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15:05 17th January 2014

Preview: Exeter City v Morecambe

After the heartbreak of a last-gasp defeat to local rivals Bristol Rovers last weekend, it’s back on the horse for City this week and a home fixture against Morecambe.

The Shrimps arrive in Devon on a bit of a dry run themselves.  A 1-1 draw at home against Wycombe Wanderers last weekend took them to four games without a victory on the bounce for the first time this season, and similarly to City there is an air of importance in trying to get back into the play-off places that they occupied in the early months.

Part of that good patch that the Shrimps had early in the campaign was built off the back of a 2-0 victory against the Grecians at the Globe Arena.  Kevin Ellison was the dangerman on that occasion – netting twice, and being a Craig Woodman goalline-clearance away from his hat-trick –and that victory prompted a nine-game run which saw them win six, draw three and lose none.

But Jim Bentley’s men have since been able to bemoan ‘inconsistency’ in much the same way that their other mid-table rivals have – nothing new there.  For Exeter, a much-desired win would take the Grecians to within two points of their visitors with two games in hand.

Tickets can be bought in advance of the game by clicking here or ringing Ticket Zone on 0844 844 4410.  They can also be bought on the day of the game from the ticket booths around the ground or upon entry to the Big Bank.  Click here for ticket prices.

As the home side, Exeter City are favourites with bookies and Football League title partners Sky Bet.  The Grecians can be backed at 6/5, while the Shrimps are priced at 21/10 for three points and a draw can be backed at 9/4.

The Shrimps won 2-0 when the teams met back in August, but the Grecians available at odds of 9/1 to reverse that scoreline and win 2-0 at St James Park on Saturday.

Meanwhile Matt Grimes, who has established himself firmly in the first team, in 6/1 to score his first pro goal for the Grecians at any time in the game.  City’s current top scorer Alan Gow is 11/2 to net the game’s first goal.

And with assistant manager Rob Edwards having stressed the importance of starting quickly, there might be good value at backing the game’s first goal coming within the first ten minutes at odds of 3/1.

Managers' Comments
Exeter City assistant manager Rob Edwards: “They know we’ve got some good footballers and that we’re a good side, so it should be an interesting game.  But no doubt you need Morecambe’s aggression and competitiveness to get a result against them.”

Click here for Rob Edwards’ full match preview.

Match Officials
Referee: Andy D’Urso (Essex)
Assistant referees: Richard Hulme (Somerset) & Simon Knapp (Bristol)
Fourth official: Colin Lymer (Hampshire)

Click here for this week’s Ref Watch.

Form Guide
Neither team approach this fixture on a particularly hot streak, but City have the most recent win when they overcame Torquay just before the New Year.  Neither team has picked up maximum points in 2014 to date.

Exeter City (last six): LLWLLW
Morecambe (last six): DDLLWL

Exeter City wins: 5
Morecambe wins: 3
Draws: 6

League 2 Fixtures
Bury v Burton Albion
Cheltenham Town v Accrington Stanley
Exeter City v Morecambe
Fleetwood Town v Hartlepool United
Newport County AFC v Dagenham & Redbridge
Portsmouth v Mansfield Town
Rochdale v Plymouth Argyle
Scunthorpe United v AFC Wimbledon
Southend United v Chesterfield
Torquay United v Northampton Town
Wycombe Wanderers v Oxford United
York City v Bristol Rovers 

Live Coverage
The best way to follow the match live is inside SJP – come along and cheer on the boys!

But if you’re not able to get here, listen live on Grecian Player.  If you haven’t already subscribed, make sure you do so and you’ll get loads of great content including live, digital-quality audio commentary of every first-team game, extended match highlights and exclusive interviews.

Otherwise you can follow it live through our Twitter account on @OfficialECFC and get involved using the #ecfc hashtag.  And we’ll also be running the live blog through The Wall – click here to access it and start chatting with fellow Grecians in the buildup to kick-off!