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Jun 5, 2021 at 4pm UK at Meadow Lane
Notts County
3 - 2
Wootton (30', 71'), Ellis (90')
Ellis (32')
FT(HT: 1-2)
Rowe (27'), Mandeville (42')
Maguire (24'), Oyeleke (32'), Gunning (65')

Preview: Notts County vs. Chesterfield - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Notts County vs. Chesterfield - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's National League clash between Notts County and Chesterfield, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Notts County and Chesterfield will endeavour to move one step closer to League Two football when they do battle in Saturday's National League playoff quarter-final.

The two clubs are vying for the chance to meet Torquay United in the semi-final, with the showpiece event set to take place on June 20 at Bristol City's Ashton Gate.

Match preview

Seeking to make a swift return to the English Football League after a couple of years in the fifth tier, Notts County's stellar run of form in the month of May propelled them right into contention for a playoff berth, and a 1-0 defeat to Bromley on the final day did not matter too much in the grand scheme of things.

Ben Williamson struck the only goal of the game for Bromley, who secured a last-minute place in the playoffs with that win on May 29, and another meeting between the two clubs in the playoff final is not beyond the realm of possibility.

However, Ian Burchnall's side must navigate at least 180 more minutes of football before they can begin to think about a spot in the showpiece event, and despite taking seven points from the last nine on offer at home, their overall record at Meadow Lane this season is hardly perfect.

Indeed, Notts County have already lost four league games on home soil since the turn of the year, but they managed to win five and draw two of their last seven matches in all venues before coming unstuck at Bromley, and they now gear up to meet a Chesterfield outfit who finished just one point below them in the regular season standings.

In contrast, Chesterfield's final game of the regular season was a far more successful affair, as they confirmed their spot in the top seven at the expense of Halifax Town's promotion hopes with a 2-1 win last Saturday.

Liam Mandeville and Nathan Tyson struck either side of Darren Stephenson's equaliser to ensure that an in-form Chesterfield would finish sixth in the table and seal a place in the playoffs, as James Rowe looks to steer the Spireites back into the Football League after a three-year absence.

With 13 points taken from a possible 15 in their final five games of the campaign, Chesterfield left it late to really hit their stride after a dismal spell of form over the Easter period, and only one point separated Rowe's side from eighth-placed Wrexham when the curtain closed on the 42-game campaign.

However, Chesterfield's form on the road is certainly a cause for optimism, as the Spireites have come up trumps in seven of their last nine league fixtures away from home - drawing one and losing another one in that sequence - but form goes out of the window when it comes to a playoff battle.

Chesterfield scraped a 1-0 win over Notts County when they most recently locked horns at Meadow Lane, but Burchnall's men marched to a thrilling 3-2 success on Chesterfield's turf earlier in the 2020-21 campaign, and the returning fans would certainly love to be treated to a goal-fest on Saturday.

Notts County National League form:
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • L

Chesterfield National League form:
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W

Team News

Notts County lost influential midfielder Jake Reeves to a heel injury at half time against Bromley, but Burchnall is optimistic that the issue is nothing serious and he should be fine for the quarter-final.

Crewe Alexandra loanee Regan Griffiths could fill in should Reeves's injury prove more problematic than first thought, while Alex Lacey (hip) will miss the remainder of the season.

Seven-goal winger Enzio Boldewijn is an option for change out wide, but Burchnall will not make significant alterations, in spite of their final-day defeat.

Chesterfield were also forced into an early change on the final day as Danny Rowe had to come off due to sickness, while Tom Whelan also spent 90 minutes on the bench recovering from a stomach bug of his own.

Both players ought to be in contention to feature here, though, while one change on the left-hand side could see Alex Whittle displace Joel Taylor, as Rowe sang the former's praises as a second-half substitute against Halifax.

Notts County possible starting lineup:
Slocombe; Chicksen, Rawlinson, Ellis; Boldewijn, Doyle, O'Brien, Reeves, Brindley; Wootton, Rodrigues

Chesterfield possible starting lineup:
Montgomery; Maguire, Evans, Gunning; Carline, Clarke, Weston, Oyeleke, Whittle; Rowe, Mandeville

We say: Notts County 1-2 Chesterfield

Notts County in particular will be determined to make this opportunity count after falling at the first hurdle last year, but fixtures with Chesterfield have proven to be very tight affairs in seasons gone by, and the two teams could hardly be separated in the final-season standings.

Saturday's battle also promises to be a closely-fought affair which is very difficult to call, but we think that Chesterfield's prowess on the road ought to help them get over the line and set up a semi-final clash with Torquay.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

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