EARLY JD Welsh Premier League pacesetters Llandudno will look to get a further advantage on their rivals when they host newly promoted Prestatyn Town on Thursday (7.45pm).
The clash, which will be live streamed by S4C Sgorio, is expected to be a hotly contested derby encounter that is expected to draw a large crowd to the Giant Hospitality Stadium.
Sports reporter Dean Jones examines three key battles that could go a long way to determining the outcome of the fixture.
Danny Hughes vs Ross Stephens:
Old rivalries are renewed in the centre of the park between Hughes and Stephens, who both have the ability to have a huge say during the derby clash.
Both are instrumental in determining the tempo of a game, and the midfield maestros possess incredible vision which sets them apart from the majority of midfielders within the division.
Stephens recently returned to the club from Huws Gray Alliance side Caersws and he has been brought in to add some attacking flair and additional goals from the midfield area, while Hughes has shown his quality on a consistent basis which has been a cornerstone in Llandudno establishing themselves in the top tier following his move from Rhyl.
Marc Williams vs Dave Hayes:
The Seasiders’ stalwart has made a hugely encouraging return from injury so far this season, and he will once again be presented with a massive test in the form of Williams, who finished as the WPL’s top scorer in 2015/16 and has made an impressive start for the table toppers.
In his role as number ten he was thrived alongside a new-look pacey attack which includes Toby Jones, Ryan Edwards and Shaun Cavanagh, and Hayes will have to nullify his threat if Town are to have any chance of securing a result.
The skipper is a huge presence for the new boys and his communication and motivational skills on-and-off the pitch are two additional factors that continue to make him an indispensable member of the squad.
James Joyce vs Noah Edwards:
Two of the brightest young talents on the coast are set to do battle, with Edwards operating predominantly on the left side of a diamond this season.
The former Airbus Broughton trainee was a key component in Town’s rise to prominence, and much is expected of the midfielder if they are going to stand any chance of survival.
Joyce has emerged as one of the most gifted young performers in the WPL, and he has been a huge factor in the success that Morgan’s side have achieved in recent years.
Not only is he a stout defender, but his bursting runs down the flank provide a substantial number of assists to the front men throughout the season.