Mansfield Town could strengthen their bid for an automatic promotion place with a win as they host Salford City at Field Mill on Saturday afternoon.
The hosts are in the midst of their best form of the season and have risen up the League Two table into 5th place, having amassed 52 points from their 32 league games so far this season. The Stags are currently three points behind Carlisle who currently occupy third place in the table.
Nigel Clough’s side have been seemingly unstoppable in recent weeks, and they have gained thirteen points from the last fifteen which have been available. This run has included impressive victories over the likes of Carlisle, Doncaster and Gillingham.
Mansfield travelled to Prenton Park last weekend as they faced a Tranmere side who have been struggling to pick up points in the league. Goals from Riley Harbottle and Davis Keillor-Dunn were the difference as Nigel Clough's side claimed a third successive win.
The Stags' recent form has been characterised by impressive defensive performances, which has seen Mansfield record three consecutive clean sheets in the league. The defensive trio of Riley Harbottle, Alfie Kilgour and James Perch have created a seemingly impenetrable defensive unit.
Salford City find themselves just within the playoff places in 7th place in the league, having picked up 49 points from their 32 league games this season. In a very congested League Two table, there are only eight points separating Salford from Tranmere in 15th place.
Salford’s promotion bid has slightly weakened in recent weeks as the Ammies have only gained one point from their last three league games. A disappointing defeat at Tranmere has been followed up by a draw against Harrogate and a defeat against Swindon. All three of these sides sit below Salford in the table and to take just one point from them must be worrying for the Salford faithful.
Mansfield and Salford have only met competitively in the Football League on six prior occasions and the results have been fairly balanced. Since they first faced each other in October 2019, there have been two Mansfield victories, two Salford victories and one draw. The Stags have lost three of their last six Football League games against Salford and are winless in their last two.
These sides last met on the opening matchday of the Season, where Salford recorded a home victory in Neil Wood’s first game at the helm. Two early goals from Callum Hendry and Brandon Thomas-Asante went unanswered as Mansfield could not dent Salford’s advantage as the game finished 2-0.
Unsurprisingly, given their recent form, it is Mansfield who are favoured at the bookies ahead of this matchup @ 21/20, whilst an away victory for Salford is currently priced @ 12/5. We are backing Mansfield to win 2-0 because of their excellent form entering this weekend. We believe that an impressive Mansfield defence may prove too strong for Salford's attacking line.