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Grass is greener on domestic front

IT’S almost an act of cruelty. We’re at that point of the season when promotion charges will accelerate, relegation fights are mounted, playoff dreams hint at becoming a reality, Bryan Robson enters next manager shortlists and Arsenal fall apart, and it’s all being interrupted by a round of rubbish international footy.

A Saturday card at this stage of the season should be featuring a stack of dramatic domestic showdowns but all we’ve got this week is a coupon clogged up with the likes of Cyprus v Estonia, Bosnia against Gibraltar and Andorra’s eagerly-awaited clash with the Faroes.

Well that’s not quite true, of course.

We lovers of proper footy have actually got stacks to get stuck into, including a couple of colossal contests from the basement and beyond.

Top of the bill is arguably Lincoln City against Forest Green, a humdinger from the National League that has become even more humdingerish after the Imps were chinned at Boreham Wood on Tuesday night.

If that’s a hangover from their FA Cup glory at Burnley and Arsenal and FA Trophy heartache against York, then it’s not going to get any easier for Danny Cowley’s men. I reckon Forest Green, who are buzzing after going top on Tuesday courtesy of an injury-time winner against Solihull, are a bit of value.

Then we’re on to a crunch clash in League Two with Doncaster and Plymouth going toe to toe at the Keepmoat.

I like the look of Donny for this one. Unbeaten at home all season long and having lost just once since before Christmas, they are getting stronger and stronger. Plymouth are definitely a bit flakier and may well come up short.

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Match in Focus

19:45 TODAY SS2

N Ireland v Norway

Home Win Draw Away Win
Key stats
  • Northern Ireland have won eight of their last 11 home fixtures
Expert verdict
Northern Ireland tackle Norway in their latest World Cup qualifier and while the hosts are missing Wigan frontman Will Grigg, that shouldn’t stop the Euro 2016 qualifiers coming out on top. Norway have been disappointing in Group C - picking up just three points from four games – a run that saw Per-Mathias Hogmo lose his post as manager.