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Matchday 23: Sky Bet League Two preview

20 December 2018

The last round of games before Christmas sees some key clashes at the top and bottom of Sky Bet League Two

Top of the table clash at Stadium MK


It’s 2nd v 3rd in what should be a Christmas cracker at Stadium MK on Saturday. A win for the visitors and they could go within two points of their rivals. But Colchester United have never won at Milton Keynes Dons in their history and face a big test of their promotion credentials.


The U’s will have to improve in front of goal, having only found the net on one occasion, in their last three matches. MK Dons by contrast are in fine form, having won four of their last five league games. 


The Dons ran out 6-0 winners the last time the two sides met. On the scoresheet that day was a certain former MK Dons graduate, Dele Alli! 


Play-off hopefuls meet at Gigg Lane


Despite a 4-2 defeat to Oldham Athletic last weekend, Bury are unbeaten at Gigg Lane in their last six matches and will be hopeful of continuing that run against Tranmere Rovers this weekend. 


Rovers travel there having lost their last four matches on the spin away from home and if they are to get the win that could lift them in to the play-off places – they will be heavily reliant on the league’s top scorer, James Norwood, who has netted 15 times this season. 


In form Latics to topple Exeter? 

It was 1962 when Exeter City last won at Boundary Park and the Grecians will have to be at their best on Satuirday to overturn that record against an in-form Oldham Athletic side. The Latics are looking to win three in a row in the fourth tier of English football for the first time since January 1971.


But Exeter’s Jayden Stockley has 11 goals this season and the home side will have to be wary of him if they are to overtake the Grecians in the table. Should they do so, they could find themselves in the play-off spots by the end of the day. 


Silkmen look for three in a row 

It was the perfect start for Sol Campbell last weekend, his side beating Crawley Town to win their second successive league match at the Moss Rose. If they can overcome Port Vale on Saturday, they’d secure three wins in a row at home for the first time in eight years. 


But they have only beaten Vale on one of the previous five meetings between the two sides and Vale themselves are unbeaten in their last three league matches going in to this one. A win for the home side though could give them a real chance of survival heading in to the Christmas period. 


Can Notts County secure back to back wins?

If they are to do so, they’ll have to beat Grimsby Town for the first time in eight matches – the last time they did it was 1988! 


The Mariners have won three of their last five matches and despite Jon Stead’s double helping Notts County to their first win in nine, they remain in the bottom two and in desperate need of the points in their battle to avoid the drop. 


Around the grounds

Top of the table Lincoln City have suffered just one defeat in their last 10 league games as they welcome Newport County to Sincil Bank. The visitors have a good record there in recent times though, having only lost on one of their last six visits. 


Draw specialists Mansfield Town take their long unbeaten league record to Stevenage this weekend, where the home side haven’t lost consecutively on their own patch since May 2017. The Stags boss David Flitcroft, however, has never lost as a manager against Stevenage. 


Swindon Town have scored seven goals in their last four Sky Bet League Two matches – as many as they managed in their previous 11 league games combined, such is the impact of their new boss Richie Wellens. But the Robins lost last time out at Grimsby and will be keen to get back to winning ways when they take on Cheltenham Town, who have enjoyed a mini-resurgence themselves with just one defeat in five games. 


Yeovil Town have won just one of their last 16 matches at home and will be hoping to add to their tally when Northampton Town visit Huish Park tomorrow. Elsewhere, Morecambe take on struggling Cambridge United and Forest Green Rovers face Crewe Alexandra, who have only won once in their last 11 league games on the road. Crawley Town take on an in-form Carlisle United side. 



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