FOOTBALL LEAGUE boff Gabriel Sutton (@_FootbalLab) takes a look at Sunday's crunch League Two clash between Chesterfield and Notts County.
Chesterfield v Notts County | Sunday 25th March 2018, 13:30 | Sky Sports
Chesterfield’s games in hand give them an outside chance of escaping relegation, but before fans feel able to consider the mathematics of their position, they must first see a team to believe in.
They have not had that over the last two years, so Sunday’s clash with tertiary rivals Notts County feels defining: if the players cannot scrap for their EFL future in a nationally televised derby of sorts, when can they?
Manager Jack Lester is boosted by key midfielder Louis Reed's return from suspension but might have hoped to play the Magpies a month earlier, when their form had been affected by the departure of Ryan Yates.
Visiting boss Kevin Nolan is yet to find a creative midfielder to convincingly fill that void, but at least his decision to revert to 4-4-2 has helped his side take eight points from their last four. That tally could have been 10 last week, had a Mansfield penalty not been given for a handball – outside the box, eight minutes into seven minutes of second half stoppage time.
Notts County had dominated much of that contest, which makes the injustice all the more galling, but question marks over their game management remain valid: they have accrued just two wins ‘to nil' since October.
O'Grady could trouble County
We therefore see the hosts getting on the scoresheet if Chris O’Grady plays: the industrious target man has started four games as the lone front man in 2018, of which the team have won three – their only three victories of the calender year.
The former Nottingham Forest front-man might have extra motivation here and is 11/4 with Betfair to score anytime.
Notts County though have power at the other end in Shola Ameobi and Jon Stead; in 20 games in all competitions that the Precambrian duo have started up top, the team has scored 41 goals. Supporting them could be winger Terry Hawkridge, who is 9/2 to score anytime after bagging twice in his last 243 minutes of football.
Getting with the goals
We’re therefore recommending a bet that favours goals, whilst keeping the high-flying Notts onside.
Eight of Chesterfield’s 21 defeats this season – and three of their last six – have seen four or more goals scored, so an away win with Over 3.5 goals might appeal to the more audacious punter at 25/2 with 188Bet.
Our recommended bet though is Notts County to win with Both Teams To Score, which is 7/2 with Coral: we see Nolan's men pulling through, but not without a scare along the way.
Chesterfield v Notts County – Notts County to win and Both Teams To Score (7/2 Coral)