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Match Previews

Preview: Forest Green (H)

Notts looking to get back to winning ways against League Two new boys

7 October 2017

Notts County host Forest Green Rovers looking to retain their place at the top of the Sky Bet League Two table.

The Magpies suffered a 3-1 defeat at Mansfield Town last weekend, bringing an end to their 10-game unbeaten run, but they are still at the summit of Sky Bet League Two.

Six wins from seven games, along with five clean sheets, saw Kevin Nolan pick up September's Manager of the Month award and he will hope the infamous curse does not strike his team, who are unbeaten at Meadow Lane this term.

Forest Green, managed by former Notts boss Mark Cooper, come to Nottingham at the bottom of the league having picked up just one point on their travels.

Rovers have conceded 14 goals in their five away games to date and will need to show a hitherto hidden defensive steel to come away with a positive result.

But the Gloucestershire side rallied from a goal down to win at Cheltenham in the Checkatrade Trophy in midweek so will make the journey north with a spring in their step.

Notts boss Kevin Nolan says...

"A win for Forest Green could kick-start their season. We won't take it lightly - I say every week there's no easy game in this league.

"They have good individuals who can punish us so we need to match them, counter their strengths and exploit their weaknesses."

Click here for more from the manager.

Forest Green manager Mark Cooper says...

"Notts County have had a brilliant start under Kevin Nolan. They're going well and they'll fancy themselves to continue that.

"There's no pressure on us. Nobody expects us to go there and get anything. We are certainly going to go and have a go and try to play."

Team news

Full back Dan Jones remains sidelined with a hamstring injury but is expected to be back in training next week.

Shola Ameobi returned from a similar problem to make an appearance from the substitutes' bench last weekend and could be in line for a start after a full week of training. 

For the visitors, defender Emmanuel Monthe is ruled out with a fractured cheekbone but Nottingham Forest loanee Alex Iacovitti could be back in contention after recovering from an Achilles injury.

In addition, former Notts midfielder Liam Noble will be sidelined due to a medical matter.

Dangerman

Omar Bugiel arrived at the New Lawn in February for an undisclosed fee and made an instant impact, scoring five times before the end of the season as Rovers won promotion to the EFL for the first time.

The striker joined from Isthmian Premier Division side Worthing, where he had scored 15 goals until moving to Gloucestershire.

His two goals in the league have been vital for Mark Cooper's side. He bagged the winner in a dramatic 4-3 victory over Yeovil in August before rescuing a point at Port Vale last month.

Born in Germany to a Polish mother and Lebanese father, Bugiel earned his first international call-up to the Lebanon squad for their Asian Cup qualifiers in June, but is yet to make his debut for the Cedars.

We've met before...

This will be just the second meeting between Notts and Forest Green and the first in the league as the only game previously came in an FA Cup third-round tie in 2010.

It took place at Meadow Lane with the Magpies coming out on top thanks to goals from Stephen Hunt and Lee Hughes. Isaiah Rankin scored the consolation for the Stroud outfit.

Notts would go on to beat Wigan Athletic after a replay in round four before falling to a 4-0 defeat at Craven Cottage against Fulham, then of the Premier League, in the fifth round.

What are the odds?

Sky Bet have priced Notts up as 8/15 odds-on favourites to get back on the winning track this weekend, while the visitors are a long shot at 19/4. The draw is available at 16/5.

Notts won the only previous meeting between the sides by a 2-1 scoreline, which is 7/1 this weekend. A 2-0 win is 13/2 while a 4-0 win can be backed at 20/1.

Jorge Grant is among the leading goalscorers in League Two with seven to his name so far this season and the in-form midfielder is 6/1 to open the scoring, 12/1 to score two or more or 11/2 to score more goals than Forest Green on the afternoon.

Shola Ameobi made his return from a hamstring injury in last weekend's defeat at the One Call Stadium and could be back in the starting line-up. The former Newcastle striker is 9/2 to be the first name on the scoresheet.

Notts winning to-nil with a seventh clean sheet of the campaign is 7/4, while a Magpies win with both teams scoring is available at 15/8.

County have led at half-time in four of their five home league games this season and Sky Bet are offering evens that Nolan's men hold the advantage at the break on Saturday.

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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