Steven Schumacher

Schumacher's Shrewsbury Preview

Sync Fixtures

When you are the team who are top of Sky Bet League One, and defending a 100% record from seven home fixtures, it is inevitable that you become a target.

Shrewsbury Town head to Home Park on Tuesday evening hoping to be the first team to leave PL2 with any points this season while, for their part, Argyle want to get back to winning ways following a 2-2 darw at Bristol Rovers on Saturday.

Manager Steven Schumacher is more than aware of the potential scalp that Argyle now present to other teams, and insists his squad are more than up for keeping their standards high.

“When you are sitting at the top of the league, everyone understands that you have been doing something right, otherwise you wouldn’t have the points that we do,” he said.

“They will think ‘we want to be the first one to beat them, if they haven’t lost in 11 games.’ We’ve got to be ready for that. We understand where we’re sitting at the top of the league, and we know how we got there. We know what we have done well as a team, and also areas where we need to improve.

“We won’t rest and think it’s easy because we are the top, we have to be right for every single game.”

With several injuries and the ongoing suspension of Dan Scarr, Schumacher may again call on some of his younger players to be part of the squad, as was the case at Bristol Rovers. The good news, potentially, is that one player who missed out at the Memorial Stadium may have a chance of making it.

“Sam Cosgrove might be available,” said Schuamcher. “His calf feels better, it was stiff at the weekend. It wasn’t worth the risk to have him involved, but it did make us light. We had three teenagers on the bench. If Sam is available, that might be down to two, which gives us more options.”

Shrewsbury are 10th in League One, with 21 points from their 14 games. They have won three and lost three of their last six games, with a defeat at home on Saturday against Charlton Athletic following a win on the road at Fleetwood Town.

Notably, the Shrews have scored just 14 goals – only three teams have scored fewer – but they have only conceded 15 times, a record bettered by only six sides. For context, Argyle have scored 30 and let in 16.

After a 2-2 draw at Rovers, whose games regular see goals at both ends, the stats might say that the Shrewsbury game may be less high-scoring.

“We expected goals against Bristol Rovers, because of their data and information we had on them,” said Schumacher. “Shrewsbury are one of the lower scorers, but don’t give up an awful lot either. They have some good defenders and a good goalkeeper in our opinion. It will be a hard game, but we’ve just got to try to be positive about it.

“I watched their game [against Fleetwood] back and I thought they played well that day. They passed the ball really well and deservedly won that game. They lost at the weekend to Charlton, and probably didn’t play as well as they would have wanted to play, but they have quality, they are well organised, and are a threat from set-pieces.

“We didn’t think we played great at the weekend, but we got a point. Our performance level is going to have to be better to get more than a point on Tuesday night.”

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