Oldham are in FA Cup action this weekend as they travel to Gateshead hoping to avoid a giant-killing in the first round.
Two divisions separate the sides with Gateshead currently playing in the National League North and Oldham playing in League Two. The game will mark Dino Mammria’s first FA Cup game as Oldham head coach and he will know the dangers of playing away at an in-form opponent regardless of the league they play in.
It is also the first FA Cup run for Oldham since their brilliant run last season which saw them make it to the third round of the competition. On a day that will live long in the memory of Latics fans, Oldham managed to win 2-1 away at then Premier League side Fulham. Callum Lang headed an 88th-minute winner to send Oldham into the FA Cup fourth round, moments after Latics goalkeeper Daniel Iversen had saved a penalty from Aleksandar Mitrovic.
Gateshead have already come through three FA Cup games to get to the first round after beating Ramsbottom United, Kidsgrove Athletic and Colne respectively. Gateshead have been in good form in the league so far this season also with the side currently sitting in 9th place in the National League North. They have also won 8 of their last 10 games and their last fixture was a convincing 3-0 win over Curzon Ashton.
Oldham are unbeaten in their last three games and their last fixture was a 2-2 draw at home to Northampton after initially being 2-0 down. They have had a poor season so far overall though as they currently sit in 20th place in League Two and have has two managers already this season. A good FA Cup run could be a saving grace for Oldham fans this season.
Speaking in the club ahead of the game Maamria said: "I've watched their last couple of games and I went to watch them live just to get a feel for the stadium and the pitch. They're a good team, they play good football and they are not the typical physical non-league team that you would expect.
"They are more of a footballing team, they've got energy, they've got some decent players and some experienced players. They are a good team."
He added: "They're having a good season in the Conference North. One thing that we are guaranteed is they will play the game of their lives on Sunday.
"I will try and pick a team that will win. If I have to change one or two I will. Ideally, I'm not someone who's going to change loads to the team.
"I will probably tweak one or two areas to improve them looking at the opposition and the circumstance of the FA Cup.”