The Stags travel to Colchester on Saturday, where they will face a side that has experienced inconsistency so far this campaign. Mansfield have won the last three meetings between the two sides with an aggregate score of 6-2.
Colchester sit in 20th place in the League Two table after enduring a rather troubled start to the season by losing their opening three fixtures. That said, the U’s have picked up form in recent weeks and their 3-0 victory over Gillingham towards the end of last month may have just been the catalyst to a successful season. Colchester have played three games at home and boast a record of one win and three defeats, which is the fifth worse home record in the league.
However, that one win occurred last weekend which puts them in a much better position to face Mansfield. Ben Garner’s side displayed an excellent performance where they destroyed Tranmere 2-0. The score line suggests that the game was quite close but the statistics clearly state otherwise. The U’s had 30 attempts at goal, 12 shots on target, 11 corners and they missed a whopping seven big chances! A performance like this versus Mansfield and they will surely be collecting another three points.
The Stags have had another brilliant start to the season and they are currently placed in third, having gone unbeaten in seven games. Although many clubs would happily take that position, I feel that Nigel Clough may be slightly frustrated at his sides inability to get over the line, ultimately settling for a draw, as it may cost them in the playoff push later on in the season. This has been a frequent occurrence on the road where they have drawn three out of the four games played, with their defending letting them down.
Last time out, they put their early season defensive uncertainties behind them and cruised to a comfortable 3-0 win away to Accrington Stanley. Davis Keillor-Dunn had an impressive game in the number 10 role, picking up a goal and an assist, and his creativity will be needed this weekend.
Both sides will be confident that they can hurt the opposition this weekend, which sets this game up to be a thriller. I believe both teams will score but I don’t see the game ending in a draw. Either team could steal it. The final prediction is Colchester 1-2 Mansfield.