Wrexham v Barrow
Location: My Racecourse
Competition: Vanarama National League
Tickets: Click Here
Wrexham will be looking to get 2018 going with a bang as Boxing Day opponents Barrow head to North Wales for round two.
Wrexham's scheduled game for last Saturday away to Gateshead was postponed meaning Dean Keates' side have had some respite ahead of this New Year's Day clash. Last time out we faced Barrow on Boxing Day, where a disastrous start for the Dragons lead to an early lead for the Bluebirds through Moussa Diarra. But as the half grew on it was Wrexham who got themselves into the game as they grew and grew before eventually a Paul Rutherford corner was headed home by the skipper Shaun Pearson. Neither side could find a winner in the remaining 75 minutes and the points were shared at Holker Street.
Barrow followed up the point against Wrexham with a horror showing at home to basement side Solihull Moors on Saturday. Asa Hall gave the Bluebirds the lead ten minutes into the second half and the game looked like it would end with a much-needed win for the Cumbrians. However, the success lasted for just two minutes as Moors midfielder Darren Carter netted a valuable equaliser to take the wind out of Barrow's sails. Six minutes from time and with the game in the air Jamey Osbourne made his way into the box and was brought down by Diarra and a penalty awarded to the visitors, which was calmly dispatched by Jamie Reckford to further worsen Barrow's position, which sees them occupy the final spot above the relegation zone, but are eight points clear of Chester FC who alongside Guiseley, Torquay United and Solihull are deep in the relegation zone.
Wrexham midfielder Akil Wright could return to the side on New Year's Day, which will be a welcome return for Dean Keates. The talented 21-year old on loan from Fleetwood has seriously impressed but been unavailable since November with an ankle injury. With ability beyond his age, Wright has been an asset in the middle and will relish his return.
Barrow midfielder Moussa Diarra has relished playing Wrexham where he put in a superb performance on Boxing Day. The 27-year old Frenchman opened the scoring adding to his 96th-minute equaliser he scored against Wrexham at the beginning of 2017. Having conceded a penalty against Solihull on Saturday he will be hoping to make amends against a side he's had a lot of luck against over the last 12-months.
As we mentioned last time out, the game between us finished all square at 1-1. Our last three matches have all ended in draws, the last two 1-1 before a 2-2 scoreline in October 2016 at the Racecourse. The last side to record a win between us was Barrow in April 2016, where an Andy Cook double saw off the reds. Wrexham's last win was in October 2015 on 'Barroween, as the Dragons ran out 4-1 winners with a brace for both Connor Jennings and Wes York.
Wrexham skipper Shaun Pearson was forced off last week at Barrow with an eye injury and will be monitored whilst Akil Wright should return to the side. Olly Marx remains sidelined after picking up an injury playing for Rushall Olympic on loan.
Can't make it to My Racecourse? You can follow the game with FREE live commentary on Calon FM, Mixlr, the TuneIn app, 105fm or online. You can also access live text commentary on Twitter @Wrexham_AFC. Following the game, you can catch our highlights on YouTube - 'Wrexham AFC'.