Notts v Wrexham... BIG match preview

This is a must win game. Make no mistake about it. A fifth straight loss would be catastrophic, while a draw would hardly make up for the terrible recent fun.

It may be harsh but Charlie McParland and his new assistant David Kevan are thrust under immediate pressure to get a result, and although a great welcome will be extended to the pair at Meadow Lane, the atmosphere will turn if Notts once again fail to perform.

Wrexham are a side in a similar position to Notts - struggling at the bottom despite hopes of a higher placing this season after all their troubles last time around.

It really is an early six-pointer, and Notts had better get it.

Team News

Notts - Injury victims Jay Smith and Lee Canoville may be back in the squad

Canoville... MAy make squad
but Michael Byron, Danny Crow and long-term absentee Mike Edwards are definitely out. Jason Lee faces his final game out with a broken elbow and McParland has said he will make changes.

Wrexham - The Red Dragons have injury concerns over key men Michael Proctor and Danny Williams with both rated 50:50. Robbie Garrett is available after his suspension and Eifion Williams could start. Brian Carey wrung the changes last weekend and could do so again as they didn't have the desired effect against Barnet.

Form guide

Notts - Four straight defeats has saw the Magpies plummet to 20th in the table having won just twice all season. They both came at Meadow Lane where Notts' league record this season stands at won twice, drew twice and lost twice. Goalscoring has been a problem with just twelve in twelve games.

Wrexham - Currently occupy a place in the drop zone having lost eight of their eleven games. Carey's men are equally as shot shy as Notts with just nine goals this season. Three wins overall this season shows that Wrexham have yet to draw a game. Away from home it is just one win in five. Their recent league sequence is: L,W,L,W,L,L

The view

Kevan... preparing for nervy encounter
- Kevan is aware of the size of the occasion on Saturday: "There is no getting away from Saturday, it is a big game in anyone's eyes. It is always nice when you take in your first home game, but with the circumstances as they are it will probably be a little nerve-wracking to be honest," he told the Official Site.

Wrexham - Gareth Evans is aware that the players must get behind their manager: "We've got to get on with it now and keep working hard. We mustn't get bogged down and lose confidence, we've got to keep our heads up. The gaffer's been brilliant for us and we need to start performing for him. It's down to the players really, there's no-one else to blame," he told Wrexham's Official Site.

Key men

Notts - Kevin Pilkington could well be the contributing factor. Notts have gone behind in all but two games this season - and those two games were won by a single goal to nil. Also they saw the only two clean sheets of the season so far for Pilkington. On the evidence of that the longer he keeps his goal clear the easier it will surely be

Llewellyn... Hotshot
for Notts to win. Should Notts take a lead for a change then he will then be a favourite for a clean sheet. Has performed well overall this season looking far more commanding but has been let down by his defence too often.

Wrexham - If there is one name in the Wrexham team guaranteed to put the frighteners up Notts it is Chris Llewellyn. The Welsh international seemed certain to sign for Notts back in 2003 but instead opted for Wrexham for whom he has performed very well for against Notts on more than one occasion, scoring twice in his last three matches with the Magpies. Not in great form this season with just one goal to his name, the powerful front man normally keeps his best form for a trip to Meadow Lane.

Big battle

Neil MacKenzie v Mark Jones.

The two creative influences in each of the respected squads will
have to pull the strings harder than ever before on Saturday as both sides view the clash as must-win. MacKenzie has been in decent form all season without setting the world alight and has a good tally of three goals. He is sometimes stifled by attacking opposition as he was by Stephen Dawson at Mansfield last week and with Jones similar in style it is important MacKenzie gets on the ball early and plays his 'Hollywood' passes in the final third. Both players have goals in them and both create panic in the opposition penalty area. They also blow a bit hot and cold, so it is all about who is hotter on the day.

Possible line-ups

Sam... Could net against former side
- (4-4-2): Kevin Pilkington; Gary Silk, Adam Tann, Stephen Hunt, Paul Mayo; Andy Parkinson, Richard Butcher, Neil MacKenzie, Myles Weston; Lawrie Dudfield, Hector Sam

Wrexham - (3-5-2): Michael Jones; Richard Hope, Mike Williams, Danny Williams; Simon Spender, Robbie Garrett, Mark Jones, Chris Llewellyn, Neil Taylor; Neil Roberts, Eifion Williams.


It is going to be very tight and perhaps won't be lit up by a great deal of chances. Kevan is right - it will be nervy, but if Notts get the first goal they will win. 1-0 Notts, Sam to score.