Preview | Altrincham (a)
Notts travel to Cheshire on Saturday for an encounter with Altrincham at Moss Lane.
Notts will be looking to continue and indeed match their best start to a season since Gudjon Thordardson led the Magpies to an unbeaten 8 game start in 2005/06. Hopefully that's where the similarities end as Notts ended up making very hard work of the rest of the season finishing just 3 points above the League Two drop zone.
The corresponding fixture last season saw a Ruben Rodrigues free kick in first half injury time salvage a point for Notts at a time when Ian Burchnall was still trying to come to terms with management in the National League.
Altrincham have had an indifferent start to the season and sit mid table with 6 points from just 4 games played so far. In fact the Robins haven't played for a couple of weeks so come into the game on the back of a sizeable break and a 1-0 defeat away at Wealdstone.
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If nothing else there's a lovely sense of symmetry about Notts' current form radar!
You have to take a very long look at Altrincham to pick out anyone in particular as a standout performer for the Cheshire outfit.
They added plenty of experience to the squad in the summer with the signing of Ben Pringle from Morecombe. The 32 year old utility midfielder has plenty of league experience having played in the Championship with the likes of Fulham and Derby but will probably be remembered most by followers of Rotherham United where he netted 22 goals in 168 appearances that saw him part of the squad that gained two consecutive promotions from League Two to the Championship.
We ought to also mention The Robins Captain Jake Moult who made his first appearance for the Cheshire club in the 2012/13 season.
Altrincham Manager Phil Parkinson has dabbled a little with formations this season but generally switching between a 4-1-4-1 and a 4-2-3-1. It will be interesting to see how he sets them up on Saturday as this will provide us with an early indication as to whether or not he fancies his teams chances of bagging all 3 points.
Notts will have new loan signing Ciaran Brennan available to fill the void left by the injuries to Kyle Cameron and Connell Rawlinson and would expect Notts to kick off with a back four if Brennan starts.
Notts are favourites with the bookies where you can currently get a measly 3/4 for the away win. If you fancy hedging your bets The Robins are currently 3/1 for the home win and your looking at around 13/5 for the draw.
Based on these odds Altrincham have a 25% chance of a win but historically win 23% of their games when quoted at these odds.
Notts have a 57% chance of a win which is roughly what they have achieved historically when at these odds.
It's fair to suggest this could be a bit of a banana skin for Notts. Altrincham have no real form to speak of so far this season and as mentioned earlier haven't played competitively for two weeks so Ian Burchnall and his team are somewhat stepping into the unknown. That said there is enough quality in the Notts squad to come away with a result, hopefully a result that sees another three points on the league table.
Finally, talking of Ciaran Brennan's loan signing, myself and Colin Sisson discussed centre back cover and came up with a few options in our latest Analysts Bar podcast. We didn't feature Brennan but the attributes we highlighted in the options we presented were very much in keeping with those the club were obviously looking for. You can watch/listen to the latest episode "On The defensive" below.
As always thanks for reading and if you have any questions about the stats please feel free to give me a shout either in the comments section below, via the contact page on the website or through the usual social media channels.
Betting odds are only used as another means to assess current form and sporting industry expectations of possible result. Notts County Stats do not endorse any form of gambling or betting industry associated businesses.