Big match preview: Notts County v Imps

Lincoln City will aim to follow up one victory over a top three side with another one when they take on Notts County on Tuesday night (kick-off: 7.45pm).

Notts County fans are hoping that the game will double up as a promotion party for their club—the Magpies will confirm their promotion if they win and Aldershot, Chesterfield and Rotherham fail to win in their respective fixtures.


County's Lee Hughes has scored 27 goals so far this season and is one of a number of danger men the Imps will have to deal with. Photo: Ingy the Wingy

The truth is that Steve Cotterill’s side are all but promoted after a fabulous run of form which has seen them go 13 games unbeaten. That run has been underpinned by the defensive solidity Cotterill has added to the team since his arrival—in the last 11 games, County have conceded just two goals, and they were both in the 2-2 draw against Bournemouth.

The statistics are daunting but the Imps will go into the fixture full of confidence after the vital 2-1 victory over Bournemouth on Saturday that kept relegation zone occupants Grimsby Town at more than arm’s length.

Chris Sutton kept faith with an unchanged starting eleven for that game, but will probably bring back captain Scott Kerr for the game, who is available again after a two-match suspension. That means that either Clark Keltie or Shane Clarke will have to make way for their skipper. Despite the return of Kerr, Cian Hughton picked up his tenth caution of the season at the weekend and will now sit out two games. The fit-again Steven Lennon may deputise.

Notts County’s side will be boosted by the return to fitness of Jamie Clapham but he might have to do with a place on the bench. Luke Rodgers, the usual strike partner of the prolific Lee Hughes, could play his last game for the club as he is looking to secure a move to Major League Soccer with New York Red Bulls, where he will team up with ex-County manager Hans Backe.

In the reverse fixture at Sincil Bank earlier in the season, Notts County ran riot. The Magpies won 3-0 with Rodgers scoring an impressive hat-trick. Chris Sutton watched on as he was due to take charge of the Imps the very next day.

The Linc prediction: Notts County 2 Lincoln 1

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