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Preview: Mansfield Town (A)

Notts travel to Stags for hotly-anticipated local derby

29 September 2017

Notts County travel to Mansfield Town on Saturday lunchtime for a local derby looking to round off a perfect month.

The Magpies have won all six of their league outings in September, conceding just once, to move to the top of the Sky Bet League Two table.

A 3-0 win at Exeter City on Tuesday night means Kevin Nolan's side will come into the match full of confidence but the manager is keen to ensure his side remain grounded despite their excellent start to 2017-18.

The Stags, meanwhile, saw their six-game unbeaten run in the league come to a shuddering halt with a 3-0 defeat to Cheltenham Town at the LCI Rail Stadium, where manager Steve Evans was sent to the stands.

They currently occupy ninth in the standings but sit just four points adrift of the automatic promotion places.

And Evans will be determined to come out on top to secure bragging rights for those of a yellow and blue persuasion.

Notts manager Kevin Nolan says...

"We're going to a really good Mansfield side who will want to respond after their defeat in midweek.

"Preparation remains the same. We want to nullify their strengths and take advantage of their weaknesses."

Click here for more from the manager.

Mansfield boss Steve Evans says...

"This is the real test, this is the real benchmark. This is the league leaders who have gone around the country turning win, after win, after win in the opening weeks, so it's a big test for us.

"Congratulations to Kevin Nolan; what a job he's done. He's added very selectively to the group and he inherited a good squad, it has to be said."

Team news

Nolan reported a bill of health with one name on it - Dan Jones is likely to miss out with a hamstring problem but should return to full training next week.

Shola Ameobi has recovered from his injury to participate in training and the striker is back in the manager's thinking for the short journey.

Mansfield are missing defender Zander Diamond and midfielder Joel Byrom to groin and foot injuries respectively but Evans is hopeful former Notts loanee Hayden White will be available.

Dangerman

Danny Rose has become a reliable goal-getter for Mansfield under the management of Steve Evans.

The striker has scored twice in his past three league games - both goals earning victory for the Stags - to double his tally for the season after scoring 10 times in 2016-17, nine of which came after Evans took charge at the One Call Stadium.

The 23-year-old joined from Bury in the summer of 2016 after scoring 19 goals in 81 for the Shakers.

We've met before...

Notts currently hold superiority in the head-to-head stakes despite not beating the Stags in the league since August 2003, when Glynn Hurst's brace and a goal from Mike Edwards secured a 3-2 victory.

Last season's home match against Mansfield was Kevin Nolan's first game in charge of Notts, finishing goalless to end the Magpies' run of 10 successive league defeats.

What are the odds?

Could Nolan be the one to end the barren spell against the Stags?

Sky Bet have priced Notts up as 5/2 outsiders for victory, while Mansfield are 11/10 to get back to winning ways and push themselves back in to the top seven. The draw is available at 12/5.

Notts come into this game on the back of a 3-0 win at Exeter and a repeat result is available at 40/1, while a 2-1 win can be backed at 11/1.

Fancy Notts to win and keep a sixth clean sheet this month? It's 11/2 for Nolan's men to win to-nil or 6/1 for both teams scoring with the three points coming back to Nottingham.

Five of Notts' eight league wins have been by more than one goal, which makes the -1 handicap look a tempting price at 13/2.

Jorge Grant (above) came off the bench to score twice at St James Park, taking his tally for the season to eight goals. The creative midfielder is 33/1 to score another brace or 10/1 to open the scoring.

Lewis Alessandra was the man to get the ball rolling in Devon with his second-minute lob setting Notts on the path to victory. He is 15/2 to be the first name on the scoresheet again this weekend.

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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