Durham to be too strong for Notts

11 April 2012 09:33:44 EST

Two recent title winners clash at Chester-le-Street as Nottinghamshire look to build on their opening win against highly-fancied Durham.

The visitors are without in-form Riki Wessels who has a broken finger and Graham White has been dropped, but Samit Patel returns from Test duty.

Patel will bat at four with Jimmy Taylor at five ahead of Chris Read and the recalled Steven Mullaney.

Director of cricket Mike Newell admits it is a tough fixture, saying: "Durham are an experienced team and will expect to challenge this season but we have to draw on the pride we felt in beating them last season which was one of the most satisfying victories we have had in recent years."

Durham are an experienced team and will expect to challenge this season.

Mike Newell

Durham blitzed their local University colleagues for 18 all out in their opening game and the attack that achieved that will test all the county batters this campaign.

Paul Collingwood opened the batting in that match and will be available, as will Graham Onions and Steve Harmison, for all the fixtures. The hosts can be backed at 4/6 to beat Nottinghamshire while Notts are 6/5 to emerge victorious.

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Andrew Strauss is available for Middlesex as they entertain Surrey at Lord's but Eoin Morgan is away at the IPL. Surrey welcome back Steven Davies and look the better balanced outfit. Surrey are 8/11 to win the fixture while Middlesex can be backed at 11/10.

Lancashire captain Glen Chapple has an early opportunity to celebrate his Wisden award as he leads the Champions at Aigburth against a Sussex side that include Monty Panesar. The result wicket at Liverpool played a big part in the hosts' title win and can again provide an early victory.

Warwickshire will be without Ian Bell who will resume LV Championship action next week as they face Somerset. Jeetan Patel will be available but the West Country side should build on their opening success with their batsmen in fine form.

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