Tonight, in Sky bet League Two, Mansfield Town travel to the north west to take on Crewe Alexandra in an important game for both sides.
A win for the visitors will see them hop to 9th in the table from their current 11th place; it would also leave them just three points shy of the play-off places.
On the flip side of that coin, a win for The Railwaymen has totally different ramifications. Those welcome three points would see them hike up the table from their lowly 17th place to actually overtake their visitors into 11th in the league.
It would also mean that David Artell’s side would create further breathing space between themselves and the relegation dogfight that is going on beneath them.
Visitors Mansfield come into the game in a better run of form, being unbeaten since a 2-1 defeat at home to Exeter City in mid-September. In that run of form, The Stags have rutted their way to a seven-game unbeaten streak, albeit it five of those being draws.
Their victories, against Morecambe (1-0) and Northampton (4-0) underline the threat that they pose in front of goal. They also help to indicate their avariciousness in defence, having only conceded four times in the current run.
In contrast, home side Crewe are in somewhat of a different predicament. Whilst they too are on an unbeaten run of four games, you don’t have to look too much further back for the picture to change.
The four games prior to this mini-streak contained three losses against Lincoln City (1-0), Notts County (2-1) and Port Vale (1-0). To say that Crewe are something of an enigmatic side would be to state the truth; they opened the season with a 6-0 hammering of Morecambe, only to suffer a 6-0 hammering themselves at the hands of Colchester United three games later.
Whilst form is temporary, as the saying goes, and class is permanent, that doesn’t help in this particular matter. Both teams come into this game on a run of good form, with the visiting Stags having the edge in this respect. As it is, this is a solid, mid-table tussle between two sides very much alike – so expect a tight game. Sticking my neck out – there’ll be goals in this game for both sides, but I fancy the visitors to nick it.