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HERE'S LOOKING AT YOU: Mansfield Town

We took a look at this weekend's League Two opponents

1 September 2017

With two wins and two defeats thus far, the Blues return to Sky Bet League Two action this weekend with the visit of promotion favourites Mansfield Town.

A Checkatrade Trophy win over Morecambe was the perfect response for United after defeat at Lincoln, and Keith Curle will be hoping the side can carry that form into the meeting with his former side this weekend.

But Mansfield, tipped by many for promotion this season, will prove a stern test. We take a look at our visitors to round-up the key talking points ahead of the game.

What's the odds on that?

Sky Bet tip: Over 2.5 goals at 4/5

A winner in all four of Carlisle’s Sky Bet League Two matches this season.

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Stags’ Steady Start

After a summer in which manager Steve Evans strengthened his squad considerably, there was an expectation that Mansfield would be challenging for the title this season.

And although their start to the season has been far from perfect, there are definitely promising signs for the newly-assembled side.

They have picked up only one win so far this season - a 2-0 victory over newly-promoted Forest Green - but picked up draws against Crewe and fellow promotion hopefuls Luton.

With a host of new signings it’s likely the case that Evans’ side need time to gel, and recent perfor-mances have suggested that the results will come.

The Stags lost 3-1 at home to Lincoln in the Checkatrade Trophy but, having made ten changes for that game, expect Evans to bring a much stronger outfit to Brunton Park.

Debuts & Diamond

There will undoubtedly be changes for Mansfield after their disappointing performance in midweek, and there may well be a debut handed to deadline day addition Calum Butcher.

The central midfielder has won two promotions from Sky Bet League One in recent years - with Burton Albion and Millwall - and penned a one-year deal at the One Call Stadium yesterday.

He could well be in line for an immediate start at Brunton Park, while influential centre back Zander Diamond could also make a return.

The former Northampton man was expected to return to training this week ahead of the trip, with Evans monitoring his progress ahead of a potential return.

Hoping for a turn in form ...

Recent meetings between the two sides certainly favour the Stags - United have won only one of the last five meetings.

That was the 5-2 triumph in League Two last season, with Mansfield claiming victory in the return fixture and in a Checkatrade Trophy meeting.

Watch highlights from the league home game here:

Overall, however, there isn’t anything to separate the sides with both the Cumbrians and the Stags having won 29 meetings each, while 16 have ended in draws.

At our level

Interestingly, the Blues and Mansfield tend to meet in the fourth tier of English football with the sides very rarely finding themselves in a higher or lower division at the same time.

In fact you have to go back to the 1986/87 season for the last time we met in a different league, as we faced the Stags in the old Third Division.

62 of our 74 meetings with Mansfield have come in the fourth tier with two more to be added to that tally this season.

Ones to Watch

+ Hayden White - A familiar face to United fans after his loan spell at the club in 2014, the pacy full-back joined the Stags permanently this summer having enjoyed a productive spell on loan at the One Call Stadium last season. Formerly of Bolton Wanderers, Blackpool and Peterborough, the right back offers both defensive stability and an attacking edge so expect him to have an impact around both penalty areas on Saturday.

+ Jacob Mellis - Yet another summer addition, this time from Bury, the central midfielder comes with a fine pedigree having spent time at Sheffield United and Chelsea during his younger years. Having captained England U16s, Mellis has also represented Southampton, Barnsley and Bury amongst others and comes with plenty of experience despite only being 26. He’ll provide plenty of assists and goals for the Stags this season.

+ Lee Angol - Angol’s signature was highly sought-after this summer, with Mansfield beating off plenty of competition to secure the ex-Lincoln front man. He made his name at Boreham Wood where he netted 32 goals during a productive 2014/15 season before signing for Peterborough. The strike then fired Lincoln to promotion from the National League last season before making the switch to the One Call Stadium where he will be keen to have a similar impact this season.

 


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