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Match Previews

Preview: Lincoln City (A)

Notts travel to Sincil Bank to take on resurgent Imps

12 January 2018

Notts County make the short journey to Lincoln looking to extend their winning run in 2018 to three games.

The Magpies have registered successive 1-0 victories in their first two games of the calendar year to move past the 50-point milestone in Sky Bet League Two as well as reaching the fourth round of the Emirates FA Cup.

Now they travel to Sincil Bank to face Danny Cowley's Lincoln, who are living up to their billing as pre-season dark horses in sixth place.

The Imps dropped just two points in December to move into the automatic promotion places, but dropped out at the turn of the year after losing 4-2 at Luton Town.

Nonetheless, they remain in the play-off spots and, having beaten Notts 2-1 at home in the Checkatrade Trophy earlier this season, County will have to be at their best to come away with a positive result from Lincolnshire.

Notts manager Kevin Nolan says...

"We have to make sure we enjoy it and don't get carried away with the atmosphere.

"We have to go there and do what we have done for the majority of the season. If we play well we are more than a match for anyone and will win the game more times than we will lose."

Click here for more from the manager.

Lincoln boss Danny Cowley says...

“Kevin Nolan’s done a great job. He’s been there a year and he’s turned that club round.

“I’ve got nothing but admiration for the job he has done there.

“We watched them on Saturday and they deservedly beat a Championship team.

“It’s going to be a really tough game, but it’s a great game for us and one we’re really looking forward to.”

Team news

Nolan will be forced into at least one change from last weekend after Ryan Yates was recalled from his loan spell.

New signings Matty Virtue and Noor Husin could step in and make their debuts after joining Notts earlier this week.

Shola Ameobi returned to training this week and should be available to face the Imps, leaving Michael O'Connor and Rob Milsom as the only absentees in the squad.

Lincoln have a trio of new signings available to them as Cowley bolstered his squad for their promotion push.

Midfielder Lee Frecklington returned to the club nine years after leaving Sincil Bank, while winger Jordan Williams arrived on loan from Rochdale and defender James Wilson joined from Sheffield United.


Matt Rhead has been invaluable to Lincoln as the focal point of their attack since joining the Imps from Mansfield Town in the summer of 2015.

The big striker proved more than suitable for life in the National League, scoring 35 goals in 86 appearances at that level across the past two seasons.

He narrowly missed out on the Sky Bet League Two Player of the Month award for December after scoring four goals in five games as the Imps took 13 points from a possible 15.

We've met before

Notts have a superior head-to-head record against the Imps, winning 36 of the 66 meetings between the sides.

In the two games so far this season, each side has won one game. Notts took the honours in the league fixture, beating the Imps 4-1 at Meadow Lane in September.

Jon Stead, Matt Tootle, Jorge Grant and Terry Hawkridge were all on target for the Magpies, while Harry Anderson's goal for Lincoln was merely a consolation.

Cowley's side would gain the upper hand in the Checkatrade Trophy game two months later, coming from a goal behind to win 2-1 thanks to an own goal from Pierce Bird and Josh Ginnelly's stunning strike. Jonathan Forte notched the reply for Notts. 

County's last win at Lincoln came in September 2009, when a hat-trick from Luke Rodgers gave the Magpies a resounding 3-0 victory.

What are the odds?

Sky Bet have priced Notts up at 2/1 outsiders to beat the Imps, while the hosts are odds-against favourites at 7/5. The draw is 11/5.

Notts are 7/1 to record a third successive 1-0 win or 10/1 to come away from Sincil Bank with a 2-1 success.

Fancy the Magpies to win and keep a clean sheet? It's 4/1 for Nolan's men to win to-nil and 11/2 for both teams to score with the Magpies taking all three points.

Former Lincoln man Terry Hawkridge scored his only goal of the season so far against his old club in the first meeting between the sides this season and is 14/1 to open the scoring this weekend.

Jon Stead, meanwhile, has been in fine form, scoring the winning goal against both Port Vale and Brentford since the turn of the year.

Another 1-0 win with Stead scoring the only goal is 30/1 in the scorecast market.

You can bet on the game here.

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