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L1, L2, & Scottish Predictions > Mar 12th & 13th

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Lincoln City vs Rochdale

The League One fixtures offered up a few tempting propositions this weekend but I eventually decided that the Lincoln City versus Rochdale match at 3pm on Saturday afternoon at Sincil Bank was the one I wanted to preview. I almost went for the Bristol Rovers against AFC Wimbledon game but still felt it was slightly too risky given the recent inconsistent form and new managerial appointment of the home team.

Lincoln City head into this game in 3rd place in the third tier of English football and just 1 point behind the automatic promotion spots. Manager Michael Appleton is continuing to impress at the Imps but it is just 1 win from their last 5 league games now. The team ended a winless run of 4 home league matches with a belting 3-0 victory over Crewe Alexandra last weekend and followed it up with a solid 1-1 draw away to Ipswich. An inconsistent home record is my main concern here but the odds on a home win have made this a teaser.

Rochdale are looking in trouble. Brian Barry-Murphy's men did what we asked last weekend by losing comfortably to Sunderland away and I'm going to be asking for a repeat performance from them. Apologies to any Dale fans obviously. It's nothing personal. The club are rock bottom of the league table and now 5 points adrift of safety with 12 league games to play. To make matters worse, the club are arguably one of the most out-of-form teams in the Football League having won just 1 of their last 17 league games including losing their last 4 league matches. It gets even worse. The team haven't even managed to score in their last 7 league games. That's over 681 minutes without a league goal scored. Oh dear.

The simple question that needs to be asked here is how on earth can anyone back Rochdale to get something from a game of football in this form? They look like a team dead and buried. Coming to a place like this to take on a Lincoln City side with automatic promotion on their minds is a hiding to nothing. I can see yet another disappointing away day for the travelling side and a business-like win for the home team.

Lincoln City -1 @ 2.30 with BetVictor

Lincoln City HT/FT @ 2.30 with BetVictor

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Crawley Town vs Mansfield

The selection of games to choose to preview in League Two was a tricky one this week but I've gone for Crawley Town versus Mansfield at 3pm GMT on Saturday afternoon at the Broadfield Stadium. I was considering covering the Morecambe versus Newport County game but I'm not sure my better half would forgive me if I publicly backed her current hometown team to suffer a beating.

Crawley Town are a team that are starting to look like they might be potential contenders to make a push for the play-offs this season. John Yems has led his team to 3 wins in their last 4 league games that has helped move the club up to 11th in the table and 7 points outside the play-offs. Striker Tom Nichols has played a key role in those victories getting 3 goals. The Reds have won their last 3 home league games and after impressing in the FA Cup earlier this season there is every chance they could have a campaign to remember.

Mansfield fans will be wondering what has happened to the team that was flirting with promotion last season. The Stags are a world away from being promotion contenders down in 16th place and they're closer to the relegation places than the play-off spots. Nigel Clough clearly had a positive impact on the team when he first replaced Graham Coughlan but the new manager bounce has seemingly worn off. The team won 2-1 against league leaders Cheltenham in their last outing but it's still been just 2 wins from their last 9 league games including 5 defeats in their previous 7 league matches.

Crawley Town have suffered just 1 loss in the last 7 meetings between these two clubs so they have every reason to be confident coming into this game. Mansfield had appeared to be evolving under Clough but it's all gone a bit pear-shaped. The home side have only lost 4 of their 16 home league games this season and they're up against a travelling team that have lost 3 and drawn 2 of their last 5 away league games. Backing the home team for the win here seems shrewd but I am wary that the away side have drawn 7 of their 17 away league games so a draw no bet is preferable.

Crawley Town Draw No Bet @ 1.93 with SBK

BTTS @ 1.86 with SportNation

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