The Blues are back on the road in midweek as they travel to face high-flying Notts County in Sky Bet League Two.
After a 1-1 draw against Colchester last time out, Keith Curle will be hoping for three points against his former employers in Nottinghamshire to keep his side in the play-off race.
Kevin Nolan’s side, meanwhile, will be looking for a response from a disappointing defeat to Barnet last time out as they seek to stay in contention at the top of the table.
We put County under the spotlight ahead of our visit to Meadow Lane:
The Magpies were battling against relegation for large parts of the last season, until the appointment of Nolan saw them climb away from the drop zone towards the end of the season.
And Nolan has continued his fine work this campaign, with Notts currently sitting fourth in League Two after a terrific campaign which has seen them competing at the top throughout.
That said, the Magpies have won just one of their last seven matches in all competitions – a 4-1 triumph over Crewe at the start of the month.
Their last outing saw them fall to defeat at bottom of the table Barnet, so an immediate reaction will be firmly in the minds of the Magpies on Tuesday evening.
There’s plenty of links between the two clubs, with no fewer than four former Carlisle players currently plying their trade at Meadow Lane.
Goalkeeper Adam Collin spent four years at Brunton Park while defender Shaun Brisley moved to Nottinghamshire this summer after spending just a year in Cumbria.
Meanwhile centre back Mike Edwards is still registered as a player, although his main role now is at Notts’ strength and conditioning coach.
Popular midfielder Liam Noble has also made the move to Notts, joining in January, and has slotted right back into the centre of midfield having previously played at Meadow Lane.
Meanwhile in the Carlisle camp, Gary Liddle and Jamal Campbell-Ryce both spent time at Meadow Lane under the leadership of Keith Curle, who was in charge of County from February 2012 to February 2013.
What Does History Tell Us?
The two sides have been regular foes in recent years, and there isn’t a great deal to separate the club’s respective records.
Notts slightly edge a head-to-head comparison having picked up 17 wins compared to United’s 12, while only four games have ended in draws.
Recent form seems to favour Untied, who have won four of the last seven meetings between the two, including a 5-0 win at Meadow Lane on the final day of the 2015/16 sea-son.
Our last meeting came in October of 2017 as the sides played out a 1-1 draw – Hallam Hope netting for the hosts.
There’s Usually Goals
Games between United and County seem to produce more high-scoring affair – even if this season’s meeting only delivered two.
The last eleven meetings between the two have seen 36 goals, an average of 3.3 per game, in what have been some truly entertaining encounters.
Could we be set for more of the same at Meadow Lane on Tuesday?
Ones to Watch
- Matt Tootle - A product of Crewe’s renowned academy system, Tootle spent 16 years at Gresty Road before moving on to Shrewsbury in 2015. He later made the move to Meadow Lane where he has quickly become a fans’ favourite - thanks in part to his slug goal celebration. Versatile across the back and in midfield, Tootle is experienced at this level and is certainly a reliable performer.
- Jorge Grant - The lively attacking midfielder shone during a loan spell from city rivals Nottingham Forest last year, and Nolan managed to tempt the 22-year-old back on a similar deal this season. Quick, pacy and with an eye for goal, Grant has already shown his ability this season with 14 goals in his 31 games. He will need to be watched carefully.
- Jon Stead - An experienced head in the Magpies’ attack, Stead has built up a strong partnership with fellow ex-Premier League striker Shola Ameobi. The former Blackburn and Sunderland man was a key player in Notts’ survival last season and has carried his form into the new campaign having netted seven all ready while laying on plenty of opportunities for those around him.
Watch highlights from the 1-1 draw earlier this season here: