At the moment, there can't be many other clubs in as depressed a state as Plymouth Argyle. The Pilgrims are 17th in League One and face the prospect of having to sell their best players in the January transfer window to pay off their £760,000 tax bill to HM Revenue and Customs. All the negativity currently at the club could be lifted significantly by a Devon derby win this weekend against Exeter, something the football odds suggest could happen.
It will be the first league meeting between the two sides since February 2002, although they did meet in the Johnstone's Paint trophy four weeks ago. On that occasion, Exeter got the better of the Pilgrims with a last minute winner to, although the game was marred by crowd trouble following the final whistle.
Peter Reid's side will go into the match on the back of their last league match which was a morale boosting 2-1 win over Dagenham and Redbridge. The victory came after Plymouth had lost four games on the trot, starting with the Exeter loss last month.
The Dagenham win came after Plymouth had gone 1-0 down after ten minutes. Captain Craig Noone got his side back into the contest just after the hour mark with a fine solo goal before Rory Patterson grabbed the winner with seven minutes left on the clock and anyone who had placed a football bet on the Pilgrims to win would have been delighted.
Plymouth will be boosted by the return to action of Jim Paterson, who has been sidelined for the past two months with a hamstring injury. The 31-year-old left-sided player has returned to full training and is desperate to be involved in what promises to be a fiery encounter.
"I have trained for the last two weeks at normal match tempo and, fitness-wise, I'm feeling fine. I would love to be involved this Saturday. I played for Dundee United in derby matches and they are special occasions," he said.
The return of the experienced Paterson should give the whole team a confidence boost in what can be called a must win game for The Green Army. Not only a bragging rights up for grabs, if Plymouth still have hopes of promotion then they need to start producing consistent results and sharpish.