Coventry v Notts County Play-off 1st Leg

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Coventry v Notts County Play-off 1st Leg

Postby Nick » Fri May 11, 2018 3:12 pm

Coventry defender Jordan Willis and striker Max Biamou are expected to be fit after illness as the Sky Blues start their maiden play-off campaign.

City host Notts County in the first leg of their League Two play-off semi-final after clinching their first top-six finish since 1970.

The Magpies finished one place and two points above Coventry in the table.

On-loan forward Mason Bennett will not feature for the visitors because of a hamstring injury.

Coventry are aiming to seal an immediate return to League One while Notts County are hoping to end their three-season stay in the fourth tier.

Coventry manager Mark Robins:

"We are not going to worry about what may or may not happen, we are just going to work as well as we can do.

"The quality is there - the players just need to embrace it and enjoy it. We have got a plan and we just need to stick to it.

"If you are still in the tie for the second leg then you have to be happy because it is two games."

Notts County boss Kevin Nolan:

"Every game I try to keep a level of consistency but there's no hiding place now. If we win these next two we go to Wembley.

"For me, it's about making sure I give the lads the right direction to help them do themselves - and all of us - proud.

"I was very lucky to play in two play-offs and one of those was in my first season as a player, so to be replicating that as a manager is magnificent."

Match facts

Both sides won one meeting apiece in League Two this season, with Coventry winning 3-0 at home on the opening weekend of the season thanks to a Jodi Jones hat-trick.

Notts County have won two of their past four visits to the Ricoh Arena against Coventry, though they have lost both of the other two 3-0.

This is Coventry's first ever appearance in the Football League play-offs. They have not been promoted from any division since winning the second tier in 1966-67.

This will be Notts County's fifth appearance in the Football League play-offs, but first since 1995-96. They have reached the final in each of their past three appearances, winning in the third tier in 1989-90, the second tier in 1990-91, but losing out in the third tier in 1995-96.

The team finishing sixth has won promotion to League One just once in the past 10 seasons, with Stevenage doing so in 2010-11.

Meanwhile, the team finishing fifth has won the play-offs just once in the past eight League Two campaigns, with Southend United doing so in 2014-15.

The Sky Blues won just one of their past four home games in the regular League Two season (D1 L2), losing 6-2 to Yeovil and 4-2 to Lincoln in that run.

Meanwhile, the Magpies won just two of their past 11 League Two away games in 2017-18 (D3 L6).

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