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Match Previews

Carlisle United (H)

13 February 2018

Notts County host Carlisle United as they look to get back to winning ways in Sky Bet League Two.

A run of one win in their past seven has seen the Magpies stumble in recent weeks but manager Kevin Nolan will hope that being back on home turf will provide the perfect remedy.

Carlisle, managed by former Notts boss Keith Curle, are 10 points adrift of the top seven and are in danger of allowing their season to peter out after making the play-offs in the last campaign.

With Curle at the helm and former Magpies Gary Liddle and Jamal Campbell-Ryce in the squad, the Cumbrians will be determined to get back on the winning track and reignite their hopes of a top-seven finish.

Notts boss Kevin Nolan says...

“I am really expecting a tough game, but I am looking forward to it.

“I want my lads to show that they can follow instructions and get our identity back.

“We want to get back to what Notts County have been feeding off in the last year which has helped us to where we are now.

“I’ve told the lads there is no pressure. They don’t have to do anything out of the ordinary. They just need to do what they were four or five weeks ago and we will be fine.”

Team news

Mason Bennett is ruled out with the hamstring injury which saw him limp out of the defeat against Barnet on Saturday afternoon.

Nolan was hopeful that the likes of Elliott Hewitt, Lewis Alessandra and Alan Smith would recover from the bug which kept them sidelined at the weekend when he addressed the media on Monday.

Carlisle captain Danny Grainger missed the 1-1 draw against Colchester at the weekend and will be monitored in the build-up to the game at Meadow Lane.

If Grainger misses out, Tom Parkes is likely to deputise at left back with former Notts man Gary Liddle partnering Clint Hill in the heart of the defence.


After an unsuccessful attempt to lure Cole Stockton to Cumbria in the summer, Keith Curle got his man last month when the striker left Hearts by mutual consent.

The 23-year-old put pen to paper on an 18-month contract at Brunton Park and got off the mark for the Blues in his second game, scoring in the 4-3 defeat at Wycombe recently.

Stockton began his career with Tranmere, where he made 115 appearances, scoring 23 goals. His final game for Rovers was the National League play-off final, where they lost 3-1 to Forest Green Rovers.

The striker has enjoyed success in League Two before during two loan spells with Morecambe, scoring 12 goals in 33 games across two spells at the Globe Arena.

Deciding to explore his options rather than extending his stay at Prenton Park after an 18-goal season, Stockton decided to venture north of the border to Hearts, but failed to score in 15 appearances before agreeing to leave Tynecastle.

With Curle's interest in the attacker remaining despite Stockton spurning his advances six months earlier, the Scouser will now hope to repay the Carlisle manager's faith.

We've met before...

Carlisle have won four of the last seven meetings between the sides but it was Notts who last won an outing between the teams as goals from Jon Stead and Matt Tootle secured a comeback victory at Brunton Park in April 2017.

County's most recent home win over the Cumbrians came in March 2014 when a brace from Haydn Hollis, paired with goals from Ronan Murray and Gary Liddle, gave the Magpies a crucial three points.

The meeting earlier this season ended in a 1-1 draw as Ryan Yates' goal cancelled out Hallam Hope's opener for Keith Curle's men.

Notts also hold a superior record in the head-to-head standings with 17 victories to Carlisle's 12 in the 33 previous matches.

What are the odds?

Sky Bet have priced Notts up as even-money favourites to take all three points, while the Cumbrians are 13/5 to come away from Meadow Lane with the win. The draw is 5/2.

A 2-0 win for the Magpies against the Blues can be backed at 17/2, with a 4-1 scoreline available at 33/1 and a 3-2 win at 25/1.

Jon Stead was an unused substitute during the defeat at Barnet on Saturday and could be recalled to the line-up as a result of Mason Bennett's injury. The striker is 5/1 to open the scoring tonight.

Liam Noble is coming up against one of his former clubs and is 9/1 to be the first name on the scoresheet, while Matt Tootle is 40/1 to score first after recovering from illness.

Notts are 11/4 to win the game with both teams scoring or 5/2 to win the game to-nil.

You can bet on the game here.

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