BILLY BUNTER

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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

17:00 TODAY ITV

England v Lithuania

Home Win Draw Away Win
Key stats
  • England have been level at half-time in two of their four qualifying matches
Expert verdict
Bookmakers can’t see past England when they host Lithuania in this World Cup qualifier and even the most pessimistic Three Lions fan would find it hard to make a case for the Baltic nation. Gareth Southgate’s men may need time but should ultimately win and the value could lie with anticipating a draw at half-time with England striking late.