It has been four long months since the last Cross-Border derby and, for Chester and Wrexham fans, the wait is finally over.
The last time the two sides met was a forgettable goalless draw. Chester go into Derby Day sitting four places above their rivals but, if the bragging rights go to Wrexham on the day, they’ll close gap between the two sides to just one point.
It hasn’t been a vintage campaign for Wrexham but Manager Dean Keates looks to have found some improvements in the Welsh side in recent weeks.
They enjoyed a relatively successful campaign last season but a number of transfers over the summer unsettled the club and for large parts of the season they have failed to gel.
Keates took over the reigns at the Racecourse in October after Gary Mills failed to impress with his start to the season. The new man in charge looks to have turned things around with the Reds going into the weekend in arguably their best form this campaign winning three of their last four and gaining back to back victories for the first time in the 2016/17 season.
Izale McLeod could hold Wrexham‘s biggest threat. The 32-year-old forward signed for Wrexham on a free transfer earlier in the January transfer window and has shown great promise alongside Jordan White early on in their partnership.
John Rooney will be well known to fans and could also cause the Blues some problems. The former Chester man, who made over 100 appearances for the club, is Wrexham’s top scorer this season with seven goals and has been an ever present feature in the Dragon’s starting line-up.
James Alabi could again prove to be Chester’s inspirational figure as he looks to continue a fine run of form. The 22-year-old has reached double figures for the season and doesn’t look finished yet. Elliot Durrell, who has six goals this campaign, is facing his former club.
Theo Vassell returns and is available for selection again. The 20-year-old full back has agreed to rejoin Chester on loan for the rest of the season from League One side Walsall. The Saddlers loanee featured 16 times for the Blues in his first spell this season before being struck by an injury that saw him sidelined for two months.
Ross Killock remains unlikely to feature against Wrexham but is nearing fitness. The 22 year old has returned to training this week after an injury hit season - which has limited him to just ten minutes on the pitch.
A win for Chester could lift them up to 7th place this afternoon – kick off in the 154th Cross-Border Derby is 3pm.
Match Preview by Danny Garbett.