It’s a near full card of games in Sky Bet League Two this weekend. Sporting Life’s Tom Carnduff previews the upcoming action.
The headline act of the weekend comes in the final game, where Bury’s clash with Lincoln gets the Sky Sports treatment. They occupy the top-two spots in the league, with Lincoln a consistent feature at the top and Bury’s wonderful form in previous months helping them to join the title race.
Ryan Lowe’s side boast the best home record in the division with just one loss in 14 home games. They’ve also won their last six in all competitions.
In Lincoln, they take on a side with the best away record. They’ve won eight of their 14 on the road, losing just three. Sky Bet have Bury as favourites for this one, but the form of Danny Cowley’s side away from home shows how this is a difficult one to call.
One side looking to capitalise on the fact that the top-two play each other is Mansfield. They’re a point behind Bury, so they can either overtake the Shakers with victory or close the gap on Lincoln. They’ve won their last two league games with points gained in four of their last five at home.
This week sees them welcome Tranmere to the One Call Stadium. Rovers still remain in the hunt for a play-off spot, although they sit in the bottom-half for results on the road.
Carlisle will be hoping Tranmere can do them a favour as they look to go level on points with Mansfield in third. Steven Pressley’s side have four wins in their last five league encounters, although Port Vale’s victory over Crawley last time out will give them confidence.
Also in action this weekend is two teams who are looking to end losing runs. MK Dons have been beaten in their last-two, while Grimsby are trying to snap a four-game losing streak.
Milton Keynes have struggled on the road recently with three defeats in four, although Grimsby have left empty-handed in their previous two at Blundell Park.
At the other end of the form charts, Crewe’s run of three wins in five has moved them firmly away from any relegation trouble. Wins over MK Dons and Newport County in recent weeks sees them sitting in 14th, and they’ll be looking to utilise that good form against Colchester.
The U’s are still in the play-off battle though and have picked up wins in their away games this season. That sets it up to be a game that both teams will fancy their chances in.
Christian Doidge marked his return to Forest Green with a brace in their 3-0 win over Grimsby in midweek, and they’ll be aiming for consecutive wins as they take on Stevenage. Dino Maamria’s side will prove to be tough opposition though having picked up nine points from their last possible 12. A victory here could move them into the top-seven.
Sitting in-between those two teams is Exeter, who remain in the play-off hunt despite defeat last time out. They do take on a Cambridge side sitting in 19th, but a run of three wins on the bounce has pushed them up the table and five points clear of the drop zone.
Morecambe are one of those teams looking to avoid moving into the relegation places, and they will want to stop their six-game winless run as they travel to Northampton.
The Cobblers managed to wrap up a convincing 3-0 victory over Carlisle in recent weeks and were just edged in a five-goal thriller against Cambridge the game after.
Swindon’s recent showings have seen them earn two wins and a draw, which puts them in a good position to take on Crawley who are enduring a run of three defeats.
Town will still hold play-off aspirations this season and victory here can move them to within another win of a spot in the top-seven, while Crawley will be aiming to move back towards the top-half.
Sol Campbell has managed to secure back-to-back wins for Macclesfield, which has moved them closer to escaping the relegation zone. This week sees the real clichéd ‘relegation six-pointer’ against Cheltenham – who are, like Crawley, looking to end that three-game losing run.
Oldham’s reward for their fantastic FA Cup victory away at Premier League Fulham is a trip to Doncaster in round four.
Newport County, another side picking up a shock result with a win over Leicester, travel to Championship promotion hopefuls Middlesbrough.
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