staring in the face

“Inspiration will be staring Andy Leese’s non-league side in the face when they travel to Valley Parade on Sunday.”

–The question rather on style than grammar: can something you need so much, be staring you in the face?

To have something ‘staring you in the face’, particularly when you can’t actually find it or see it. is a common expression.
This is how the idiom is typically used:

I couldn’t find my house keys, but they were on the shelf all the time. I didn’t see them even though they were staring me in the face.

I was in the library looking for the playscript of ‘The Changeling’. I walked up and down the rows but couldn’t find it so I asked the librarian. He took me back to the first place I’d looked and lifted it off the shel then handed it to me. It was there staring me in the face all the time.

In your examples, you were positive something you were looking for was somewhere around, but the original sounds different in my view: you’re not sure if inspiration (which you need so badly) would be there this time. It could simply turn its back on you on this day…
Does the original sound good for you?

I am sure you are fully aware of the meaning of this metaphor! and I agree it doesn’t work in the sentence you have quoted.

The same ‘image’ could perhaps be shown like this -

It is blindingly obvious that inspiration will be needed by Andy Leese’s non-league side when they travel to Valley Parade on Sunday.”

That is not how I read the original. As far as I can see it means that they will definitely receive inspiration in the view of the writer.