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Match Previews

HERE'S LOOKING AT YOU: Lincoln City

We take a look at this weekend's opponents

25 August 2017

After the encouraging Carabao Cup display against Sunderland, the Blues now return to the bread and butter of Sky Bet League Two football keen to build upon a solid performance.

Their next test is trip to Sincil Bank to Lincoln City in what is the first meeting between the two sides in over a decade - the Imps only earning promotion from the National League last season.

Ahead of the clash, we cast an eye over our Lincolnshire hosts to get the lowdown on Danny Cowley’s side:

Still searching for a first win

After romping to the National League title last season, many fancied Lincoln as outsiders for promotion this season and their strong summer in the transfer market reinforced that belief.

But the Imps are still very much finding their feet in the fourth tier and are yet to taste victory in any competition, but have only lost once in the league.

They opened the season with a 2-2 draw away at Wycombe Wanderers before losing to League One side Rotherham in the Carabao Cup. Another draw, at home to Morecambe, then followed, before a first league defeat came at Exeter last weekend.

Currently sitting near the relegation zone, Lincoln will be keen to climb away from any danger at the earliest opportunity and begin their ascent up the table.

What are the odds on that?

Sky Bet tip: Exactly three goals to be scored at 3/1.

Exactly three goals have been scored in all of Carlisle’s three Sky Bet League Two games so far this season.

Click HERE for more match day odds from our official betting partners.

Feeling refreshed?

One positive to the Imps’ Carabao Cup defeat to Rotherham was that they didn’t have a midweek fixture this week, meaning they will likely be well-rested by the time Carlisle come to town.

It may also mean that Cowley can resist the urge to make any changes - although after defeat last time out he may tinker with certain areas.

The likes of Ollie Palmer and Billy Knott were benched last time out but will be pushing for starts this time around, and the Lincoln boss may decide to go for a more attacking outlook as he searches for a maiden Football League win.

11 years on ...

It’s been 11 years since the two sides last locked horns - and the Blues will be hoping for a similar result to that last meeting.

The last time Carlisle faced the Imps was on 28 March 2006, where a solitary Michael Bridges goal was enough for the Cumbrians to claim victory en route to the League Two title.

That was actually United’s first victory in five meetings with Lincoln, and it’s this weekend’s hosts who have the better record of the two teams.

In 67 meetings between the clubs, Lincoln have been victorious on 32 occasions with the Blues claiming 22 wins.

Will the Imps’ excellent home form continue?

If United can claim victory at Sincil Bank on Saturday, they’ll become the first visiting side to win there since 17 September 2016.

Barrow were the victors that day as they ran out 2-1 winners, with current Carlisle man Richie Bennett grabbing the opening goal of the game.

Since then, the Imps have gone 24 games unbeaten at their home - with that run including FA Cup victories over Brighton and Ipswich.

Home form will undoubtedly be key for Lincoln this season and they’ll be hoping to keep their unbeaten run going this weekend.

Ones to Watch

+ Sean Raggett - The young centre back impressed during the Imps’ FA Cup run last season and caught the eye of many potential suitors. Norwich City won the race for the defender before loaning him back to Lincoln until January. That news will likely have been well-received at Sincil Bank with Raggett a key part of their side. A threat going forward as well as a strong presence at the back, Raggett could well play a big role on Saturday afternoon.

+ Michael Bostwick - Cowley admitted it was beyond his wildest expectations when he landed the experienced Bostwick over the summer, and the former Peterborough man has settled in well at Sincil Bank. Having played for Stevenage at this level he knows the division well and will prove a real asset to the Imps. A box-to-box midfielder, expect Bostwick to have an influence at both ends of the pitch.

+ Matt Green - Having burst onto the scene with Mansfield in 2012, Green is now looking to rediscover his scoring touch in Lincolnshire. The pacy striker netted 40 times in only 62 appearances for the Stags before joining Birmingham City. His time at St Andrew’s was difficult and he moved back to Field Mill in 2015 before joining Lincoln in the summer. A natural goalscorer, Green will be keen to continue finding the back of the net this weekend.

Lincoln City


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