Mariners v Magpies... Head to Head

(Ignore the Barnet 1-0 Notts line...A technical error)

A look ahead to a big game for both sides at the weekend. Grimsby need the points to pave off relegation worries, whilst Notts need to get their promotion assault back on track…

Possible line-ups:

Kevin Pilkington v Phil Barnes

Pilkington, it could be argued, may have prevented both goals in last weeks defeat to Bristol Rovers, and will need to return to form against a Town side that have whacked Notts at Blundell Park in the past two seasons. Barnes, a summer signing for the Mariners, has the necessary experience, but a weak defence has left him without protection many a time this season. Verdict: Draw.

Gleeson... Gets Notts a point.
Dan Gleeson v Gary Croft

Gleeson has showed plenty of promise as a rampaging full back with good pace and agility for Notts, but he was turned too easily for Rovers' winner last week. Needs to regain confidence. Croft has been there and done it, but has been average this season. A solid defender, he lacks pace and doesn't attack as much as in previous years. Verdict: Gleeson.

Austin McCann v Tom Newey.

Similar players, both have a good left foot, and like to get forward. Both show good athleticism when defending, and have been amongst each sides most impressive performers this season. However, McCann is the more confident giving Notts' better defensive record. Verdict: McCann.

Alan White v Justin Whittle.

Two seasoned lower league campaigners who have struggled for form. White started his Notts career in good fashion, but has come under fire for some sloppy displays recently. Whittle is a big, uncompromising defender, who will take no prisoners. But he needs to help the youngsters in his squad to rescue Town's season. Verdict: Draw

Mike Edwards v Nick Fenton.

Edwards, when in defence, has been Notts' most consistent performer so far, alongside McCann. Former Notts man Fenton has been far from impressive for Town, with a few costly errors. Were Fenton to show his old Notts form, he is a similar player to Edwards, and it would be a more even contest. Form wise though, there is only one winner. Verdict: Edwards.

David Pipe v Peter Bore.

Both players have had good seasons. Bore has burst onto the scene. The youngster scored a debut hat-trick from the right wing, and was soon rewarded with a three year contract. Pipe doesn't match his goalscoring feats, but has plenty of drive, determination, pace and ability in him. An interesting dual, which is hard to decide. Verdict: Draw.

Andy Parkinson v Ricky Ravenhill

Notts fans will be hoping ‘Parky' finds some form against his former club, it could be the perfect opportunity. He has had a slow start since his return to Meadow Lane, but Grimsby will know he can change the game in an instant. Ravenhill recently signed from Chester City, and has impressed so far with good willingness and delivery. Verdict: Draw.

Matt Somner v Paul Bolland.

Bolland, heavily criticised during his seven year stint at Meadow Lane, has been superb for Grimsby. Often taking the Captain's role, he is competitive and a huge influence for the Mariners. Somner, after an impressive start, has faded, and will need a return to his full, battling best to see off Bolland. Verdict: Bolland.

Bolland... Notts reject flourishing elsewhere

Ian Ross v Ciaran Toner.

As ever, the midfield battle could shape where the game is won and lost. Ross has shown an ability that Notts have lacked for a long time, since his summer arrival, but has been inconsistent. If he fires, Notts could, and Toner will struggle. But should Ross fail, Toner is capable of demonstrating his own playmaking abilities. Verdict: Ross.

Jason Lee v Gary Jones.

Jones' scoring record is much more impressive than Lee's, but Lee does so much more for Notts. Often branded lazy by his own fans, Jones has silenced them with some important recent goals. Neither player is blessed with bags of ability, but both play crucial roles in the final third with their physical presence. Verdict: Draw.

Junior Mendes v Isiah Rankin

Both have similar attributes. Neither has set the goalscoring world alight for their respective clubs, but both have made an impact. Mendes returns to a former club, with much to prove, and Rankin returns from injury with equally as much to prove. Pacey, skilful and direct, both will cause problems if they are up for it. Verdict: Draw

Final Verdict: Notts: 4, Grimsby: 1, Draw: 6

It seems that Grimsby's poor start to the season has made Notts, on an individual basis, the stronger team. However, it must be stressed that this is my personal opinion, and I have based it purely on form.

Drapes' Prediction:

Grimsby Town 1-2 Notts County