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Match Previews

Preview: Luton Town (A)

9 December 2017

Notts County travel to Luton Town looking to leapfrog their opponents at the top of the Sky Bet League Two table.

The two teams have an identical league record - played 20, won 12, drawn five and lost three - and only goal difference is keeping the Magpies from the summit.

The free-scoring Hatters boast a goal difference of +30 thanks to a number of comfortable victories - none more so than their recent 7-0 thrashing of Cambridge at Kenilworth Road, which helped Luton boss Nathan Jones retain the Manager of the Month award.

But Kevin Nolan's men are undaunted by the prospect of facing the country's leading goalscorers and have plenty of threats themselves to cause Luton problems.

A win would end a run of five games without a victory away from Meadow Lane and leave Notts in an incredibly healthy position heading into the festive period.

One thing is for certain - this is a game not to be missed.

Notts manager Kevin Nolan says...

"They have played some lovely free-flowing football this year, and you have to give the massive respect for how they have gone about it, but with the players they have I am sure that is what Nathan Jones [Luton manager] expected.

"It is about us trying to exploit their weaknesses and we've seen some which we think we can take advantage of. If we can do that, we will give them a run for their money and go toe-to-toe with them."

Click here for more from the manager.

Luton boss Nathan Jones says...

"Kev's done a fantastic job there. He's got a real good team together, he's recruited well. I know what type of character he is and he's instilled that in the players. So it will be a fabulous game and I hope we play the way we have in these big games lately.

"It's two sides going head to head and I imagine both sides will try and win the game as they've got such a good record as well, so we're looking forward to it.

"A draw might be a good result for them, or for us. In terms of what they have done lately, they're in excellent form, we're on the same points. They've showed they can win away from home as well as at home."

Team news

Shola Ameobi is likely to miss out with a groin problem but news is more promising on Jon Stead after the striker came through last weekend's Emirates FA Cup tie against Oxford City without any complications to his leg injury.

Goalkeeper Adam Collin and midfielder Michael O'Connor remain sidelined with long-term knee injuries.

For the hosts, they could call upon the services of striker James Collins, who has trained this week following a leg injury, while Harry Cornick is close to a return to action after a hamstring problem.

Scott Cuthbert and Alan McCormack are both sidelined for the Hatters with groin and hernia injuries respectively.

Dangerman

Danny Hylton is currently the top goalscorer in Sky Bet League Two with 12 goals to his name and 13 in all competitions after banging in 27 last season.

The striker joined the Hatters in the summer of 2016 from Oxford United and has been prolific thereafter - going into this weekend's game, his record for Luton stands at 40 goals in 68 games.

We've met before

The head-to-head standings favour the home side, who have won half of the 70 previous meetings between the sides.

However, Notts have lost one of the past four outings against Luton, winning two of those.

The Magpies' last win at Kenilworth Road came in January 2016 as former County man Alan Sheehan scored an own goal from Wes Atkinson's cross before Jon Stead's superb solo goal sealed a 2-0 win.

What are the odds?

Sky Bet have priced Notts up at 16/5 outsiders to come away from Bedfordshire with all three points while the hosts are 4/5 to pick up the win with the draw available at 14/5.

Notts are 25/1 to win 2-0, as they did in January 2016, and an even longer 40/1 to come out of the right side of a five-goal thriller with a 3-2 victory.

A 0-0 draw, which would confound many a prediction, is 12/1.

Fancy the Magpies to win and keep a clean sheet? It's 8/1 for Nolan's men to win to-nil and the 13/2 for both teams to score with the three points coming back to Nottingham.

Jorge Grant's late winner against Oxford City was his 14th of the season and he could become the first Notts player since Lee Hughes in 2009-10 to go past 15 in a campaign with another goal this weekend.

The midfielder is 11/2 to open the scoring at Kenilworth Road, while his fellow Nottingham Forest loanee Ryan Yates can be backed at 20/1 to be the first name on the scoresheet.

Shaun Brisley offers great value at 66/1 with Notts often profiting from set-piece situations this season - Brisley scoring two goals and assisting a couple more in the opening months of 2017-18.

You can bet on the game here.

Supporters who sign up to Sky Bet using this link can help the club financially.


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