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Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Cambridge can capitalise on Swindon's dodgy defence

Chesterfield unlikely to profit from Cheltenham trip

Joe Dunne has made a fine start in charge of Cambridge United
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Cambridge v Swindon

Joe Dunne has made an encouraging start in the Cambridge dugout, winning three, drawing two and losing one of his first six games, and he could be celebrating a Sky Bet League Two victory over playoff- chasing Swindon.

A mid-table finish looks likely for Cambridge and the mood of their supporters has lifted after an upturn in performances and results under the new manager.

Dunne came in at a tricky time after Cambridge had failed to win any of their final six games under Shaun Derry.

But results have turned around despite them having to take on the division's top four teams in their last four matches.

Cambridge's only setback under Dunne was a 1-0 loss at Accrington where they won the shot count 11 to nine.

They fought back to secure a 1-1 draw at Wycombe last Saturday and look like posing a tough challenge to Swindon, who are playing their first game under new manager Phil Brown.

Swindon have lost their last three away games and have looked shaky at the back since influential centre-back Matt Preston sustained a long-term knee injury last month.

The Robins have conceded at least two goals in each of the four matches since Preston's injury and their dodgy defence could let them down again.

2pts 6-4 general

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Sky Bet League Two standings

Cheltenham v Chesterfield

Thousands of racegoers have enjoyed their visits to Cheltenham this week but Chesterfield may not feel the same way.

The Spireites slipped to the bottom of the League Two standings after relegation rivals Barnet picked up a point in midweek and they are likely to stay there after this game.

Chesterfield started the season with hopes of recovering the third-tier status they lost last term.

But they have never got to grips with the fourth division and have been no higher than 21st since August.

Cheltenham flirted with relegation last season but they have improved and opened up a 14-point gap to the drop zone this time.

Gary Johnson's side were convincing 3-0 winners at Swindon last Saturday but seven of their 11 league wins have come at Whaddon Road, including eye-catching successes over Mansfield (3-0) and Lincoln (1-0).

Their star striker, Mo Eisa, is second in the division with 18 goals and will surely enjoy playing against Chesterfield, who have the section's worst defensive record with 64 goals conceded.

2pts 3-4 bet365, Betfair

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Lincoln v Grimsby 1pm

Lincoln were thumped 4-1 by Crewe in their last home game after a performance their manager Danny Cowley described as the worst of any team he has been in charge of. But they have been generally strong at Sincil Bank and look solid odds-on favourites to win their derby against fourth-bottom Grimsby.

Cowley is eyeing up successive promotions for Lincoln, who moved to within one point of the playoffs after last Saturday's 3-1 triumph at Chesterfield.

His powerful team have lost just three of their last 17 league matches and should have the upper hand against Grimsby, who have gone 16 games without a win.

The Mariners have brought in new manger Michael Jolley to try to stave off the drop but there was no obvious upturn in performance as they scraped a 1-1 draw at home to fellow strugglers Port Vale last Saturday.

Relegation looks a distinct possibility and their predicament is likely to worsen this weekend.

2pts 14-19 188Bet

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Sky Bet League Two standings

Sheffield United v Nottingham Forest

Nottingham Forest have gone six games unbeaten in the Sky Bet Championship and can continue their recent improvement by taking at least a point from playoff-chasing Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.

Forest have invested heavily and the January appointment of Aitor Karanka, who led Middlesbrough to promotion in 2015-16, was an ambitious move.

They are building towards being genuine challengers next season and look tough opponents for the Blades, who have struggled for consistency in recent months.

Sheffield United were 2-0 winners at home to injury-hit Burton on Tuesday but that was only the sixth win of their last 20 league games and they look poor-value odds-on shots to back it up with another three points.

Nottingham Forest or draw double chance
2pts Evs Betway

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Lincoln have lost just three of their last 17 league matches
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