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It seems as though Shrewsbury need a break to recharge their batteries as the club from the West Midlands of England have failed to find much consistency of late, winning only one of their last six domestic contests.
The month of December has been an incredibly demanding one for them thus far, with three games in a week from the 4th until the 11th as the team appeared to be physically and mentally drained last Saturday when they were dominated by Doncaster, who found a winner in the 79th minute, coming out on top 1-0.
Hanging on has become an all too common theme for them recently as they have not fired more than three shots on target in their previous seven matches played in all competitions and are often on their heels, having to defend for long stretches.
Steve Cotterill has not minced words about his team’s performances in recent weeks, though he did say following their defeat to the Rovers that they could have earned three points if they had played that game in front of their home fans.
We will never know if that result would have been the same or not at New Meadow, but they are clearly a different team at home than on the road, unbeaten in their last five matches played in Shrewsbury.
Technically speaking, they have struggled in their passing and build-up play as this team have rarely been able to put together a lot of flow, often clicking with a pass accuracy in the 60-70% range.
Shrewsbury should get a much-needed boost to their midfield this weekend as David Davis is eligible to return from his four-match suspension, although it is unknown whether Ethan Ebanks-Landell, Aaron Pierre or Ryan Bowman will recover from their injuries in time for this encounter.
The only change to their starting 11 last Saturday was in attack as Tom Bloxham replaced the injured Bowman, who scored his team-leading fifth goal this season in their 2-1 defeat to Wigan Athletic, off an excellent play from Daniel Udoh, who is second on the team with four strikes domestically so far.
Goalkeeper Marko Marosi has done a marvellous job of keeping his team in their recent matches, having faced 17 shots in his previous four games played in all competitions, conceding four times.
Cheltenham recently locked up defender Sean Long to a new contract extension that will see the Irishman with the Robins until the summer of 2024, as he has been one of their regulars at the back, starting in 10 successive matches.
Alfie May, who had the only goal for his side, when they nearly upset Manchester City in the FA Cup last season, scored his team-leading seventh of this campaign last weekend, while Matty Blair equalised in the dying moments versus Lincoln City, his third domestically in 2021-22.
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In their last meeting with Shrewsbury, the Robins got contributions from alternate sources, with Conor Thomas notching his only goal to date this year from the penalty spot and Kyle Joseph scoring the winner in the second half.
Shrewsbury Town possible starting lineup:
Marosi; Nurse, Leahy, Pennington; Ogbeta, Davis, Bennett, Daniels; Udoh; Cosgrove, Bloxham
Cheltenham Town possible starting lineup:
Evans; Raglan, Pollock, Long; Blair, Sercombe, Chapman, Wright; May; Williams, Joseph