As the EFL recovers and some sides prepare for the second round of the League Cup, there is no rest for the wicked in the National League. There is a full slate of fixtures in the fifth tier on this bank holiday Monday even though there was a full gameweek over Friday and Saturday last week, providing us with punting opportunities galore.
Our National League expert has been trawling through the data and has a great understanding of the atmosphere around all 24 teams in the division, enabling us to give you the best value picks of the slate. Today that has culminated in an exciting 6/1 accumulator!
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Monday’s National League Accumulator Tips
AFC Fylde v Altrincham
Altrincham made mistakes last summer as they prepared for a first ever season as a full-time, professional football club and they’ve learned from that this summer.
Phil Parkinson and the recruitment team have been bolder in their approach, signing footballers that have experience playing at good levels of the game and at a good age in their football career, leading to an unbeaten start after five matches, including victories against Woking and Chesterfield.
Part of Alty’s charm is their style, an open and expansive brand of football that sees them create chances at will but also leave the other end open. They have netted nine goals in their opening five matches and were the highest scoring team in the National League last season outside of the top seven. However, they have kept just four clean sheets in their last 55 league matches. Each of their matches this season have seen both teams score.
They’re not the only team with that record – Adam Murray’s AFC Fylde have also scored and conceded in every league game so far in 2023-24 and all five of their matches have seen three or more goals scored.
The Coasters entered the new season full of confidence following a barnstorming run to the title following Murray’s appointment last year and they are intent on continuing to play their own expansive brand of football. Individual errors have caused huge problems and Murray is searching for fixes, evidenced by four changes being made in their defeat at Hartlepool United at the weekend.
Barnet v Ebbsfleet United
Just like last season, Barnet have gotten off to an excellent start.
They’ve picked up ten points from their opening four matches, briefly topping the table having beaten three sides many expect to be challenging for promotion this term – Hartlepool United, Bromley and Woking. For the most part, manager Dean Brennan has been able to call upon a settled team with new signings Reece Hall-Johnson, Ben Coker, Ade Olowu and Zak Brunt having an immediate impact.
They did lose at Dagenham and Redbridge at the weekend but that should prove nothing more than a bump in the road, Barnet were not poor but both managers conceded that the hosts really upped their game on the day following a difficult start.
They come up against an Ebbsfleet United side that have had an up-and-down start but now find themselves in the top seven.
Digging deeper, they were absolutely second best against Solihull Moors and Gateshead while their performance on opening day at Rochdale was indifferent and victory a touch fortuitous. Their other two victories came against Aldershot Town and Kidderminster Harriers at home were against two sides expected to finish towards the bottom of the league table.
Furthermore, Dennis Kutrieb has raised alarms for today’s match speaking about how crazy it is that his side have to play two matches in three days, talking about how footballers are most at risk on day two of their recovery. Kutrieb has made at least two changes in every league game and it should be expected that several will be made to protect his players for this one.
Brennan, meanwhile, made mistakes last season in a similar situation when playing Gateshead in the FA Trophy and York City two days later. He acknowledged those mistakes this summer and is better prepared for this situation.
Chesterfield v Hartlepool United
A match-up between the league leaders and the promotion favourites and it promises to be a cracker.
Chesterfield already had arguably the best squad in the division on paper and the additions of Tom Naylor, Michael Jacobs and Will Grigg have only enhanced that. Their possession-heavy, attacking style of football has paid dividends early doors too, scoring 13 goals in their first five matches and picking up ten points. Will Grigg and Ryan Colclough were rested at the weekend and should return.
Hartlepool, meanwhile, are scoring goals for fun, managing at least two goals in all five league matches and three in each of their last three. The fact that they have managed to score goals against Barnet and Southend United speaks volumes to their output and the return of Emmanuel Dieseruvwe has been key.
However, both sides have seen both teams score in each of their five league matches and the signs are that that isn’t about to end.
Chesterfield had defensive issues last term and not even the returns of Jeff King and Ash Palmer could help them at the weekend, conceding twice late on against Altrincham to lose for the first time.
Hartlepool, meanwhile, made one defensive change after opening day with the experienced Alex Lacey coming in. However, despite four victories, they have continued to concede goals and their xG for and against totals remain relatively similar.
Woking v Dorking Wanderers
Last season, Woking had one of the meanest defences in the league and the belief was that they were going to build on that this term. It hasn’t happened.
They kept a clean sheet on opening day against Kidderminster Harriers but were by far and away second best, conceding over 1.5 xG. What followed was three goals conceded against Altrincham, two against Rochdale and Barnet before a 3-1 win against Gateshead.
Darren Sarll is struggling for consistent selection. Rohan Ince and Luke Wilkinson remain unavailable. Zak Bradshaw and Tunji Akinola are being tested in new roles while Josh Casey only returned on Saturday and may not be at peak fitness to play two times in three days.
Dorking haven’t had the best start to the campaign. Their inability to defend continues to hurt them, conceding two or more goals in four of their opening five matches. However, they often pack a punch and Marc White is back on the touchline now and they’ve scored two or more goals in three of their matches, all three of those matches against sides that like to out play from the back.
Their attacking instincts will be improved by the return of George Francomb, moving James McShane closer to four-goal striker Jason Prior and additions of Alex Lankshear (balance to the left-side of the defence) and Brighton and Hove Albion youngster Matt Everitt.
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Written by an Andy verified content writer
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