Aldershot Town v Barnet
Aldershot Town come into this game bottom of the league table with one victory and five defeats but it doesn’t mean they should come into this game fearing a Barnet side currently third in the division.
Mark Molesley’s side have been much improved since returning to a 4-3-3 system, seeing their xG rise 0.35 and xGA improve by 0.52. It’s no coincidence given they worked on the formation throughout pre-season. They have also added Frank Vincent on loan from Notts County and seen forward Justin Amaluzor, who has scored three in four starts, and Francis Amartey, an exciting addition from step three, return to the side after knocks.
While they have improved, they are still conceding chances as quickly as they create them which should make for entertaining game against a Barnet side thriving in a similar 4-3-3 system. Whether they have had plenty of chances or not, Barnet have found a way to score goals this season, utilising set-pieces and the creativity from wide areas. However, they have the third worst xGA this season and have conceded in all three away matches. Furthermore, they lost Danny Collinge and Ryan De Havilland to injury, the legs of their central defence and midfield. Eastleigh created an impressive 2.76xG on Monday.
Barnet are conceding chances but finishing them, Aldershot are close to fielding their strongest XI, have scored in their last two matches and conceded in all seven matches.
Dorking Wanderers v Wrexham
Dorking Wanderers are a lot of fun and will be a great addition to the National League. They are the only side in the division into double figures for both goals scored and goals conceded with 11 netted and 15 conceded. However, they have been found out big time in recent matches, conceding seven over the Bank Holiday weekend with their high pressing, attacking approach leaving them unstuck defensively – Isaac Philpott was sent off against Solihull Moors and they conceded four against Boreham Wood. They now have the second worst xGA in the division and that is a problem as they come up against Wrexham this weekend.
Phil Parkinson’s haven’t quite hit their stride in terms of performance but they have found the ruthless touch that almost led them to the title last season. The ex-Bolton Wanderers and Bradford City manager has gone back to basics since their 2-0 defeat at Chesterfield, going back to his trusty front four of James Jones, Jordan Davies, Ollie Palmer and Paul Mullin. The Welsh outfit have averaged over 2xG in their last three matches, scoring 11 goals.
The Surrey outfit are entertaining and certainly not giving up without a fight but they are falling short of better opposition right now and Wrexham are the best side in the division.
Maidenhead United v FC Halifax Town
This is the type of game Maidenhead United live for, playing against sides with big aspirations and looking to get the better of them.
FC Halifax Town defied the odds last season with a fourth place finish but have since lost a host of key players and manager Pete Wild. Chris Millington is already coming under fire from some sections of the fanbase and their 2-0 victory at Scunthorpe United hasn’t completely taken the heat off him, the general consensus being that it was a poor game of football and his side were a little fortunate with the goals. They have also struggled in their other two away fixtures, being largely second best at Barnet and Wealdstone. Millington made five changes on Monday and it appears he is still unsure of his strongest XI.
They’re prime candidates for Maidenhead United. The National League s**thouses. They’ve already won two of their three home matches this season, seeing off Scunthorpe United 3-2, a game they led 3-0 at half-time, and Altrincham 2-0. They were also the better side in their 1-0 defeat against York City, even having more of the possession in that one. While there is no news on the fitness of Sam Barratt and Dan Sparkes, they were able to welcome back Koby Arthur on Monday while their three strikers are all fit and available.
I’m backing Maidenhead United to continue their fine home record on Saturday.
Solihull Moors v Altrincham
Solihull Moors have had a pretty strong start to the season despite being just short of their optimum performance level currently.
Despite a 1-0 defeat at Notts County on Monday, a game in which Neal Ardley was very unhappy with the performance of his side in possession, the Moors sit sixth in the division having won three and drawn two of their opening matches. They have the second best xG in the division and also scored the second most in the division (13). Ardley did rest a couple of players on Monday and will likely revert to his strongest available XI this weekend with Alex Reid, Callum Maycock and Fiacre Kelleher returning.
Their opponents on Saturday are Altrincham, winless as they adjust to life as a full-time football club. It’s been a tough start, drawing four and losing two of their opening six. A lack of stability defensively hasn’t helped, first-choice goalkeeper Oliver Byrne and right-back Ross Barrows only making first league appearances over the Bank Holiday weekend, James Jones missing on Monday and Jake Cooper being played out of position at LB. The lack of depth in midfield has also been an issue with Isaac Marriott and Matt Kosylo missing.
I think the hosts are in a better position than their visitors and also have the more ruthless forward line.
Written by an Andy verified content writer
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