Preview - Altrincham FC (h)
Updated: Nov 23, 2020
If ever there was a game that required a response from the players it's this one as the spectre of a lack lustre 1-0 defeat at the hands of a beleaguered Dover Athletic plays heavy on the mind.
Newly promoted Altrincham stand in the way of a first win of the season for the Magpies in a midweek game that will be played out in front of the TV cameras on a Wednesday, not Tuesday night (doesn't seem right does it?).
The Robins had an impressive end to their shortened season and like Notts were in fantastic form breezing past Chester and then a very good York City in the National League North play offs, and will be happy with their draw away at fellow newcomers Weymouth on the opening day.
Altrincham and Notts have only ever met once before in a competitive game where a Kevin Randall penalty gave Notts the away win in an FA Cup first round encounter in November 1972.
The Robins will be without high scoring Jordan Hulme who left to join AFC Fylde at the end of last season. However if you subscribe to the fantastic Notts County Talk video channel you will know from their match preview that Altrincham have secured the return of Spanish winger Yusifu Ceesay from Blackpool on a new permanent contract and he will definitely be one for the Notts defenders to keep an eye on.
Up front they also retained the services of Tom Peers (pictured) who returned to the club after a spell at FC United. Peers has scored a total of 23 goals for Altrincham with many of those coming from the bench making him one of the most efficient goal scorers for Altrincham in recent times.
Notts will need to put in an impressive display following the defeat at Dover if they are to restore any faith in those fans feeling a little disillusioned with recent performances and indeed Neal Ardley's tactics.
It will be interesting to see if changes are made to the starting eleven with a view to a more attacking formation and maybe the likes of Enzio Boldewijn and Ruben Rodrigues getting a start.
The problem for the manager is how the team would set up in this case but I wouldn't mind seeing a 4-4-1-1 with Enzio in for Jim O'Brien on the left and Rodrigues replacing Wes Thomas and tucking in just behind Wootton (pictured), who will be desperate to get his goal campaign up and running.
Bookies have Notts clear favourites at circa 1/2 for the win with Altrincham at 5/1 for the away win and you're looking at around 7/2 for the draw.
Crunching the numbers that served me so well for the Dover game I have a prediction based on the two clubs recent form at home for Notts and away from home for Altrincham.
Score prediction . . . Notts Co 3 - 1 Altrincham
In conclusion it is likely to be a closer game than the prediction suggests. I wouldn't rule out a close fought draw but if Notts set up to win the game rather than avoiding defeat then there's is no reason to believe that a comprehensive win is beyond their grasp.
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.