Newport vs Wrexham Preview

With memories of Brian Clough’s two-time European Cup-winning sides a distant in the minds of the Nottingham Forest fans lucky to be alive in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s

An all-Welsh Affair at Rodney Parade


For the second time in 28 days, Newport County and Wrexham will clash in what promises to be a fiery all-Welsh affair at Rodney Parade.


Graham Coughlan’s team will be on cloud nine after securing an FA Cup Fourth Round tie with Manchester United following a confident 3-1 win at Eastleigh mid-week, but they will need to keep focus as they host one of League Two’s form teams.


When the two sides clashed on December 23rd, Wrexham took all three points, with second-half goals from James Jones and Elliott Lee wrapping up the win. However, it was not a comfortable victory for Phil Parkinson’s men by any means, with narrow misses from Omar Bogle and Seb Palmer-Houlden in the first half nearly giving the travelling Exiles early goals.


All the ingredients are there for a thrilling encounter at Rodney Parade, a stadium that has proven a difficult battleground for many in the division. The question is, can Wrexham make it two for two against their Welsh rivals?


Newport Form & Analysis


The Exiles have been one of League Two’s most unpredictable sides this campaign. They come into the game off the back of consecutive away wins. First, they registered a 1-0 win away at Doncaster, with a late Seb Palmer-Houlden goal being the difference maker, before they went to National League Eastleigh and won 3-1, with goals from Will Evans, Aaron Wildig, and James Clarke sealing their passage into the fourth round of the FA Cup.


However, their form at home has been mixed. Their last outing saw them draw 1-1 with 10-men Eastleigh, while their previous game at home ended in a 4-2 win over Forest Green, with Coughlan’s men coming back from 2-0 down against ten men. However, that scoreline doesn’t tell the full story, with the team struggling to get going when up against 11, falling 2-0 behind.


It is difficult to judge Newport’s season as a whole at this stage. Injuries to key players have meant Coughlan has had to deal with selection headaches throughout the campaign. Seb Palmer-Houlden, Harry Charsley, and Kyle Jameson are just three key players who have been on the sidelines at different points in the season, with the latter finally returning to the team on the bench against Eastleigh.


One man who has received plenty of recognition at Newport this season is Will Evans. The former Bala Town striker, plucked from the Welsh Leagues by the Exiles, has netted 18 goals in all competitions this season, including 15 in the league, and he will be hungry to grab his second of the week on Saturday.

Wrexham Form & Analysis


Wrexham arrive at Rodney Parade in ferocious form. Phil Parkinson’s team have lost just two of their last 17 games, and are flying high at second in the table. 


They will feel full of confidence following wins against promotion rivals Barrow and AFC Wimbledon so far this month, as well as a 1-0 smash-and-grab FA Cup win in a cagey derby clash with Shrewsbury Town.


Wrexham will journey to South Wales without any fresh injury worries, but they will be without Jacob Mendy, who is on international duty at AFCON with The Gambia.


Elliott Lee, one of the league’s best players, was instrumental in Wrexham’s win last month and has played a key role in victories over Wimbledon and Shrewsbury in recent weeks. James McClean, never one to shy away from the limelight, has also been crucial for the team, establishing himself as one of the first names on the team sheet.



Newport County are one of the hardest teams to predict in League Two. The Exiles have put the likes of Stockport County and Charlton to the sword this season but have stuttered against teams like Barnet and Harrogate at Rodney Parade.


Both teams have momentum, and Newport fans will hope Wrexham’s poor history at Rodney Parade continues. However, I can’t see Wrexham being slowed down just yet. A tight Wrexham victory is my prediction here, with both teams hitting the net.


Prediction: Newport 1-2 Wrexham