MX23RW : Saturday, July 31 12:02:21| >> :600:5930371:5930371:
May 18, 2021 at 8.15pm UK at Rodney Parade
NewportNewport County
Forest GreenForest Green Rovers
Dolan (31'), Collins (56')
Sheehan (45+1')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Bernard (19')

Preview: Newport County vs. Forest Green Rovers - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Tuesday's League Two clash between Newport County and Forest Green Rovers, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Newport County and Forest Green Rovers head into the first leg of their League Two playoff semi-final having ended the regular campaign on the same amount of points.

While the home side have put together a five-match unbeaten streak, the visitors posted back-to-back wins to earn a spot in the top six.

Match preview

Newport County boss Mike Flynn pictured in August 2019© Reuters

Although there have been times this season when Newport were in contention for automatic promotion, a strong finish was required to claim a place in the playoffs.

Eleven points were collected from five fixtures, a period which included a pivotal 1-0 victory over champions Cheltenham Town.

A point at relegated Southend United earned County fifth position rather than seventh, ensuring that they avoided in-form Morecambe.

Nevertheless, despite conceding just three goals in nine matches, Michael Flynn knows that his side can ill-afford any complacency at this stage of the campaign.

Remarkably, none of this squad have scored more than six strikes all season, the team reliant on three goals in as many games from defender Mickey Demetriou during the run-in.

Having made the decision to replace Mark Cooper with Under-18s boss Jimmy Ball on an interim basis, the Forest Green hierarchy were taking what they considered to be a calculated risk.

With 10 points being collected from their final six matches, the gamble has paid off thus far, and Ball will be increasingly confident of achieving an unlikely promotion.

Forest Green's three victories since Ball's appointment have been through strong second-half performances, the last outing against Oldham Athletic seeing three goals netted after the hour mark.

At a time when just three strikes have been conceded in five encounters, the signs are there that Rovers are peaking at the right time as they bid to move into League One for the first time in their history.

Aaron Collins has contributed three goals and an assist during his last two appearances, match-winning performances after going 11 fixtures without finding the back of the net.

Newport County League Two form:
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • D

Forest Green Rovers League Two form:
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • W

Team News

Having avoided defeat since April 20, Flynn is expected to keep changes to his Newport side down to a minimum.

Matthew Dolan, County's joint top goalscorer, is an option in a three-man backline, but preference is likely to be given to the trio which started against Southend.

Forest Green will have to make do without Ebou Adams after the midfielder was dismissed for two yellow cards against Tranmere Rovers.

While Scott Wagstaff could drop back into the centre of the pitch, Ball will give consideration to handing a fourth start of the season to Isaac Hutchinson.

Newport County possible starting lineup:
King; Shephard, Bennett, Demetriou; Lewis, Labadie, Sheehan, Hartigan, Haynes; Collins, Amond

Forest Green Rovers possible starting lineup:
McGee; Godwin-Malife, Stokes, Cargill; Wilson, Moore-Taylor, Hutchinson, Collins; Davison, Wagstaff

SM words green background

We say: Newport County 2-1 Forest Green Rovers

Both teams will feel that they have momentum heading into this fixture, something which should lead to a quality contest playing out in South Wales. While the visitors would be satisfied with a share of the spoils, we are backing the home side to edge this fixture by the odd goal in three.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data

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Great BritainGreat Britain891128
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Saturday's key events

· After silvers in both the men's and women's events, Team GB will be fancied to get on the podium again in the mixed relay (11.30pm-1am)

· Touted as Michael Phelps's successor, Caeleb Dressel already has two gold medals from these Games and he will be going for a third in the men's 50m butterfly final (2.30am)
· It is Katie Ledecky vs. Ariarne Titmus III in the women's 800m freestyle final, with Ledecky entering as firm favourite (2.46am)
· Great Britain will be heavily fancied to add another gold medal to their swimming haul, having produced by far the fastest qualifying time for the mixed 4x100m medley relay final (3.43am)

· Dina Asher-Smith is one of three British women in the 100m semi-finals (3.01am-3.20am), and will hope to challenge for a medal in what is likely to be a star-studded final (1.50pm)
· The inaugural Olympic 4x400m mixed relay event concludes with Great Britain one of the eight finalists going for gold (1.35pm)

· Team GB's dreams of an unlikely gold are still alive in the women's event as they face France in their semi-final (3.30am). The winners will face either New Zealand or Fiji in the gold medal match later in the day (10am)

· Gold medals are up for grabs in the windsurfer - RS:X finals. Emma Wilson participates for Team GB in the women's final (6.33am), while Tom Squires is in action in the men's (7.33am)

· Following his shock semi-final defeat, ending his hopes of a Golden Slam in 2021, Novak Djokovic battles for bronze against Pablo Carreno Busta (7am)
· The women's singles event reaches its conclusion with the gold medal match between Belinda Bencic and Marketa Vondrousova

> Today's schedule in full
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