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Tuesday, 22 January, 2019

Imps set to bounce back with victory over league leaders

Lincoln look value to celebrate again
1 of 1

National League
BT Sport 1, 12.15pm Saturday

Lincoln have suffered three consecutive losses in three different competitions, casting a shadow over a hugely promising season, but they can move back to the top of the National League by defeating leaders Forest Green at Sincil Bank.

Reaching the FA Cup quarter-finals was an amazing achievement but there was always the possibility of a hangover after their 5-0 loss at Arsenal.

Last weekend Lincoln's second attempt to reach Wembley was scuppered by a 1-1 draw after extra-time at home to York in their FA Trophy semi-final second leg as they went out 3-2 on aggregate.

And the mental and physical strain of a second cup exit was evident on Tuesday as Lincoln lost 2-0 at mid-table Boreham Wood in the league.

The defeat felt even more damaging after the final whistle when Lincoln learned that Forest Green, their main title rivals, had gone top with a 2-1 win at home to Solihull Moors.

But automatic promotion is still in Lincoln's hands because they have played three fewer games than Rovers, who hold a three-point lead.

The problem Lincoln may have is fixture congestion with 11 league matches needing to be completed by the end of April.

However, tiredness may not be such an issue against Forest Green because several first-teamers including top scorer Matt Rhead were dropped to the bench at Boreham Wood.

Imps manager Danny Cowley thought he could use some of his fringe players against mid-table Wood and still pick up the three points.

He was punished on the night but the decision should improve Lincoln's chances of toppling Rovers.

Going top of the league was a huge boost for Rovers, who had not led the division since November.

However, Forest Green have struggled away to their promotion rivals, losing three of their four road trips against teams in the top seven, and may be on the wrong end of a Lincoln backlash.

Lincoln draw no bet
1pt 8-11 Betfair, Coral, Sky Bet

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Team news
Winger Harry Anderson is in contention after joining on loan from Peterborough. Matt Rhead, Bradley Wood, Terry Hawkridge and Alan Power could return after dropping to the bench for Tuesday's 2-0 loss at Boreham Wood.

Forest Green
Centre-back Ethan Pinnock picked up an injury last weekend and missed Tuesday's 2-1 win at home to Solihull Moors. Dale Bennett deputised in midweek and could stay in the side.

Key stat
Lincoln have won nine of their last 11 home games.

But automatic promotion is still in Lincoln's hands because they have played three fewer games than Rovers, who hold a three-point lead
E.W. Terms
Sky bet