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Port Vale headed into the new season on the back of a promotion to League One, as they prevailed in last season’s playoffs in England’s fourth tier, beating Swindon Town on a penalty shootout in the semi-final before triumphing with a 3-0 win over Mansfield Town at Wembley in May.
The Staffordshire outfit were not so successful in their penalty shootout when they met Rotherham United in last year’s EFL Cup, though, as David Amoo‘s miss from the spot proved costly after he had equalised in the dying embers of regular time to see the contest end 1-1.
Life back in the third tier began well for Darrell Clarke‘s men, as Nathan Smith and Connor Hall hit first-half goals in an opening-day 2-1 win at home to Fleetwood Town, but they were unable to make it two from two away at Exeter City on Saturday.
Harry Kite and Jevani Brown put their hosts 2-0 up in the first half, and Brown would hit his second before Sam Nombe added a fourth in the final 15 minutes to send Port Vale home empty-handed following a 4-0 thrashing.
Now hoping to bounce back from that heavy defeat, Clarke’s men will hope to avenge last year’s defeat and progress with what would be an eye-catching triumph over Championship opposition
Port Vale will likely remain without last season’s top scorer James Wilson, who has missed their first two games of the season with a knock.
In his absence, Jamie Proctor should again spearhead the attack, likely alongside Tom McDermott.
Elsewhere, Ben Garrity and Harry Charsley continue to be key men in the engine room, while Lewis Cass, Nathan Smith and Connor Hall should line up as a back three.
Paul Warne may use the cup game as an opportunity to take a look at some of his players who did not start in their league opener against Swansea City, with the likes of Peter Kioso, Cohen Bramall and Georgie Kelly set to feature from the outset at Vale Park.
Grant Hall made his debut for the club in that game following a loan move from Middlesbrough and should again start on Wednesday, while Jamie McCart may be brought in if Richard Wood is preserved for the Championship game against Reading.
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New striker Tom Eaves will not feature due to an ongoing injury, leaving Conor Washington to lead the line alongside Kelly, while Ben Wiles and Chiedozie Ogbene may also sit out with the weekend in mind.
Port Vale possible starting lineup:
Stone; Cass, Smith, Hall; Worrall, Charsley, Garrity, Ojo, Benning; McDermott, Proctor
Rotherham United possible starting lineup:
Johansen; McCart, Hall, Humphreys; Kioso, Barlaser, High, Lindsay, Bramall; Washington, Kelly