League Two's most consistent side have already secured promotion to League One following Saturday's home draw with Cheltenham, and they come to Brunton Park looking to secure the title with still three weeks of the season left to play.
The Imps have lost just four league games all season and, courtesy of some mean defending, have a massive goal difference of plus 35 to add to their achievements from what has been a very successful campaign.
Crewe were the last team to inflict a league defeat on this weekend's visitors, and that was way back on Boxing Day - some 19 games ago.
Half a Lincoln eye will be on events taking place at Newport and Mansfield - anything other than wins for Bury at Rodney Parade and for the Stags against Morecambe will all-but hand the title to Cowley's men, irrespective of the result in our game - but there's no doubt they'll be here to continue the momentum and to wrap things up as they provide stiff opposition for the Blues.
We'll be wishing everyone connected with the club all the very best for 2019/20 come full time, but there'll be no quarter given through the 90 minutes as the Cumbrians look to take the points for their own reasons.
Star performer John Akinde will be one who will need to be marshalled to stop him from adding to his 17-goal tally, and Bruno Andrade has also hit double figures with 11 goals to his name. The pair have six assists each, making them a potent attacking force.
Manager’s thoughts ...
Speaking ahead of the weekend game, manager Steven Pressley said: "Lincoln have been a very good example of how consistency in results can make such a huge difference, not just in this division but at any level of the game.
"They went through a spell just a short while ago where they ground out draws from difficult fixtures and, even though they weren't taking all three points, they kept the momentum going and they became a really dominant force.
"They're a strong side, there's no doubt about that. They have power, ability, presence and confidence, so we know they'll give us a very tough test. However, we've done our preparation and we know that if we manage the 90 minutes well, and if we play to the aspects of the game we're good at, then we'll get the result we want.
"We've left ourselves with a big task, that's clear to everybody, but if we're serious about pushing for a top seven finish then we have to win our remaining games. That has to be our aim. It doesn't matter who we play, or where they are in table, it comes down to us and what we do.
"Our fans will come to this game willing us to win. It's up to us to get out there and give a performance worthy of that support."
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Did You Know?
+ Lincoln hold the record for dropping out of the Football League the most times, having been demoted or relegated on five occasions - in 1908, 1911, 1920, 1987 and 2011.
+ The Imps reached the Division Three play-offs in five successive seasons between 2002 and 2007, without earning any promotions - a record for the number of successive attempts without winning a final.
+ Under the old two points for a win system, Lincoln racked up 74 points in the 1975/76 season, which is a record high.
Head to Head
These sides have met on a total of 71 occasions over the years, with the Imps on top in terms of a return on victories. The most recent meetings have been difficult for the Blues, with only one win in the last seven outings - a 1-0 home success in 2006.
|Carlisle wins||Draws||Lincoln wins|
We were at Sincil Bank for a second time this season for our FA Cup second round meeting. Matt Rhead scored with just one minute on the clock, and Bruno Andrade wrapped things up with a goal two minutes from time. Unfortunately we do not have the rights to this match footage.
We'd faced Lincoln just a month earlier when the Blues twice took the lead in what was a good performance for the visitors. Ashley Nadesan was in form, scoring with just six minutes on the clock, and he pounced again just before the half hour after Michael O'Connor had levelled things up. Bruno Andrade made sure the sides were all-square at the break, and that was how the game ended as the Blues missed some good chances to steal the victory.
Watch the highlights from that game here ...
Lincoln won both games last season, as they settled well having come back into the Football League ranks, with a 4-1 home victory in the corresponding fixture early in the piece last term. Alex Woodyard, Matt Rhead (2) and Billy Knott got the goals for the home side, with Reggie Lambe registering our reply. Tom Parkes was sent off to rub more salt into the wounds with just over half an hour left to play.
Watch the goals from that game here ...
The result went against Carlisle again in April when a second half goal from Matt Green was enough to take the points back to Sincil Bank. There were more woes for the Blues when Mike Jones received his marching orders in time added on.
Watch the highlights from that game here ...
Man in the middle
Our referee for this game is Mr Lee Mason. He has taken charge of 25 games so far this season and has shown 96 yellow cards and three reds.
The Premier League official comes to Brunton Park for the first time since March 2017. Also a top flight official at that time, he took charge of our game against Luton Town. Shaun Brisley and Luke Joyce went in the book in what was an otherwise uneventful fixture, as the sides battled out a 0-0 stalemate.
Referee – Lee Mason
Assistant Referee 1 – Adrian Holmes
Assistant Referee 2 – Michael McDonough
Fourth Official – Seb Stockbridge
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