Brentford vs Notts County
Saturday 6 January
Griffin Park, 3pm
Emirates FA Cup Third Round
After troubling years at Meadow Lane, the signs are most-definitely pointing in the right direction for Notts County under manager Kevin Nolan and owner Alan Hardy. Almost a year to the day since County were beaten 4-1 at Morecambe, a ninth straight league defeat which left them a point above the Sky Bet League Two drop zone, Nolan's side arrive at Griffin Park second in the fourth tier, having lost just once in their last 11 in all competitions.
The goals of on-loan Nottingham Forest midfielder Jorge Grant have been crucial to The Magpies' successes this season. The youngster has netted 16 times in all competitions this campaign and adds youth to a squad packed full of EFL experience in the form of Jon Stead, Shola Ameobi, Jonathan Forte, Adam Collin, and Alan Smith.
New County signing Liam Noble could make his debut for The Magpies on Saturday after re-joining from Forest Green. Former Brentford loanee Robert Milson will miss out, joining Adam Collin and Michael O'Connor on the sidelines while Shola Ameobi is a doubt, having missed Monday's win over Port Vale.
For The Bees, new signing Emiliano Marcondes was included on the bench for Tuesday night's defeat at Wolverhampton Wanderers with Josh Clarke making his return to action following an ankle injury.
Kevin Nolan is taking his first steps in the management game after a stellar playing career in the Premier League. The Liverpool-born midfielder made his name with Bolton Wanderers, spending more than a decade with the club. He made nearly 350 competitive apperances for The Trotters, helping them to Championship promotion, a League Cup final and two UEFA Cup campaigns, before leaving in 2009 to join Newcastle United. He scored 18 goals in his first full season on Tyneside as United romped to the second tier title.
He dropped down to the Championship again in 2011 and was a mainstay of West Ham United's promotion season, before going on to play for The Hammers in the top flight for a further four years. He became Leyton Orient player-manager in 2016 but lasted just three months at Brisbane Road before taking over at Meadow Lane a year ago next Friday.
Tickets for Saturday's match against Notts County are on General Sale now from just £10 adults and £5 juniors. Get your tickets here.
iFollow Brentford will be live from 2.30pm tomorrow with Mark Burridge hosting Matchday Live. He will be joined by Marcus Gayle and Alan Denman.