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Match Previews

Preview: Luton (H)

4 May 2018

Saturday sees Notts finish their regular 2017-18 Sky Bet League Two campaign when newly-promoted Luton Town visit Meadow Lane.

Last week’s defeat at Grimsby saw the end of the Magpies' slim chance of an automatic promotion place, so they will be looking to put on a good show for the home fans and grab top spot in the play-off positions.

Exeter City are the team they need to overhaul as the Grecians currently sit in fourth spot, with a one-point lead over Notts. Kevin Nolan’s side have the advantage if it comes down to goal difference, with +23 over Exeter’s +9.

With just three points covering Exeter down to seventh-placed Lincoln City, the final positions are far from finalised.

The Magpies' East Midlands rivals Mansfield Town could also make a last-day dash into the top seven, if they manage a win at home to Crawley Town, but they would still need either Lincoln City or Coventry City to slip up.

Luton come into this game unbeaten since their 2-1 defeat at Colchester at the end of March. Since then they have won four and drawn one. Their biggest win in this latest run was 3-0 at Yeovil Town, followed up with 3-1 victories over Crewe and Forest Green.

Notts boss Kevin Nolan says…

"It's the business end of the season and I'm looking forward to the play-offs now. We want to hang on to our exceptional home record.

"I said when we played Luton at their place: 'If anyone finishes above them, they will win the league'.

"They've done a fantastic job to get to where they are. It's not easy with the expectation Nathan Jones and his team have been under to get over the line.

"We've brought an expectancy now to Notts County and that's fantastic. We've just got to get over the final hurdle now."

Luton boss Nathan Jones says…

“I’m glad we haven’t got to go there having to win but we won’t disrespect that luxury in any way, we’ll go there and be right at it.

"They’re in good form but we’re the team with the best form in the league at the minute, so we’ll finish strongly to continue that.

"Never mind how well we've played football-wise, or the goals that we've scored, or the young players we've introduced. What I said to the fans is that we were going to give them a team that they can be proud of and we've done that I think."

Team news

Nolan says he will use the match as an opportunity to assess the readiness of certain members of his squad ahead of Notts' play-off campaign.

Luton manager Jones, meanwhile, named an unchanged team for a fourth successive match last weekend against Forest Green and with April's League Two manager of the month determined to keep a five-match unbeaten run going to finish the season in style in front of more than 4,000 travelling Hatters fans, it is unlikely he will tinker with his team.

Goalkeeper James Shea has been keeping Marek Stech, named in the League Two team of the year, out of the side and is expected to continue.

Midfielder Lawson D'Ath remains a doubt and is unlikely to be risked, while Luke Berry has been out long-term with an ankle injury.

We’ve met before

The sides drew 1-1 at Kenilworth Road at the beginning of December.

Shola Ameobi grabbed an equaliser for Notts half-way through the second half after Johnny Mullins opened the scoring before the break.

Notts last beat Luton at Meadow Lane back on 30 January 2016, when an Alan Sheehan own goal and a Jon Stead effort saw the Magpies run out 2-0 winners.

What are the odds?

Sky Bet have Notts priced at 19/10 for the win, while Luton are 13/9. A draw is priced 5/2.

A 0-0 draw is 11/1, while a 2-0 win for Notts is 14/1. Luton are priced at 11/1 for the same scoreline.

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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