Notts v Bury... BIG Match Preview

Back-to-back defeats has soured the mood at Meadow Lane as Notts languish in sixteenth position in League Two in what is meant to be a promotion hunting season.

Still, only ten league games gone and plenty of time to turn it around regardless of the calls for Steve Thompson's head.

Meadow Lane host Bury
He has certainly made a step in the right direction this week with the purchase of proven scorer Danny Crow who will go straight into the side for his first Notts appearance in what is a one month loan deal, with a view to a permanent move.

Crow is a fine finisher and could make the difference between Notts saying they are serious about promotion and then actually being contenders.

Despite the transfer budget allegedly being used up new chairman John Armstrong-Holmes managed to find room for Crow, and would attempt a permanent transfer should things go well.

Finally, are Notts showing the much needed ambition?

Team News

Notts - Long term absentee Mike Edwards remains sidelined, as does Michael

Silk... Back in the starting eleven
Byron who is looking forward to a return by the end of the month. Crow goes straight into the squad while Myles Weston is back on the bench after two months out with a hamstring strain. Lee Canoville is injured while Paul Mayo is suspended. Gary Silk returns to the squad but Jay Smith remains sidelined with his groin injury.

Bury - Should name a similar side to that which beat Rochdale twice in four days - once in the league and once in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy. Former Magpie Glynn Hurst will start and recent signing Lee Bullock is in the squad but James Dean and Lee Peatfield won't be involved as they have moved out on loan.

Form guide

Notts - Two straight losses have put a dampener on Notts' form as before that they had started a nice unbeaten run and won twice on the trot at Meadow Lane. Taking the last six games into account Notts have a record of: L,W,D,W,L,L. At Meadow Lane Notts have lost just once, to Hereford United last time out.

Bury - The Shakers have hit their best form so far this season to move above Notts in the table and into thirteenth. A fortnight ago manager Chris Casper's future was in doubt as Bury plummeted down the league with four straight losses. However they are now unbeaten in five, winning three of them. Away from home Casper's men have two wins, one draw and two defeats.

The view

Hurst... Former Notts man sees Crow as threat
- Boss Steve Thompson spoke to Magpie World about future aspirations: "I know that these players are good enough to certainly get us into a playoff position and I know we have the attitude, the spirit, the commitment and the fitness to do that. We need the great support from the crowd."

Bury - Striker Hurst spoke to Bury's Official Site about the Notts game: "We may be about to play Notts County, but I am more concerned about us to be honest. They have some good players and they have just signed Danny Crow on loan and he's a good player but we will go there with a good positive attitude but at the same time, it will be a very difficult game."

Key men

Notts - All eyes will be on new boy Crow as he comes with a good reputation. Notts need goals from strikers and Crow has been brought in specifically to fit that requirement. Aswell as being a natural finisher Crow works hard and is prepared to run at defenders and make things happen. With Bury having the likes of Paul Morgan and Dave Challinor at the back his directness could be the key to opening up the game and his freshness will bring a new dimension to Notts. With a poor attendance expected, Notts will be hoping his signing brings a few more curious eyes through the gate than they may have had with no transfer activity.

Bury - Glynn Hurst has overtaken fans favourite Andy Bishop as the leading light in recent weeks and has scored two in two now to add goals to his impressive all-round game. As Notts will know well after his spell at Meadow Lane, Hurst will go several games without scoring and then once he gets going he doesn't stop for a few games. He is in a purple patch at the moment so will be a scoring threat as when that happens nearly everything he touches turns to goals. Pacey and willing, Hurst is difficult to mark.

Big battle

Lawrie Dudfield v Dave Challinor

Despite his obvious lack of goals which seriously needs improving Dudfield as been arguable Notts' biggest threat in recent games with his wing play in particular effective. Bury often employ three at the back which would see Notts match them man for man in attack and Dudfield's ability in one-on-one situations will therefore come into play. His crossing has been superb recently and now he has someone in Crow who is likely to get on the end of his knock-ins. Should Dudfield get the better of Challinor and get balls in a different result may follow. Challinor has the ability to shut teams out though and will be a big presence for Bury.

Possible line-ups

Crow... Will he net vital debut goal?

Notts (4-3-3): Kevin Pilkington, Gary Silk, Adam Tann, Stephen Hunt, Austin McCann, Richard Butcher, Matt Somner, Neil MacKenzie, Danny Crow, Jason Lee, Lawrie Dudfield.

Bury (3-5-2): Jim Provett, Paul Morgan, Ben Futcher, Dave Challinor, Paul Scott, Nicky Adams, Lee Bullock, Colin Woodthorpe, Steve Haslam, Andy Bishop, Glynn Hurst

Prediction: Notts to get back on track with a 2-0 success. Crow with a debut goal and Dudfield to finally get going.