Preview: Harriers v Wrexham
Harriers face a massive game this afternoon when play-off rivals Wrexham visit Aggborough.
The visit of Wrexham will be the first of four fixtures that will go a long way towards deciding the outcome of Harriers' season; including this afternoon the next four games are against teams who are above Harriers in the Conference table.
Steve Burr will be forced into changing the team that earned a battling point at Darlington in midweek; Jack Byrne begins his four-game ban for being sent-off in that game, he won't return until Darlington visit Aggborough next month. Lee Vaughan is still out, he completes his two-game ban, but Lee Morris should be back in the squad after shaking off the thigh injury that has kept him out for the last few games. Both Keith Briggs and Michael Briscoe picked up injuries in the midweek game and will be given as long as possible to recover before they are ruled out. Mike Williams will look forward to facing his former club again.
Wrexham have been on a great run of late; seven consecutive victories lifted them from mid-table into the heart of the play-off picture, a run that was only ended in the last couple of weeks by title-chasing Crawley who took four points off them in two games and then last weekend their good form was turned competely on its head by Gateshead who scored seven times at The Racecourse. Fortunately for Harriers Wrexham got that 7-2 reverse out of their system with an excellent midweek win at leaders Wimbledon. Dean Saunders will give fitness tests to striker Andy Morrell and former Harrier Dean Keates before finalising his team selection and may give a starting place to Mattias Pogba who scored the winner at Wimbledon. Along with Keates two other former Harriers could feature: Mark Creighton who is now a regular in the centre of their defence and Mike's brother Marc Williams.
I expect Harriers to line-up as follows (4-4-2): Lewis; Sharpe, Williams, Briscoe, Albrighton; Blair, Briggs, Shaw, Wright; McPhee, Canham.
Subs (from): Hankin, Morris, Griffiths, Gittings, Matt, Thompson-Brown, Stevens
Missing (suspended): Vaughan, Byrne.
The referee this afternoon will be Rob Merchant from Staffordshire. This will be his fifth time in charge of a Harriers game and second this season. Earlier this seas on he was in the middle for the FA Cup defeat by York City and in previous campaigns he was in charge of two Harriers wins and one other defeat.
This afternoon's weather is forecast to be wet; it is currently raining in Kidderminster and that is likely to continue until beyond kick-off time. The temperature at game time should be around 8°C.