THE BIG MATCH

npower League 2 leaders Swindon Town will face last season's champions of the same level, Chesterfield, in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy on Sunday. The Spireites are currently bottom of npower League 1 and have won twice in their last 10 matches whilst the Robins have lost just twice in the same period, winning their other eight games.

Form though can often go out of the window on a big occasion but Swindon can take comfort from having already beaten higher league opposition in the shape of Wigan Athletic, Huddersfield Town and Bristol City this season and midfielder Simon Ferry told the Swindon Advertiser that playing a higher ranked side will not intimidate a confident Swindon side:

"We have played quite a lot of teams in leagues above us this season [in cup competitions] and done quite well in all of the games so we will be used to it and should do well, and looking forward to it also.

"They were in League 2 last season while we were in League 1, and now we are top of League 2 while they are bottom of League 1, so I would say it is pretty even in that way, but I think we have a great chance."

The Robins' last Wembley visit, the 2010 League 1 Play-Off final, ended in tears but Ferry believes that a cup competition carries less pressure in some ways:

"We probably do go into this game feeling a little bit more free than before, mainly because we go into it without having a whole season riding on it. The boys are buzzing and what we need to do now is to relax and play our football. If we do that I think we will win. This is an extra bonus for how well we have done this season, and it is a great reward for us all to be able to play at Wembley."

The 24-year-old midfielder is hoping that this can be the first of many trophies in his career, and will be hoping that the second award is not too far behind.

"If we can win it will be the first trophy I have won as a player, and not many get a chance to win a trophy, especially at Wembley so we hope we can bring it back for us and the fans, and then win another one quickly and win the league."

Meanwhile Chesterfield manager John Sheridan makes his opponents favourites despite the league standings and is hoping that Paolo Di Canio's side's form and confidence perhaps work against them.

"Swindon are playing with confidence, scoring goals and keeping clean sheets. They are the top of their league and we are at the wrong end of the table, but we are going there to win the trophy," the 47-year-old said.

"Maybe Swindon will be a bit over-confident. It was the same when we were top of League 2 last season, we just turned up expecting to win matches because we were that confident.

"But it will be tough for them. It is a big step up to League 1 and we will give them as tough a game as they have had all season."

HEAD TO HEAD

This weekend's Johnstone's Paint Trophy finalists have crossed paths on 42 occasions.

Swindon have won 19 of the league games in which the two have clashed, whilst Chesterfield have won 14.

As for cup matches, Swindon won 2-1 when the two sides met in the FA Cup way back in 1935, whilst Chesterfield were victorious when the two came together in the League Cup in 1974.

In more recent years, the two teams have been frequent opponents having been in the same division from 2001 until 2006. During that period, the Robins won on five occasions whilst the Spireites won three times. Two matches ended in a draw.

The most recent meeting between the Robins and the Spireites was on Saturday 25th March 2006, which ended 2-0 to Swindon with Jamie Cureton scoring both goals.

TEAM NEWS

Swindon are waiting on the fitness of club captain Paul Caddis, who has missed the Robins' last three games because of an ankle injury. The Scot may feature at Wembley but is unlikely to be fit enough for a starting place.

Paolo Di Canio secured the signings of Barnsley defender Jay McEveley and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder John Bostock on loan until the end of the season this week and both players will go straight into contention for the clash.

The Italian will be without on loan pair Jonathan Tehoue and Luke Rooney, however, as they appeared for their respective parent clubs - Leyton Orient and Gillingham - earlier in the competition.

Chesterfield manager John Sheridan also has a number of players cup-tied.

Neal Trotman, Liam Ridehalgh and Nicky Ajose have all played in previous rounds of the competition for other clubs meaning they cannot appear in the final showdown on Sunday.

Other than that, Sheridan has a fully fit squad to choose from for the match with Swindon.

ROUTE TO THE FINAL

Chesterfield

Swindon Town

 

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