Mansfield Town v Stevenage
Stevenage have sacked Paul Tisdale and turned to Steve Evans in a last gasp bid to secure their Football League status.
Boro are in free fall in League Two and were beaten by 2-1 at home to Northampton Town in midweek. Speaking before the club’s hierarchy decided to dismiss him, Tisdale said he was getting “fed up” with his team’s performances and you can see why too as the Hertfordshire outfit haven’t won for nine league games with their last victory coming back on 29th January against Harrogate Town.
The heat is on Stevenage now to try and stay up and they are at serious risk of relegation to the National League this term as they only sit a single place above the drop zone. They are two points above Oldham Athletic in 23rd position but John Sheridan’s side have two games in hand which if they win would see them rise out of the bottom two. In terms of team news, Evans has a clean bill of health to choose as he decides his first starting XI at the helm. Tisdale freshened up their side by bringing in Elliott List, Chris Lines and Charlie Carter for Scott Cuthbert, Zain Westbrooke and Jamie Reid for the Northampton clash and his replacement has some selection decisions to make. Their main problems lie in defence because they have conceded 12 goals in five games and Saturday’s opponents Mansfield Town will be licking their lips.
The Stags have lost their last two games in the league against Tranmere Rovers and Port Vale and have slipped out of the play-offs in League Two. However, a much needed win over Stevenage this would see them rise back into the top seven so the incentive is there to get the three points. Their manager, Nigel Clough, says they need to “bounce back” and their recent form at home will give him confidence they can get back to winning ways. Mansfield have won their last 10 matches at Field Mill in the league and haven’t lost there since 2nd October against Barrow. The Nottinghamshire club have Stephen Quinn out injured but have a ready-made replacement in Ollie Clarke, who started against Port Vale on Tuesday after a couple of games on the bench and will be desperate to keep his place in the heart of midfield now, having made seven goal contributions so far this term. The Stags welcomed defensive pair James Perch and John-Joe O’Toole into the side against the Valiants and they are in contention to play again against Stevenage which is a boost as they are two vastly experienced players in the Football League and have played a combined 1060 games in total.
Harrogate Town v Walsall
Walsall are on a roll under new boss Michael Flynn and have risen away from relegation in the League Two table.
The Saddlers made the tough decision to sack Matt Taylor last month after they started to slide down the division but the move to make a change has massively paid off. They beat Oldham Athletic 2-1 in their last game thanks to goals from Emmanuel Osadebe and the in-form Conor Wilkinson, who has now fired five goals in his last six matches. Flynn said his side showed “unbelievable” character and he will be using the remainder of the season to see which players he should keep for the next campaign. He has lost just once in seven games since taking over Walsall and that was against promotion chasing Swindon Town.
The Midlands side have been enjoying life on their travels over recent weeks as they prepare to make the trip to Harrogate Town on Saturday and beat table toppers Forest Green Rovers away last month as well as picking up useful points at Barrow and Northampton Town. They have a couple of injury worries with defender Manny Monthe taking a knock to his knee against Oldham and Hayden White was struggling near the end according to his manager. However, they have adequate replacements in Tom Leak and Rollin Menayese if needed and they will both be looking to show Flynn why they should be starting instead.
Harrogate are in a dire run of form and haven’t won in their last five matches now. Simon Weaver’s side appear to be lacking motivation as they don’t have anything to play for at the moment and have conceded five goals in their last two games without scoring a goal themselves. They lost 2-0 to Tranmere Rovers on Tuesday and their boss says decisions are going “against” his side at this moment in time. The Sulphurites haven’t won in their last three games on home soil against Crawley Town, Port Vale and Hartlepool United as they prepare to welcome Walsall to the Environet Stadium. To make matters worse, their top scorer Luke Armstrong, who has 12 goals to his name in this campaign, will be out of action after he was sent off at Prenton Park last time out. Mark Beck is a likely candidate to step into his shoes but he hasn’t scored yet this season which is good news to people of a Walsall persuasion.
Salford City v Scunthorpe United
Scunthorpe United are on the verge of slipping out of the Football League and have only won four games all season out of a possible 37.
Keith Hill took on a poisoned chalice when he replaced Neil Cox as the Iron’s manager back in November and has won just twice in his 24 matches in charge. They lost 1-0 at home to Barrow on Tuesday night to worsen their relegation fears and their boss said they need to “plan for the future” which suggests even he thinks they are gone now. Scunthorpe are sat rock bottom of the League Two table in 24th place and are a massive 10 points from safety with only 10 games left of the season to play. They are also the lowest scorers in the division on just 25 goals, mainly due to the fact they sold their top scorer Ryan Loft to Bristol Rovers in January and replaced him with the inexperienced Sam Burns on loan from Blackburn Rovers. To make matters worse for the North Lincolnshire outfit, they will be without key midfielder Anthony Grant for their tricky trip to Salford City this weekend after he was sent off in their last game. 19-year-old Hayden Hackney was subsequently substituted on for him and is the likely candidate to start in his place but lacks the experience his teammate has.
Salford have an outside chance of making the play-offs and have two games in hand on Swindon Town, Sutton United and Port Vale above them that they will be eager to utilise. The Ammies are seven games unbeaten at the moment and will not want to slip up against a Scunthorpe side who have just once in 2022. Gary Bowyer’s side fought back to draw 1-1 away at Rochdale in their last match thanks to midfielder Matty Lund’s second-half goal against his former club and their manager said he thought they were “totally in control of the game” at Spotland. They will take comfort from the fact they haven’t lost at home in their past two outings against table toppers Forest Green Rovers and a battling Carlisle United side. Salford have players who can hurt Scunthorpe such as striker Matt Smith, who dropped down from Championship side Millwall to join them in January in a move that raised eyebrows across the Football League. He has replaced Tom Elliott, who was loaned to Bradford, up top over the past couple months and has chipped in with two goals so far. Brandon Thomas-Asante will also be a big threat to Scunthorpe and has found the net six times so far in this campaign.
Sutton United v Tranmere Rovers
Tranmere Rovers’ push for promotion is back on track after back-to-back wins over Mansfield Town and Harrogate Town.
The Whites are outside the automatic places on goal difference behind Newport County and won 2-0 on Tuesday night thanks to goals from Lewis Warrington and Kane Hemmings. Their boss, Micky Mellon, says they “got the result they wanted” against Simon Weaver’s side. The Merseyside outfit have been without key midfielder Jay Spearing for the past month or so but he has been replaced well by Everton loanee Warrington, despite the youngster playing senior football for the first time in his career. Tranmere will be without Liverpool loan striker Paul Glatzel until the end of the season but that won’t affect them too much with Hemmings chipping in with four goals since his January switch from Burton Albion. They also have the exciting Charlie Jolley on the bench to provide cover and competition to their striking department and he has scored four goals since returning from his loan spell at Chester. The Whites have the joint best defensive record in the league along with table toppers Forest Green Rovers and 2nd place Northampton Town but have started to leak goals, conceding nine in their last four games which gives Sutton United encouragement they can score past them this weekend.
The U’s have slipped out of the play-offs recently but are in good spirits still after booking their place at Wembley in the Papa John’s Trophy final after a dramatic penalty shootout win over Wigan Athletic a couple of weeks ago. They have lost both games since then though against Walsall and Swindon Town respectively which suggests they have taken their foot off the gas in the league somewhat. Prior to their semi-final at the DW Stadium, the London side had been scoring goals for fun and had beaten Scunthorpe United 4-1 and Rochdale 3-0. They need to rekindle that form if they are to rise back into the promotion picture in League Two and there is no doubt that they have the players to do it. They have a variety of sources of goals with Millwall loanee Isaac Olaofe and attacker David Ajiboye both managing seven goals so far this term, defender Rob Milsom and winger Will Randell getting six and Donovan Wilson and Joe Kizzi both playing their part with five. Sutton will take encouragement from the fact that they haven’t been beaten at home in their last 10 games as they prepare to face Tranmere, with their last defeat at Gander Green coming against Walsall way back on 30th October.
Written by an Andy verified content writer
18+ please gamble responsibly.
Back the Four and Five Star Selections as an Accumulator on Betfair ⬇️
*Bet link only appears when accessing from mobile.
Haven’t got a Betfair account? You’re in luck…
Sign up to Betfair and get a full refund if your first bet loses. Grab an account through the offer below and place £20 on the 6/1 League Two Best Bets Accumulator. Here are the two possible outcomes: