Bury v Cheltenham preview


Bury will begin the season against Cheltenham at virtually full strength, with only Clive Platt unavailable to manager David Flitcroft.

Striker Platt has been nursing a calf problem this summer, missing the Shakers’ pre-season friendlies, and is now set to play in behind-closed-doors games to build up his fitness.

Midfielder Andrew Tutte has spent time on the treatment table too, yet played 90 minutes in Bury’s Lancashire FA Senior Cup final victory over Wigan on Wednesday night.

Winger Joe Thompson, who this week signed a 12-month contract at the JD Stadium less than a year after being diagnosed with cancer, also played in that game and was named man-of-the-match, although Flitcroft knows he must still steadily build up his body strength.

Matt Taylor is expected to be fit to skipper Cheltenham on his Robins debut.

The former Exeter centre-back, who has been handed the captain’s armband despite only arriving from Bradford this summer, has recovered from a minor injury and trained with Mark Yates’ men ahead of the trip north.

Fellow summer recruit Asa Hall has shaken off his Achilles injury and will also be in contention.

Yates is hoping to add three players to his squad during August, a goalkeeper, a midfielder and a striker, but if he fails to sign a shot-stopper before kick-off, youngster Harry Reynolds will be on the bench as a back-up to Trevor Carson who will make his Cheltenham debut against his former club.

Bury v Cheltenham preview


Bury will welcome back on-loan midfielder Jordan Sinnott for the clash with the Robins.

Sinnott, borrowed from Huddersfield, was forced to miss out when the Shakers travelled to Norwich in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday as the terms of his loan deal made him ineligible, yet he can return in the league.

Shakers boss Kevin Blackwell is expected to have a similar squad at his disposal to the one which was beaten 6-3 at Carrow Road in front of hundreds of travelling fans who had arrived on free transport courtesy of the club’s owner.

Rwanda international Jessy Reindorf could come into Blackwell’s XI after arriving from the bench to score a wonder goal in the last minute against the Canaries.

Cheltenham will be without defender Troy Brown.

The 22-year-old former Rotherham defender is sidelined for two-to-three weeks with a slight hamstring tear so Ryan Inniss will deputise.

Inniss made his senior debut in the midweek Capital One Cup defeat at West Ham on Tuesday night and will make his first league start against the Shakers.

Striker Jamie Cureton is progressing well from his shoulder injury but this weekend comes too soon and it is more likely he could be involved in the Portsmouth game on Tuesday.

Bury v Cheltenham preview


Bury boss Alan Knill will again be without defenders Efe Sodje and Phil Picken for the home game against Cheltenham.

Both men picked up their 10th bookings of the season during last Saturday’s goalless draw at Rotherham and now complete two-match suspensions.

Sodje also has a broken arm but Knill signed Burnley defender Richard Eckersley on loan earlier this week and he made his debut in Tuesday’s 2-1 home defeat to Torquay.

Knill has no other major concerns as his side bid to bounce back from their midweek reverse and reignite their push for automatic promotion.

The Shakers lie second in the table ahead of the Robins’ visit and Knill declared: “The players are excellent and do everything I ask them to.”

Cheltenham manager Mark Yates has a fully-fit squad to select from for the trip to second-placed Bury.

However, whether he decides to call upon Martin Riley remains to be seen. The centre-back is back in full training and has been working hard having spent three weeks on the sidelines with his niggling hamstring injury.

Yet Yates said: “It may just be a little too early for him but we’ll wait and see.”

Otherwise, the Robins boss has no concerns as he looks to turn Town’s fortunes around following just one win in 11 games, a sequence which has seen them slip out of the play-off picture.

Right-back Keith Lowe (ankle) returned for last weekend’s 2-1 home defeat against Aldershot and suffered no ill effects, while midfielder David Bird is now also fully over his calf problem.