After a positive 1-0 victory in against the closest thing to closest rivals this year, Grimsby Town, Rover travel to struggling Notts County for a boxing day treat.

James Coppinger is half way through his 3-match ban, so will not be involved for this match.

Craig Alcock, who missed the Grimsby game, due to a last minute knock on his back, is expected to return back to the side.

Should Alcock return, I would’ve thought that Blair will be pushed back into midfield, and that could come at a cost for Harry Middleton, who featured for the first time in the league, since October, against Grimsby.

Liam Mandeville could continue the role he played – filling in for Coppinger in CAM – with Williams and Marquis continuing to try and rekindle their partnership upfront.

Head-to-head

County have one of the worst home records in the league with them only winning one game at home this season. Rovers are quite inconsistent away from home however, because we’ve won 5 on the road, but also lost 5. Rovers have the best offencive team in the league, with a total of 43 goals scored already this season, and County have one of the worst defences in the league, racking up with 36 goals conceded against them.

Players to watch

Although they have one of the worst defences in the league, Notts County actually former championship goalkeeper, Adam Collin in goal, who has previously played for Rovers local rivals, Rotherham United.

Former Rovers striker, Jonathan Forte is County’s main striker since signing for John Sheridan’s side in the summer, and he has gone on to score 5 goals, in 17 appearences for the Magpies.

Previous encounters

Last time Rovers faced Notts County was in April 2015, where we were defeated 2-1, by County at Meadow Lane. A penalty from former Rovers striker, Nathan Tyson, was the only consolation during that defeat.

Overall, we’ve won just as many as we’ve lost by beating the Magpies 23 times since 1930, out of 54 encounters.

Predicted lineup v Notts County

Marosi; Alcock, Baudry, Butler, Mason; Houghton, Blair, Rowe, Mandeville; Marquis and Williams.

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