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Midlands Football Preview: League One

Notts County v Walsall (KO - 15:00):

Another Midlands encounter this weekend sees Sean Derry's Magpies welcome a Walsall side on the hunt for a play-off spot.

This is an encounter they will want to win, if they are to continue their ascent away from the relegation zone and bounce back from last week’s dramatic and disappointing 4-3 loss at Peterborough.

Sean Derry has started well since being appointed boss of Notts County... Credit: Rowan Staszkiewicz/EMPICS Sport

Following a terrible run of form before Christmas, The Magpies have picked up sixteen points from nine games and fancy their chances at home rather than away.

The Saddlers though, have been chasing a promotion spot all season and sit seventh in the table, after an efficient campaign to date. A sturdy defence and steady flow of goals has seen them climb the table and keep one eye on promotion.

The Saddlers will be hoping for more scenes like this one, against gillingham, when they travel to Meadow Lane... Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Dean Smith’s men do not concede many - having been a model for consistency all season – and although they have not travelled well in recent weeks, they have proved difficult to beat and will fancy their chances.

Despite fifteen points separating the two sides, appearances could be deceiving, with both sides again having much to play for.


Wolverhampton Wanderers v Bristol City (KO - 15:00):

Wanderers are without a win in five, whereas in the same run of fixtures, City haven't lost.

But despite stuttering of late, the men in gold and black lie third in League One, just four points from an automatic promotion spot. Having lost just four times in the league all season, they will be confident of overcoming a Bristol city side one place from the foot of the table.

Wolves fans will be cheering for a win when they welcome Bristol City to Molineux... Credit: Tim Parker/EMPICS Sport

Kenny Jacket's Wolves are in steady form and having got a taste for victory against the Robins once already this season - winning at Ashton Gate on the second weekend of the campaign - they will be looking to move clear of the chasing pack with another victory.

Steve Cotterill's side might be at the wrong end of the table, but have hit some good form and will not be fearful ahead of the trip to Molineux, having grabbed nine points from a possible twenty-one.


Oldham Athletic v Peterborough United (KO - 15:00):

In the wake of an embarrassing loss to Conference side Kidderminster in the FA Cup, the vote of confidence given Peterborough boss Darren Ferguson, by club Chairman Darragh MacAnthony, seems to have done the trick.

After a flying start to the season, an alarming dip in form had seen The Posh pick up just two wins from thirteen games, before back-to-back wins in the last week saw their campaign get back on track.

Believe it or not, the frown from Darren ferguson's face has disappeared, after back-to-back league wins... Credit: Mike Egerton/EMPICS Sport

The latter of these victories was Tuesday’s mouth-watering encounter with East Midland rivals Notts County, ending in an enthralling 4-3 victory for Fergie-junior at the Magpies’ expense.

The Blue Boys will be looking to continue on the crest of a wave with a first away win in eight attempts, with their form on the road having been left wanting since victory at Port Vale way back in October.

For the third time in as many games, they face a side toying with relegation; a prospect Oldham players will be looking to edge further away from, with what would be a second win from ten.

In spite of a poor run of form, Latics manager, Lee Johnson, will be buoyed by a new three-and-a-half-year deal at the club when he welcomes Ferguson and Co to Boundary Park.


Swindon Town v Shrewsbury Town (KO - 15:00):

Shrewsbury are another club which finds themselves without a manager, after former supremo Graham Turner defected after almost four years at the helm. Having admitted he was keen for new additions to his ranks, following a run of just one win in eight, the club look to have shared in that view at least and are scouring the loan market for reinforcements.

Shrewsbury need to pick up points if they want to avoid throwing away their league status.. Credit: Nick Potts/EMPICS Sport

Having slipped into the relegation places, after stuttering at home all season fans at New Meadow might heave a sigh of relief at being on the road this weekend.

But they have only won six games all season and if they are to secure a rare success, they will have to overcome a Swindon side prowling beneath the play-off places, despite only notching two wins from seven.

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