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Carlisle United v Mansfield Town – Blues closing in on play-offs

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Bookies.com-sponsored Carlisle United need wins to land promotion

It may not have been an attractive or even convincing performance on Tuesday evening, however Carlisle United’s scrappy win over Hartlepool at Brunton Park moved them just one point adrift of the League Two play-offs and even the most critical Blues fan will have been satisfied with the eventual outcome.

Hartlepool certainly had more chances in the first half, however Hallam Hope’s deflected shot after the break secured the all-important three points for the home side as they continue to slowly stumble towards the play-offs.

The big question is, can Carlisle manage back-to-back league wins for the first time since November when they welcome Mansfield Town to Brunton Park on Saturday afternoon? They desperately need to, given that failure to seal the points this weekend could see the gap widen between themselves and the top six.

The Cumbrians have been a mixed bag of late, their last ten League Two outings returning just three wins and five draws. They have flirted with the play-offs throughout the past couple of months, however have as yet failed to put together anything resembling a decent run and this could really be the last chance for them to mount a serious challenge on the top seven.

They will be up against a Mansfield Town side which are without a win since 20th February and who sit seven points behind the Cumbrians heading into this weekend’s fixture, their last away win being a 1-0 victory over Crawley Town in January.

Nevertheless, given Carlisle’s unconvincing recent performances, this looks set to be a somewhat scrappy affair and we’re not really expecting a goal-filled entertaining encounter. Carlisle desperately need the three points and will probably manage a win, but we’re also expecting the home net to bulge at some point.

Our betting tip: Carlisle United to win 2-1 at 17/2 with BetVictor.

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