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Following the 3-0 humbling to Newport back in November 2020, Salford once more have the opportunity to reach the dream third round that has escaped their grasp in recent years.
Having already beaten National League opponents in the form of Dagenham & Redbridge back in round one, the Ammies will be expected to do so once more on Sunday with the view of earning a giant tie in the next round.
That 1-0 victory in Dagenham back at the beginning of November was the second game amidst a current six-match unbeaten run for Gary Bowyer‘s side across all competitions, which has followed a disappointing run of one win in six during a poor start to their League Two campaign.
However, as a result of the recent upturn in fortunes, with the 2-0 victory over Oldham Athletic last weekend being the most recent of the impressive results, Salford have lifted themselves into 11th place in the fourth tier.
Matthew Lund and Brandon Thomas-Asante scored the goals as the Ammies displayed a clinical edge to their play against their relegation-threatened opponents, which Bowyer and his side will be hoping to replicate once more in their potentially-lucrative second-round tie on Sunday.
Meanwhile, visitors Chesterfield are on a bright run of form themselves heading into the trip to Salford, albeit one division lower in the English Football League pyramid.
A 10-match unbeaten run across all competitions has seen the Spireites rise to the summit in the National League, in their quest to return to League Two following a failed playoff campaign last season.
In fact, just one defeat under manager James Rowe all season mean Chesterfield head to The Peninsula Stadium full of confidence and with every chance of causing an upset against a side that they could well be playing their league football in the same division as next season.
Salford’s Ashley Hunter will serve the second of his three-match suspension on Sunday, although Matty Willock‘s red card was rescinded last week and he is available to return to the squad.
Lund returned from a suspension of his own to register a man-of-the-match display against Oldham and looks set to support Tom Elliott in attack once more.
No injury concerns have been reported following the 2-0 victory last weekend so Bowyer has almost a full squad to choose from once more.
As for the visitors, they will be missing at least 12 players from their squad for the trip to Salford, despite having the extra week to prepare.
Manny Oyeleke‘s calf problem adds to the lengthy absentees list for manager James Rowe to contend with – Haydn Hollis, Gavin Gunning, Laurence Maguire, George Carline, Jeff King, Joe Rowley, Jack Clarke, Danny Rowe, Akwasi Asante and Tom Denton were all previously unavailable already.
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Tyrone Williams is the 12th man on that list as he must sit out due to being cup-tied, although the one positive note for Chesterfield is that Calvin Miller returns from suspension.
Salford City possible starting lineup:
King; Shephard, Eastham, Turnbull, Touray; Love, Lowe; Thomas-Asante, Lund, Morris; Elliott
Chesterfield possible starting lineup:
Loach; Mandeville, Grimes, Croll, Whittle; Kellermann, McCourt, Weston, Khan; Tshimanga, Payne