Chesterfield v Solihull Moors
A meeting between two of the most fancied sides in the division before a ball was kicked that will take place live on BT Sport this Saturday.
Chesterfield have recovered well since their three-game three-defeat week in early October, winning four and drawing one. Their record outside of that week reads 11 wins and four draws. That they are third and seven points off top position speaks volumes of the incredibly high standards being set by Notts County and Wrexham. Solihull Moors have dropped to sixth after a run of three wins in 11, including no goals scored in their last three as Neal Ardley tries to balance his squad amid injuries and nine games in four weeks.
I can see both sides scoring in this one. For starters, Chesterfield rank second for games in which both teams have scored, seeing 78% of their games end with both sides finding the back of the net. They have scored in every single league match this season and having Kabongo Tshimanga, Joe Quigley and Armando Dobra only helps their chances of extending that record. They are fallible defensively, however, and that is something Solihull Moors are capable of exploiting despite their recent difficulties. They scored in both matches against League Two Hartlepool United in the FA Cup and a forward line of Joe Sbarra, Ryan Barnett, Josh Kelly and Alex Reid should enjoy the space left by Chesterfield’s possession and attack-minded style.
Dagenham and Redbridge v Scunthorpe United
A case of a pretty good side beating one of the poorest sides in the division.
It’s been an indifferent start to the season for Dagenham and Redbridge, their fine finish to last season leading to hopes of a more consistent campaign but it hasn’t worked out that way, Daryl McMahon’s side winning seven and losing six of their opening 18 matches. However, they’ve been fine at home, winning five of their opening nine with three of the games they haven’t won coming against three of the current top eight, two of which were draws. Joel Taylor has arrived on loan from league leaders Notts County to provide balance amid a couple of injuries while pacy front pair Junior Morias and Josh Walker will be licking their lips playing against a central defence that lacks mobility and confidence. The Daggers have scored seven goals in their last two league matches.
Scunthorpe started okay under the stewardship of interim manager Tony Daws but they are beginning to find life tough again, losing four of their last six and each of their last three. Over their last eight matches, they have conceded around 0.8xG more than their opposition per 90 and their lack of depth has meant Daws has had little opportunity to make changes to his side. Their away record has been pretty abysmal, drawing four and losing five of their nine matches away from home. Of the five played against top half sides, they have lost four and scored just once.
Maidenhead United v Eastleigh
Maidenhead United are always going to be up against it due to their part-time status and lack of financial power so their position of 13th is mightily impressive. They haven’t earned that position by being fun, their games containing an average of 2.05 goals, the second lowest average in the division. Their last eight home matches have finished with two or less goals having been scored with seven of those seeing only one side find the back of the net.
Eastleigh currently sit in the top ten with a goal difference of zero and having lost almost as many games as they have won. They have only scored more than twice in a league match once this season, against Maidstone United, with four of their five goals 6 coming against ten men. That match is the only one of Eastleigh’s last five in which three or more goals were scored while Eastleigh have also seen three of their last four away from home end with less than three goals total scored. The Spitfires have been excellent at home but their away record reads five points from nine matches – it’s unlikely they are going to turn up full of confidence ready to make this a basketball-style match-up.
Wrexham v Aldershot Town
Yet again, this tipster is backing Wrexham to win at home and score a few goals while doing so.
Their record at the Racecourse Ground is insane. They have scored 35 goals in nine matches, just shy of four per game. Their xG at home is the best in the division – around 2.44 per game. The Welsh club have only failed to score three or more in a home game twice this term – on opening day against Eastleigh during a game in which they won the shot count 18 to 6 and last time out against Maidenhead despite limiting the opposition to three shots on goal and missing a penalty. Paul Mullin and Ollie Palmer have already scored 25 goals between them this term while centre-back Aaron Hayden should return for this one – he has scored nine!
Aldershot Town looked to have found a new manager bounce after Mark Molesley’s sacking, winning three on the bounce, scoring seven goals, keeping two clean sheets and finding consistent selection. Then they were whacked 6-1 by then basement club Torquay United and followed that up with a 2-1 loss against Maidenhead United last time out. They have the fifth worst xGA in the division and have lost captain Joe Partington, their most natural sitting midfielder, which will leave their defence more exposed against a ruthless front pair. Also, they’ve conceded four goals in their last two matches from set-pieces or crosses, not what you want against such a big, powerful outfit.
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Written by an Andy verified content writer
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