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Shrewsbury will provide best test yet, says Carl
12:00pm Friday 3rd August 2012 in Sport By Steve Carley - Midlands Sports Journalist of the Year 2013, @stevecarleyWN
WORCESTER City are relishing the chance to pit their wits against Shrewsbury Town in tonight’s eagerly-anticipated clash at St George’s Lane (7.45).
With just over a fortnight to go before the Blue Square Bet North season kicks off, City are increasing the intensity of their preparations.
Already unbeaten in six friendlies, the newly-promoted League One outfit will provide the sternest test of Worcester’s credentials yet.
City beat under-21 sides from West Brom and Aston Villa last month, both in front of large gates at the Lane, but Graham Turner’s Shrews are a different prospect altogether.
They held a strong Wolves XI to a 2-2 draw at the Greenhous Meadow on Tuesday and tonight’s match is their last before they visit Leeds United in the Capital One Cup first round a week tomorrow.
“I expect their team to be near enough what they will start the season with,” said Worcester manager Carl Heeley. “With it being early August, it’s brilliant that they will send a full squad and it will be a great test.
“We have lads with aspirations of getting back into the full-time game so it will be good to see how they cope against a club who have just been promoted.
“I expect a good following from Shrewsbury so I hope the crowd comes out for us.”
Although City still have a trip to Leamington to complete their warm-up programme, tonight’s match is likely to give a strong indication as to the line-up for the trip to Bradford Park Avenue on August 18.
Danny Glover and Mike Symons should be paired up front, while new signing Jay Denny could get a chance in midfield and Ellis Deeney is set to be restored at left-back.
With Jacob Rowe sidelined with a knee problem, Stuart Whitehead and Rob Elvins are likely to get the nod as the central defensive pairing.
Heeley continues to fine-tune his squad and is expected to put the finishing touches to the group over the next few days.
He will also keep tabs on former Kidderminster Harriers left-back Lee Baker and ex-Barrow midfielder Robin Hulbert as the season progresses.
Both were part of the club’s pre-season plans but Baker is working as a coach as he makes the transition into the part-time game, while Hulbert is still up to three months from being fit after cruciate ligament damage.