Town make a familiar trip to Sincil Bank on Saturday afternoon (1pm) as they take on Lincoln City in a local derby.
New boss Michael Jolley will be looking for his first three points as Mariners boss after the high of a last minute equaliser in the 1-1 draw with Port Vale at Blundell Park on Saturday afternoon, and a victory against the Imps would be no better way to endear himself to the Town faitful.
Danny Cowley’s City are still fighting for a play-off position after a promising season, so with both teams fighting for points and a sold out crowd in attendance, it is sure to be one of the bigger local derbies in recent memory.
Wilks and McSheffrey in contention
Town have no fresh injury concerns after the Port Vale game on Saturday, and have received a couple of boosts after Leeds loanee Malik Wilks returned to training and experienced forward Gary McSheffrey signed for the club on Thursday afternoon, so both of those could come into contention.
Simeon Jackson, Luke Summerfield, Paul Dixon and Karleigh Osborne will all remain out with their respective injuries, whilst Derby County loanee Charles Vernam is unlikely to feature again for the side this season, which will be a blow to the side’s attacking options.
Lincoln will be without defender Luke Waterfall through suspension after he was sent off at Chesterfield, but fellow centre-back James Wilson could make his first appearance in a month after returning from a knee injury that has kept him out for the past month.
Lincoln pushing for the play-offs
It has undoubtedly been an exciting couple of years for Lincoln City, and Danny Cowley’s side will be hoping to sneak into the play-off places come the end of the season.
Cowley took over with his brother Nicky back in the summer of 2016 after a successful spell against Braintree Town, and they have been a breath of fresh air for the city of Lincoln during their time at the club.
The side won the National League title last year and have kept the momentum going for the most part, with a Wembley trip also to come in the Checkatrade Trophy later in the month.
The Imps kept the majority of the squad that won promotion over the summer, and added the likes of striker Matt Green and Peterborough pair Michael Bostwick and Harry Anderson to their ranks, so have a strong squad at their disposal.
Form has dipped slightly as of late, which probably wasn’t helped by midfielder Sean Raggett joining Championship side Norwich City in January, but the Imps still come into the game in 8th place and on the back of a 3-1 victory at Chesterfield last weekend.
A goalless draw last time out
The two sides cancelled each other out in a extremely tight 0-0 draw at Blundell Park back in September.
That was also the score between the two sides in their last EFL meeting at Sincil Bank back in November 2009, so both sets of fans will be hoping their respective team can change that.
The derby has been played 109 times over its history, with Town winning on 49 occasions. The Imps have come away with all three points 30 times, with the sides drawing 31 times over the years.
Managers in summary
Michael Jolley: ”They’re a very good team. What Danny, Nicky and everybody at Lincoln has done over the last couple of years is remarkable in many ways, and I’ve got a lot of respect for them. They’re a strong team, they’ve got a very well established and distinct style of play that they execute very well. It’s up to us to respond to the challenge and come up with ways for us to hurt them as well.I’m looking forward to taking the challenge on, it’s going to be a big game, and that’s you come into football for these big occasions.”
Danny Cowley: ”You look at the derbies all around the world, the Liverpool-Everton, the Manchester derby and the Glasgow derby and they’re never easy games. It doesn’t matter what the two teams are doing in the league, they’re always ultra competitive and we’re looking forward to being part of it and being part of the atmosphere. We’re really focused and this is a vital game in our season. We feel we owe our supporters an awful lot and a good result on Saturday will go some way to paying them back.