Games do not get bigger than this for Lincoln City. On Saturday, the Imps will travel to Blundell Park to face rivals Grimsby Town.
Saturday is a massive day for both clubs. It marks the return of a derby fixture which is one of the standout games of the entire season.
The last time Lincoln and Grimsby met, both teams were in the National League. Grimsby came away 2-0 winners at Blundell Park, with goals from Padraig Amond and current Imp Nathan Arnold.
A lot has changed since then, so Saturday is shaping up to a fascinating spectacle.
Lincoln head into Saturday’s match on the back of a victory over Barnet. Two first half goals from Ollie Palmer and Harry Anderson was enough for all three points in what was a hard fought game.
Lincoln played really well in the first half, dominating their opponent, but the second half performance didn’t reach the levels of the opening 45 minutes. Despite that, Lincoln held onto the win and snapped their two game losing run.
I suspect that Lincoln will line-up with the same starting eleven on Saturday as they did Tuesday.
Against Barnet, Ollie Palmer did more than enough to justify his place in the first eleven. Palmer scored a really good goal and had an excellent all round game. I think he will partner up once again with Matt Green against Grimsby.
Midfield wise, I don’t think you can change it. Michael Bostwick and Alex Woodyard are a superb combination. Also, Josh Ginnelly and Harry Anderson have been in great form and they should start on Saturday.
The defence is the only area I can potentially see a change being made. Sean Long might feature if Danny Cowley feels that Sam Habergham or Neal Eardley need resting, as these two players have been under a heavy workload as of late.
There are still question marks over the goalkeeping position. I think Vickers deserves a run of games so we get to see a better representation of his ability.
In their last game, Grimsby were held to a 2-2 drew at home by Colchester United. It could have been worse for the Mariners if it wasn’t for Sam Jones who confidently stepped up to fire home an 89th minute penalty.
Grimsby sit in 13th place. They are one position below the Imps in the table, but are two points behind so a win for the Mariners on Saturday, would see them leapfrog Lincoln.
For Grimsby this season, going forward has not been the main issue, it has been defending. The Mariners have conceded 18 goals this season, which is joint fourth worst in the league. Also, out of their ten games, they have been beaten by two goals or more, four times.
However, Grimsby are dangerous in an attacking sense. They seem to have a focus on using wider areas to create chances, and it has been effective this season.
Siriki Dembele is definitely a player to watch out for on Saturday. The 21-year old has started all ten matches this season from midfield, and he has been putting in some very good performances. He is yet to score this season, but there is so much more to his game than just goals. He is extremely agile and fast, causing problems for most defences in the league. On Saturday, Dembele will look to link together the Grimsby attacks and he will need to be defended very well.
Another player to watch out for is Sam Jones. He equalised for Grimsby in their most recent game against Colchester in what was his fourth goal of the season. Jones loves to push forward from midfield positions so Bostwick and Woodyard will have to pay close attention to the movement of Jones.
Saturday can’t come soon enough. There will be an electric atmosphere as the Lincoln Grimsby derby is back once again.
Come on you Imps!