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Match Previews

Preview: Coventry City (A)

Get prepared for the play-offs with all the key info

11 May 2018

Saturday will see Notts County look to take their first step towards Wembley - and promotion - as they face Coventry City at the Ricoh Arena in the first leg of their League Two play-off semi-final.

Last weekend, Notts finished their regular league campaign in front of a big crowd at Meadow Lane with a 0-0 draw against already-promoted Luton Town, a result which saw the Magpies finish in fifth position - one place and two points ahead of their semi-final opponents.

That result was the first time Nolan’s side have failed to find the back of the net since their 1-0 loss at champions Accrington Stanley. Since that defeat, the Magpies have hit 10 in four games.

With more than 2,600 away tickets having already been sold, the Notts faithful are sure to play their part in creating a great atmosphere at the Ricoh Arena.

Coventry go into the first leg in good form, having lost just once in their previous five outings - a 4-2 defeat at home to Lincoln City.

Their last two games of the season saw a 0-0 draw at home to Morecambe and a 6-1 thrashing of Cheltenham at Whaddon Road.

Notts boss Kevin Nolan says…

“We’ve now got two games to get to Wembley. We’re all in it and we want to win it, so let’s have it.

“Every game I try to keep a level of consistency but there’s no hiding place now. If we win these next two we go to Wembley, and that’s the be all and end all.

“For me, it’s about making sure I give the lads the right direction to help them do themselves – and all of us – proud.”

Coventry boss Mark Robins says…

"We have just had the experience of a defeat at their place and of course we won the first game of the season here.

"The play-offs are always different though, and it is about how you handle the pressure.

"This is a great experience for everybody. We need to make sure we learn from it and we do all we can to get to Wembley. We are just two games away from that.”

Team news

Mark Robins has tinkered with his side in Coventry's last three games, using three different forward line-ups, with Marc McNulty, Jonson Clarke-Harris and Maxime Biamou playing their parts.

After playing with one up front and a packed midfield in their defeat to Lincoln, Robins has since reverted to a 4-4-2 formation, with improved results.

Kevin Nolan has a fully-fit squad to choose from, with the exception of long-term absentee Mason Bennett.

We’ve met before...

The two sides last faced each other at the beginning of April at Meadow Lane. Two Jonathan Forte goals, either side of Jordan Ponticelli’s strike for the Sky Blues, saw Nolan’s side avenge an opening-day 3-0 defeat at Coventry.

In their last eight league encounters with the Sky Blues, Notts have won four, drawn two and lost two. Their biggest win in these games came in February 2014, with goals from Hayden Mullins, Jimmy Spencer and Alan Sheehan giving Notts a 3-0 victory.

What are the odds?

Sky Bet have Notts priced at 11/4 for the win, with Coventry at 21/20.

If you’re going for the correct score, a 1-0 win for Notts is 17/2, with 2-1 to Notts 11/1.

Coventry are 15/2 for a 2-1 win and a 2-2 draw is priced at 14/1.

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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