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We take a closer look at this weekend's opponents

16 February 2018

The Cumbrians are back at Brunton Park this weekend and they’re looking to get on a run as we head into the business end of the campaign.

A narrow defeat against Notts County in midweek leaves Keith Curle’s side in 13th in Sky Bet League Two – 11 points off the play-offs. 

The Spireites, meanwhile, find themselves second bottom of the table and three points adrift of safety, meaning they’ll be desperate for a win from their visit to Cumbria.

We put Chesterfield under the spotlight ahead of their visit to Brunton Park: 

Impoving, But Struggling 

After relegation from Sky Bet League One last season, many expected Chesterfield to challenge for promotion this season - especially after some impressive summer recruitment. 

However, that promise has failed to materialise and the Spireites currently sit second bottom with only seven wins to their name all season. 

A poor start saw manager Gary Caldwell lose his job, with club legend Jack Lester now attempting to guide the side away from relegation danger. 

The early signs in Lester’s reign looked positive as he picked up some good results, including a home win against high-flying Luton. 

But the Spireites are now winless in four and will need to start picking up points if they want to move out of the bottom two. 

Leaky Defence 

One key factor in Chesterfield’s struggles this season has been their poor defensive record – the 58 goals shipped by the Derbyshire outfit represents the worst defensive record in League Two. 

It means that alongside Burton Albion and Oldham Athletic, the Spireites have conceded more than any other team in the top four tiers of English football. 

Lester will be keen to shore up his leaky backline, with clean sheets undoubtedly a priority as the business end of the season nears. 

What Does History Tell Us? 

The two sides haven’t met on a regular basis in the 21st century, but have been familiar foes in further history. 

And it’s Chesterfield who edge a head-to-head comparison having picked up 35 wins compared to United’s 22, while 15 games have ended in draws.

Recent form seems to favour Untied, who have won three of the last five meetings between the two, including a 3-1 win in the 2015/16 League Cup in what was the last time the two sides faced off at Brunton Park. 

Our meeting earlier this season ended in a 2-2 draw, in a game which saw Richie Bennett net his first goal for the club. 

Watch highlights from that game here:

It’s Been Over Fifteen Years … 

You have to go back to the start of the millennium for the last time Chesterfield triumphed in Cumbria. 

A 4-2 victory in September 2000 is the last time the Spireites won at Brunton Park, as Ian Stevens and Carl Heggs netted for the Blues. 

Since then, the Spireites have come to the North West on three occasions and have been sent packing on each occasion by United. 

Ones to Watch 

+ Ian Evatt - An experienced head, the centre back is now in his second spell with the Spireites have rejoined the club on a free transfer in 2013. Formerly of QPR and Blackpool, Evatt brings quality and leadership abilities to the Chesterfield backline and has a wealth of experience at a higher level. A regular this season, although he has recently been sidelined with injury, the defender will undoubtedly be key as Chesterfield move forward. 

+ Robbie Weir - The Spireites captain, Weir only joined the club two days before the start of the 2017/18 season after a successful trial period. The former Burton Albion midfielder had taken time out of football to recover from a serious injury but seems to have no ill-effects having impressed so far this campaign. 

+ Kristian Dennis - With seven goals to his name already this season, Dennis has definitely shown his worth as part of the Spireites’ squad. Having spent most of his career in non-league, Dennis’ impressive form with Macclesfield prompted Chesterfield to take a punt on the striker in 2016. And he hasn’t disappointed, netting 10 last season while putting in plenty of impressive performances.

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