcome them to Vale Park in the FA Cup third round.

It's a fixture that has been evenly contested throughout the years as the two competed in League One and League Two. However, despite the number of league encounters, this will be just the second-ever meeting in a cup competition.

A lot has changed since the last encounter in January 2014, particularly for this weekend's guests, with two promotions, a Carabao Cup semi and quarter-final, and a move to a brand-new 17,500-capacity stadium, while the Valiants have dropped into the fourth tier. 

COVID-19 has caused havoc for Vale in recent weeks and this will be their first match since a 2-1 defeat to fellow promotion chasers Newport County on 11 December due to three match postponements. 

For a club that hasn't beaten Premier League opposition in their last 11 attempts, the last coming in February 1996 against Everton, this is far from an ideal situation for Darrell Clarke's side, who beat Accrington Stanley (5-1) and Burton Albion (1-2) to reach this stage. 

Brentford will be aiming to reach the FA Cup fourth round for a fourth consecutive year, something the club hasn't been able to achieve since the 1948/49 season. 

Thomas Frank's side haven't won on their travels for five matches, a run that dates back to October when the Bees defeated Stoke City in the Carabao Cup. There will be hope that this return to Staffordshire will revitalise their away form for the second half of the season. 

Teams News 

Port Vale will be without centre-back Dan Jones as he is suspended due to a red card picked up in their last league fixture. 

New loan signing Ryan Edmondson will also miss out. He is cup-tied after coming on as an 88th-minute substitute in Fleetwood Town's 2-1 defeat to Burton in the first round.  

It remains to be seen if former Manchester United centre-forward James Wilson will feature after breaking his foot against Bradford City at the start of November. 

Brentford will be without nine first team players. 

Mathias Jensen (groin), Sergi Canós (thigh), Rico Henry (hamstring), Mathias Jørgensen (thigh), Charlie Goode (thigh), Julian Jeanvier (knee), and David Raya (knee) are sidelined with injuries. 

Frank Onyeka is with the Nigeria squad ahead of this month's Africa Cup of Nations while Josh Dasilva remains absent but has returned to team training. 

Jonas Lössl could make his debut after featuring for the first time in a behind closed doors friendly against Eastbourne Borough on Monday. Kristoffer Ajer is set to start. 

Predicted lineups 

Port Vale: Covolan; Smith, Legge, Martin; Cass, Pett, Walker, Conlon, Gibbons; Garrity, Politic. 

Brentford: Lössl; Ajer, Nørgaard, Sørensen; Roerslev, Peart-Harris, Bidstrup, Ghoddos, Thompson; Forss, Wissa. 

Previous meetings

This will be the 56th meeting between Brentford and Port Vale - a fixture that has largely been contested in the third and fourth tier. 

Vale have marginally the better overall record between the two with 25 wins compared to Brentford's 23, including a 2-1 win in the LDV Vans Trophy final at the Millennium Stadium in 2001. 

The Bees are unbeaten in their last five meetings, winning the last encounter 2-0 at Griffin Park in January 2014. Marcelo Trotta opened the scoring with a sweet strike from outside the area before Will Grigg secured the points in the 88th-minute. 

Ones to watch 

Ben Garrity

A midfielder that has been operating as a centre-forward at times since his arrival from Blackpool in the summer, Garrity has four goals in his last five appearances and is the club's joint top scorer this season in all competitions with seven to his name. 

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Marcus Forss

Despite being Brentford's joint-second top scorer this season, level with Ivan Toney on five, Marcus Forss has fallen out of favour and will be keen to impress this weekend, be it Thomas Frank or a potential suitor willing to sign him on loan this month. 

The 22-year-old has an impressive record against League Two opposition this season, scoring four against Oldham Athletic and one against Forest Green Rovers in the Carabao Cup. 

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How to watch

This fixture will take place on Saturday 8 January at 15:00 GMT and will not be broadcasted in the United Kingdom. 

What the managers have said

Port Vale head coach Darrell Clarke is relishing the underdog tag this weekend and is optimistic his side can cause an upset against Premier League opposition. 

I've got a lot of respect for [Brentford] as a football club, but it's also 11 men versus 11 men on a football pitch with a bag of air, with two goals at the end of it. You've got to find a different way where we can cause that surprise."

Brentford head coach Thomas Frank is not underestimating Port Vale and is anticipating a tough fixture on Saturday.

"We truly respect Port Vale; they are a good team, doing well in League Two, in the Play-Offs. I will put a strong team out there with a strong squad to travel because I believe in keeping momentum. I would love to go on a cup run.

"I’ve heard that playing away to Port Vale is tricky; I hope we have a very lively cup atmosphere.

"My approach will be the same. We will go in there and try to do it our way. We will try to attack the game from the first second. I am pretty sure we will be fine."

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