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Mansfield Preview

Andy Phillips previews the Boxing Day clash with Mansfield Town.

25 December 2017

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25 December 2017

Town take on Mansfield Town this Boxing Day (1pm) as they look to continue their strong form as of late in the first of two games at Blundell Park over the festive period.

The Mariners went down 2-0 at top of the table Luton Town at the weekend and boss Russell Slade will be looking for a response after that, despite him being pleased with his side's performance against the league leaders in large part.

Mansfield come into the game on the back of a victory against Morecambe on Saturday and they the pre-season promotion favourites will be looking to stake their over the second half of the season.

Town looking for revenge

The Mariners will be looking for revenge after they went down 4-1 at Mansfield in the reverse fixture earlier in the season.

An off colour performance from Russell Slade's men saw Krystian Pearce and Lee Angol both score aa brace each for the Stags, with a late penalty from Sam Jones being nothing but a consolation.

Town's form has improved tenfold since those early weeks of the season, and with the new squad now starting to get used to playing together, they will be confident of putting on a much better show this time around.

Mansfield looking for strong second half to season

It has been an up and down season for Mansfield so far but they are slowly moving up the table after only losing one league game since October.

A significant summer of spending saw many tip the Stags tipped as title contenders, but their new squad have taken time to find their feet. Despite that, they have one of the most impressive squads in the league on paper and one would expect them to be in and around the play-off positions at the very least come the end of the season.

Striker Danny Rose has been the most impressive of the new signings so far this campaign, with the former Bury striker hitting 10 goals so far this campaign.

His pace will certainly be something that Town will have to watch out for, whilst at the other end of the pitch, centre backs Zander Diamond and Rhys Bennett are a strong duo and it is no coincidence that the Stags have been very strong defensively since former Hibernian defender Diamond returned from injury in November.

Manager Steve Evans is no stranger to Town fans after a couple of well publicised incidents against the Mariners over the years, and his presence in the away dugout will no doubt give the fixture even more of an edge.

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