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Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Desperate Chesterfield could shock Notts County

Top scorer Kristian Dennis back in the goals

Notts County manager Kevin Nolan
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Chesterfield are going to have to dig deep to avoid a second successive relegation but can enhance their survival hopes by defeating highflying Notts County at the Proact Stadium.

Jack Lester's Spireites are six points adrift of safety with just ten games left to save their skins - four of them on home soil.

It is imperative that Chesterfield make their remaining home games count and they are capable of doing some damage against County, who have gone off the boil in 2018.

Kevin Nolan's Magpies have won just four of 14 league games since New Year's Day - dropping from second to fourth in the table - and seem increasingly likely to miss out on automatic promotion.

They won 2-1 at Forest Green on their last road trip but suffered a major blow last Saturday, conceding a 99th-minute goal from the penalty spot in a 1-1 draw at home to local rivals Mansfield.

Nolan could not conceal his anger after the game and faces a tough task lifting the players for a tricky contest against a Chesterfield side battling to stay up.

Injuries and suspensions have hampered Chesterfield on numerous occasions this season but the health of the squad has improved in recent weeks.

Top scorer Kristian Dennis made his first start in a month in last Saturday's 1-1 draw at Cheltenham and bagged his 15th league goal of the season.

He was joined in the starting line-up by captain Robbie Weir, playing for the first time in three weeks.

And Chesterfield will be even stronger against Notts County with on-loan Sheffield United midfielder Louis Reed available after a two-match ban.

Lester still lacks a bit of experience at the back with veteran centre-back Ian Evatt not quite ready to return but his team are looking a lot more competitive than they were a few weeks ago.

It might take another five wins to give Chesterfield a realistic chance of staying up.

But they have toppled high-flying teams earlier in the season, winning at home to Exeter (1-0), Luton (2-0) and Swindon (2-1), and have a decent chance this weekend.

1pt 11-4 bet365, Betfair

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Team news
Louis Reed has completed a two-game ban but Ian Evatt (knee) and Jordan Sinnott (ankle) are unavailable.

Notts County
Ben Hall is on international duty with the Northern Ireland Under-21s and Liam Walker has joined up with the Gibraltar senior squad.

Key stat
Notts County have won one of their last seven away league games.

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Kevin Nolan's Magpies have won just four of 14 league games since New Year's Day - dropping from second to fourth in the table
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