Fareham Town expect to hand a debut to defender Ollie Searle in their Wessex League premier division derby with AFC Portchester at Wicor Rec on Saturday (3pm).
The Hawks Academy player signed from Petersfield Town this week after getting limited opportunities on loan at Love Lane.
It is likely to be a baptism of fire for Searle with the relegation-battling visitors scrapping for vital points.
‘It has been a struggle so far,’ said Reds manager Matt Parr.
‘But the new players brought into the team are starting to bed in and we must look to get something from the game.
‘If we can do that then we can use it as a springboard going into the new year.
‘There is also a possibility I can bring one or two more players in.’
Parr is boosted by the return of midfield pair Jack James and George Davis, who missed the 7-1 home thrashing at the hands of Petersfield.
AFC Portchester boss Graham Rix admits his side have underachieved so far.
The Royals will be keen to pile more misery on Town and pick up three points in their bid to climb the table.
‘We feel we should be in a lot better position than we are,’ said Rix.
In-form Horndean and Petersfield Town go head-to-head in a mouthwatering derby at Five Heads Park (3pm).
Town know a win will take them back to the top – if Moneyfields slip up.
Ian Saunders’ team are hot on the heels of the leaders – trailing them by just one point – but Dave Carter’s side are also going well
‘It is a while since the two clubs met in a festive derby, so we are looking forward to it,’ said Horndean manager Carter.
‘Petersfield have done really well since stepping up into our league.
‘We have fallen a bit behind the leading group but have up to six games in hand on some of the teams above us.
‘It is important we make our extra games count.
‘Three points from the derby would be very welcome.’
League-leaders Moneyfields face an awkward trip across the Solent to face Newport (3pm).