Notts County v Lincoln City... 5 days to go

Last updated : 31 January 2007 By Gary Moss

Notts face a stern test this coming weekend as they take on third placed promotion hopefuls, Lincoln City.

To most Notts fans, this is more than just a usual Saturday at Meadow Lane. The Magpies not only face local rivals Lincoln, but know that victory could put them into a play-off position.

As with any big game the key battles all over the park could affect the final outcome.

Jason Lee v Paul Morgan

In form Lee has netted four in his last two games taking him to twelve for the season. Imps' skipper Paul Morgan will be keeping a careful eye on the Magpie's goal poacher who looks to have hit top form since his return from suspension and injury.

With Morgan only having played in three clean sheet performances for City, Lee will certainly fancy his chances against the City man.

Moss' winner: Jason Lee

Jay Smith v Lee Frecklington

Frecklington... Box to box

Imps key man Frecklington has nine goals to his name from midfield while Notts' new-boy Smith has had a massive impact since his arrival to Meadow Lane.

The highly rated Imps middle man has been at the centre of all Lincoln's creation this season and his role in Saturday's game could be crucial to its conclusion. A box-to-box midfielder who isn't afraid to rattle his opponents is liable to pick up the odd booking with six to his name so far this term.

Smith on the other hand adds an attacking edge to the Notts midfield and will be a tough competitor for the Lincoln side.

Moss' winner: Lee Frecklington

Mike Edwards v Jamie Forrester

Fifteen goals this season speaks volumes for the ability of Lincoln striker Forrester. Edwards, now in his third season at Meadow Lane is fast becoming one of the league's most formidable defenders. His consistency and persistency will require a top performance from City's top scorer.

Forrester may only need one or two chances to make his mark on Saturday's clash. A fox in the box.

Moss' winner: Jamie Forrester

Matt Somner v Scott Kerr

Somner... Gritty

Somner is the versatility factor for the Magpie's but there is no disputing that Thommo prefers Matt in a gritty central midfield role. He will come head to head with Lincoln's Scott Kerr. Neither player really likely to trouble the score board at the weekend but if either one can stamp authority over the middle of the park, it could be crucial.

Moss' Winner: Matt Somner

Kevin Pilkington v Alan Marriott

Somehow I feel that Saturday could be one of those games where the excellence of one of the side's goalkeepers could make the difference. Both keepers have a wealth of experience and are fantastic shot stoppers. It could be the one who commands their box most successfully that will come out on top, in a game where set pieces will probably play a major role.

Moss' Winner: Too tough to call; only time will tell