Just as it would have been foolish to say that Lincoln City were promoted at the end of September, when they were seven points clear of fourth, it would also be foolish to say that they are now crumbling, following the subsequent return of eight points from six.

They are still top of the league, they have still won 10 games – two more than any other side – and they are still on course for a very positive campaign.

However, it cannot be ignored that they have looked a tad off-colour in recent weeks: even the 6-2 win at Port Vale is a slightly misleading result, due to the incompetence with which their opponents defended set pieces.

Lincoln might not welcome the form of Forest Green Rovers, who they see as rivals due to various cultural differences, despite the 162-mile distance between the two grounds.

Mark Cooper’s side do though go into this grudge match off the back of two very convincing victories against top seven competitors; a 3-1 home win over Tranmere was followed by a 2-1 triumph at Exeter.

What stood out most in those games was the quality and flexibility of the football they played. Sitting deep against Forest Green will allow the likes of Reece Brown and Lloyd James to dictate play with technical proficiency, as full-backs Liam Shepherd and Joseph Mills overload wide areas.

Pushing up against them though will allow Tahvon Campbell, who has relished the lone striker role in Reuben Reid’s absence, to threaten in behind.

The one blemish to recent performances has been one or two gaffes from Robert Sanchez, but Cooper fervently defended his goalkeeper at a recent fans’ forum, pointing to his ability to command his penalty area and distribute effectively, which is key to the team’s all-round performance.

On current form, the Greens are the closest thing League Two has to a complete side and they look well-equipped this weekend to avoid defeat, something they have done in 15 of their 16 league encounters.

Tip:

Double Chance – 90 Mins: Forest Green or Draw

Read Gabriel Sutton’s League One Gameweek 17 betting preview here!

Odds are correct at the time of posting

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