Lincoln v Notts... BIG match preview

And things were going so well weren't they?

Lincolnshire Echo stand at Sincil Bank
After an initial derby day setback just a training session after taking charge, Charlie McParland revitalised the Magpies and seemed to have got everything moving in the right direction again.

Then the mighty Macclesfield came to town and again picked up three points at Meadow Lane meaning things are not at all rosy once more.

Luckily for Notts they bump into a side bottom of the Football League in Lincoln City at Sincil Bank, but is it a right time to play them?

Notts have never been ones to strike while opponents are down, and the Imps are being made favourites to end their winless streak. It's a massive encounter.

Team News
Beevers... Key defender out for Imps

Notts - Mike Edwards, Jay Smith and Jason Lee remain sidelined while Micheal Byron continues his loan with Hinckley United. Andy Parkinson is a doubt but Neil MacKenzie is available for selection after a speedy recovery from an hernia operation in Germany.

Lincoln - Ollie Ryan sits out the first match of a three-game suspension adding to manager Peter Jackson's woes. He already has defenders Lee Beevers and Nat Brown out while strier Mark Stallard isn't fit to face his former club. Better news comes in the form of Jamie Forrester and Dany N'Guessan who have been declared fit to play.

Form guide

- Under McParland the form book reads won three, drew one and lost two. Those two defeats have come either side of a four match unbeaten run meaning McParland is still yet to stamp his real authority on things. Away from home all season the Magpies have won just once, but are undefeated in two on their travels.

Lincoln - Fifteen games without a win in all competitions for the Imps whose last win came way back in August as they defeated Accrington Stanley at the Bank. Since a run consisting of eleven defeats and four draws in all competitions has seen them slide to the bottom of League Two and out of the Johnstone's Paint. They did recently force a replay at the City Ground with Notts' rivals Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup and their performances have improved under Jackson.

The view

Dudfield... In-form
- Striker Lawrie Dudfield says he is delighted ot be playing his way into some sort of form after coming close to being dropped at Accrington Stanley until Spencer Weir-Daley fell ill: "It was a bit of a turning point for me. I woke up in the morning, was not in the team, found out on the way I was in the team, and went on to get my first goal. My game kind of came back, as I was not in the best of form earlier in the season. I have just become more confident and these goals (three in last four) will only help this."

Lincoln - Manager Peter Jackson has had his players in for double training sessions: "The players have been doing double sessions, but I must stress it is not a punishment. It's preparing them for the busy Christmas period ahead while also working excessively on team play. Hopefully it'll all pay off (against Notts) because it's a really important game. We need to start winning, particularly at home and that's a record that has got to improve."

Key men

- Neil MacKenzie is back and after missing last week's defeat against Macclesfield it was proved how influential the experienced midfielder is. With two defensive midfielders in the team against the Silkmen, Notts struggled for creativity and can't rush their influential playmaker back soon enough. The
N'Guessan (left)... Dangerous for the Imps seen here shrugging off Forests Sammy Clingan
former Scunthorpe ace is crutial to Notts' new found passing game, and everything good goes through him. Needs to switch the play quickly and get the ball moving forwards. After poor set-pieces last week his delivery from there is also critical and could make the difference.

Lincoln - Dany N'Guessan is another who missed his sides last match through injury, but he too is expected to make the starting eleven on Saturday. Has been the Imps' greatest attacking threat so far this season and his pace and directness are difficult to deal with. Can run defenders ragged if he is in the mood, although he does have a tendency to flitter out of games easily. When he is on song, and he is likely to be for a derby, N 'Guessan has showed he can play at a higher level and his trickery and power will be hard to handle. If he gets it right, Lincoln will have chances.

Big battle

Paul Green v Myles Weston

Green has been Lincoln's best player since Jackson took over from John Schofield four games ago. The right back has showed his resilience and ability to threaten going forward. Still only young, Green has established himself under Jackson who has labelled his full back his best player so far. But he has a tough test on his hands to continue his good run of form if Weston is re-instated on the wing as is likely. The former Charlton man has more pace than Green and will likely frighten him if given the chance to run at him. Green will be confident given his form, but if Weston gets the early upper hand will surely provide Notts with a great attacking outlet. THis one could be fascinating. With Green likely to get forward, Notts could have space to exploit but Weston must be willing to back track too.

Possible line-ups
Weir-Daley... Former Imps loanee to bag?

(4-4-2) - Kevin Pilkington; Lee Canoville, Adam Tann, Krystian Pearce, Paul Mayo; Richard Butcher, Neil MacKenzie, Gary Silk, Myles Weston; Lawrie Dudfield, Craig Lindfield.

Lincoln: (4-4-2) - Ben Smith; Paul Green, Danny Hone, Adie Moses, Gary Croft; Louis Dodds, Lee Frecklington, Scott Kerr, Dany N'Guessan; Jamie Forrester, Ben Wright.


Very tough to call with Notts having an average recent record at Sincil Bank. The Imps are so long overdue a win and have recently revived themselves with form. They might edge this in a bit of a cracker. 2-1 Imps unfortunately.