Nottinghamshire rivals Mansfield Town and Notts County will do battle at the One Call Stadium on Saturday in a match that will have far more at stake than an apparent mid-table clash might suggest.
Stags may sit 13th in the table, but they remain just six points behind the play-off places with five games to go, with a goal difference similar to or better than several of the clubs above them.
And while the odds are firmly against them getting back in the top seven, a good run of form between now and the end of the campaign could at least put some pressure on whichever teams occupy seventh place between now and May 7.
Notts County will arrive at the One Call Stadium for what is a 1pm kick-off with little else other than local pride to play for.
They are 18th in the table and can’t be relegated, but their form has picked up since Mark Cooper took over in March with his only defeat having been in his first game at Portsmouth. They are four unbeaten since then and back-to-back 1-0 wins over Stevenage and Hartlepool mean they will arrive in Mansfield full of confidence.
You can see highlights of Notts County’s 1-0 win over Hartlepool United HERE, while the best of the action from Stags’ win at Carlisle can be found above.
The two teams have met twice this season already.
To read a match report from when Stags won 2-0 at Meadow Lane back on August 14 CLICK HERE
The pair then met again a few weeks later in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy first round, with the Magpies winning 3-1 this time around. For details and a match gallery from that game CLICK HERE
EARLY TEAM NEWS
One man definitely out for Mansfield is defender Krystian Pearce who serves the second game of a three-match suspension.
Last time out, Adam Murray opted for a 4-4-2 formation rather than his often-used 4-1-3-1-1, Mani Dieseruvwe partnering Matt Green up front. Colin Daniel’s injury sustained in that game, having earlier scored the opening goal, may leave a question mark over his availability, although Mal Benning is a ready replacement once again.
Notts County lined up against Hartlepool with a similar 4-4-2 formation, veteran strikers Jon Stead and Izale McLeod the men leading the line with Stead’s 13th goal of the season winning the match. The full line-up was: Loach, Hollis, Noble, Hewitt, Valencic, Atkinson, Stead, Audel, Aborah, Edwards, McLeod.
KEY BATTLE - RYAN TAFAZOLLI V JON STEAD
Jon Stead has been there and done it at all levels of the English game and his 13 goals this season since arriving in the summer show he’s still got the knack. His powerful presence will be a handful for Ryan Tafazolli but the Stags man has proved on more than one occasion this season that he can handle what’s thrown at him, even though he will be without his more regular partner at the back in Krystian Pearce.
STAY IN TOUCH
Those unable to make Saturday lunchtime’s game can as always follow proceedings via our dedicated Mansfield Town live feed.
The button link is located on the menu just below the main Chad masthead at the top of our home web page – www.chad.co.uk.
From there you can reach our scrolling Stags news, including live tweets throughout the matches and pre and post-match stories plus features, Stags blogs, videos, slideshows and Stags Retro items.
It is a treasure trove of everything any Mansfield Town fan could want to read and from there you can also trawl back through older material you may have missed.
You can also join in on the feed at any time yourself too, using the #ChadStags hashtag.
You can also have your say on all things Mansfield Town by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.