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MATCHDAY PREVIEW: Swindon Town v Newport County

Swindon Town hosts Newport County today knowing that the loser could be exiled from the League Two play-off conversation altogether. Total Sport Swindon’s Joe Acklam previews the County Ground encounter.

Town have a game in hand on most of those in the play-offs, but coming off of frustrating results against Crawley and Rochdale in their last two, this game becomes pivotal in ensuring their promotion hopes continue.

Three wins in four had the Robins dreaming of a potential automatic promotion spot, but failure to win either side of the international break has left that all but a pipe dream and with work still to do to even make the post-season playoffs.

Standing in the other corner of the ring from Swindon in this potential play-off eliminator on Saturday will be Newport County. Just one point and one league position seperates the two sides with each languishing outside of the top seven looking in as sticky form has them searching for a change in fortunes.

The Exiles won three and drew one to start March in impressive form but since then that form has taken a nosedive, with two losses and one draw consigning them to eighth place and without the luxury of games in hand.

Swindon will be looking to do the triple over the Welsh side this afternoon having come out on top in both the league and EFL Trophy games earlier in the season. 

Jack Payne's late goal proved the difference in Swindon's 2-1 win at Rodney Parade, with a goal from Jordan Lyden handing Swindon a 1-0 win at the County Ground in the EFL Trophy.

However, traditionally Town have struggled against Newport, as before those two wins, they had only managed to win twice in their previous eight matches.

Despite their lacklustre form, County will definitely cause Town problems in the shape of League Two’s leading marksman Dominic Telford, the former Plymouth forward has notched 24 goals this term, although he has not found the net in any of his last seven outings.

Newport could well be boosted by the returns of midfielder Jake Cain and forward Courtney Baker-Richardson, as both returns from injuries. Baker-Richardson was only fit enough to be used from the bench against Exeter last time out and manager James Rowberry has pledged to be careful with the pair of them.

For Swindon, Louis Reed will return from a two-game suspension for his red card picked up against Sutton, along with Ben Gladwin who has recovered from a lengthy injury and defender Jake O'Brien who is available having overcome a short illness. Town however will likely remain without their leading goal scorer Harry McKirdy as he remains sidelined with a calf injury.  

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