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Tuesday, 13 November, 2018

Notts County too short for visit of Stevenage

The man with his finger on the EFL pulse

Notts County manager Kevin Nolan
1 of 1

English Football League
3pm Saturday

Notts County v Stevenage
Promotions are rarely achieved without ups and downs and Notts County find themselves in a dip as they prepare to take on mid-table Stevenage at Meadow Lane.

Fifth-placed County are still in the mix, just four points outside the top three, but performances and results have slumped, although manager Kevin Nolan has called it "a bump in the road".

Nolan is trying to take the pressure off his players and has warned that fans may be expecting too much from on-loan Nottingham Forest midfielder Jorge Grant.

Grant has been a star player for the Magpies, scoring 14 goals, but hasn't found the net in six weeks and his struggles have been mirrored by the team as a whole.

County have won just two of their last eight league fixtures and were lucky to get away with a 1-0 defeat at Cambridge on Tuesday, having lost the shot count 19 to three.

There was a lack of intensity to their play and they need to get it back quickly because they take on Stevenage at a difficult time.

On the surface Stevenage might look ideal opponents as they are 13 points adrift of the playoffs and 15 above the drop zone.

But the Hertfordshire side were superb in a 4-1 triumph at home to Yeovil last Saturday and have upped their game since snapping up midfielders John Goddard from Swindon and Luke Amos on loan from Tottenham in January.

They will be eyeing up a top-half finish and can cause problems for County, who look short-priced favourites.

Recommendation
Stevenage +0.5 on Asian handicap
2pts Evs bet365

Sky Bet League Two standings

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Accrington v Cambridge
Cambridge's 1-0 win at home to Notts County was their third successive victory under caretaker-manager Joe Dunne and they can pose a serious test to second-placed Accrington in Lancashire.

United supporters had grown frustrated with the perceived cautious style of play under Cambridge's previous manager Shaun Derry and there has been a change in approach since Dunne's temporary appointment.

Dunne started off with a 3-2 victory at Chesterfield, ending a sequence of 13 games without an away win, and followed up with wins at home to Grimsby and Notts County which have lifted Cambridge to 13th, only seven points outside the playoffs.

They are playing well enough to trouble the top teams in the division and shouldn't be fearful of Stanley, who needed a dubious penalty award to scrape a 1-1 draw at basement boys Barnet last Saturday.

Recommendation
Cambridge draw no bet
2pts 6-4 general

Sky Bet League Two standings

Bet on this game at Soccerbase.com

Chesterfield v Swindon
Swindon have registered ten League Two away wins this season (two more than anyone else in the division) and look a tasty bet to defeat second-bottom Chesterfield, who look on course for a second successive relegation.

Poor home results were holding back Swindon earlier in the campaign but the landscape has changed for the better with David Flitcroft's side winning their last five games at the County Ground.

They have grown in stature and are benefiting hugely from the astute January acquisition of veteran striker Marc Richards, who has scored seven goals in eight league appearances.

Richards spent two seasons at Chesterfield earlier in his career and looks a major danger to his old club, who are in all sorts of trouble.

The Spireites have lost four games in succession and their problems may be set to increase because each of their next three games are against top-eight sides.

Recommendation
Swindon
1pt 6-5 bet365, Hills

Sky Bet League Two standings

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Mansfield v Coventry
Five wins in six games have pushed Mansfield into contention for  automatic promotion and another three points are on the cards against Coventry, who look set to fall short of the playoffs.

It has been a better year for Coventry, who defeated Stoke 2-1 in the FA Cup third round.

But they have lost their last four games and may struggle to match a powerful Mansfield side who are going through their best spell of the season.

Recommendation
Mansfield
1pt 13-10 general

Sky Bet League Two standings

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Richards looks a major danger to his old club
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