To get to the northern quarter-final stage of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy Chesterfield first hammered Burton 5-1 on the road, that one of only two away wins in the season - Wade Small 2, Drew Talbot 2 and Jamie Lowry scoring for Town while John McGrath netted for Burton. Things got more interesting in the last round for the Spireites though as they defeated Huddersfield Town 4-2 on penalties at Saltergate after the game had finished 3-3 on 90 minutes.
That only tells half the tale as the scoreline was actually 2-1 to Chesterfield with 88 minutes on the clock after Drew Talbot had scored twice for the home side and Anthony Pilkington had registered for the visitors. Jamie Bowery then made it 3-1 to the Spireites sixty seconds later before Huddersfield netted twice in the six minutes of injury time through Pilkington and Nathan Clarke to take the tie to penalties. Donal McDermott then hammering home the winning spot-kick for Chesterfield in the shootout.
Carlisle have played the Spireites twice in the Football League Trophy but both those games have been at Brunton Park. As for United's record in other competitions at Saltergate, well it is pretty poor, the Blues having won only five of their 34 games there over the years, four ending in draws while the bumper remaining 25 have finished in Chesterfield victories.
Ahead of the game, which kicks off at 7.30pm, Spirites boss John Sheridan spoke to his club's offical website, Sheridan commenting :
"Hopefully we can put Saturday behind us, too many people had an off day and we need to rectify that because it's a competition we want to go as far as possible in. Carlisle will be a tough test, they are a decent side and have some good players and a decent manager but after beating Huddersfield we have to go into the game with some confidence.
"Mark Little misses the game through suspension. I wasn't too sure about his second booking for his red card but that's part and parcel of football you can get booked for anything nowadays. So whoever comes in will have the opportunity to do well and make case for selection on Saturday.
"Wade (Small) will also miss out he got a bad whack on his ankle and it's really sore. He's had a precautionary X-Ray and nothing appears broken, so hopefully he will be back sooner rather than later. I am still trying to bring in a couple of players which may be before tomorrow because I don't want anybody in the comfort zone and want more competition for places."
Apart from the two injuries Sheridan has mentioned there, on-loan Colchester midfielder David Perkins will also miss out as he is cup-tied, the former Morecambe man having already featured for the U's in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy this season. Perkins will be able to watch the game for free though, unlike the rest of the spectators who will be forking out : Standing - Adults £10, Concessions £7, Juveniles U15 £1. Seated - Adults £12, Concessions £8, Juveniles U15 £1.
The referee for tonight's match is Carl Boyeson from Hull, and he will be assisted down the lines by Keith Lawson from Scunthorpe and Wayne Porter from Bourne, also in Lincolnshire. Meanwhile the fourth official is Mark Weaver from Warley in the West Midlands. If the match ends up as a draw after 90 minutes then there will be no extra-time played and the tie will go to straight to penalties.