PREVIEW: Chesterfield host Dover on opening day

The Spireites will welcome Dover Athletic to the Proact Stadium for their opening fixture of the 2019-2020 National League season.

John Sheridan’s side will be looking to get off to a good start, in order to maintain their clear ambition of promotion back into the football league.


The Opposition

The Whites finished their last campaign in a similar manner to Chesterfield. After sitting second from bottom under Chris Kinnear in early October, the Dover hierarchy showed him the door and brought in Andy Hessenthaler for his second spell at the club.

After struggling for the majority of the season they went unbeaten in their last nine games to pull themselves away from relegation and secure a mid-table finish.


One To Watch

Nassim L’Ghoul - The French midfielder signed for The Whites from National League South side Welling United. He has impressed many Dover fans in pre-season and is highly regarded by Welling fans.


Previous Meetings

Both sets of supporters will be hoping for a more lively encounter than the last and only two meetings between the sides. Last season Chesterfield ended their six-game losing streak to Dover at the start of September with a 0-0 draw.

The reverse fixture down at the Crabble was also an underwhelming affair. John Sheridan fielded a weaker side as the Spireites had already secured safety. However, they still managed to muster a point with the fixture also ending 0-0.


Team News

Many players have given Sheridan “a lot to think about” when it comes to his opening day lineup, but he will almost certainly go into the game looking to showcase some of his new signing. 19-year-old Anthony Spyrou will be looking to join Scott Boden up front, but experienced centre half Anthony Gerrard has been ruled out after picking up a problem with his hamstring.

Tom Denton said he is “hoping to be back in training within the next 4-5 weeks”, after having a knee operation just a couple of weeks ago.

Chesterfield will certainly be looking for a strong start in order to maintain their clear aim of promotion back into the football league. After a bright end to their 2018-2019 campaign and a strong pre-season, Dover will be looking to carry through that momentum and make a good start to the season, maybe pushing for a play-off place come the end of April.


John Sheridan's Thoughts

The Chesterfield manager has been very open and complementary about their opponents this weekend.

He said: “I think Dover will be a surprise package. The manager is a winner and has done a really good job. He’s brought some good players in and they have had some good results in pre-season.”

Sheridan was also very up-front about the he chances of promotion come the end of the season.

"I expect us to be there or thereabouts, but it’ll be a tough, hard season, it’s not going to be easy.

"I’ve made it clear to the players that I expect us to be in and around promotion,” Sheridan stated.

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