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Preview | Dagenham & Redbridge (h)

The BT Sport cameras roll into Meadow Lane once again as Notts host Dagenham & Redbridge. Notts have won their last 4 meetings with the Daggers, with the most recent seeing a 5-0 drumming at Victoria Park earlier this season.

Dagenham are a top half side, currently in 10th, but have only managed to pick up 10 points from a possible 30 as their form begins to falter. A win last time out gave manager Daryl McMahon some breathing room, as the Daggers ran out 2-1 winners over Aldershot. However, 52 goals conceded so far this season gives them the 2nd worst defensive record in the top half, suggesting there are frailties to be taken advantage of by Notts.

That being said, the Daggers do have the 2nd best attacking record outside the top 5, so Notts will need to guard against complacency at Meadow Lane. Despite this, they are one of two sides in the top half to have a negative goal difference, and if Notts perform like they did on Tuesday night there is a good chance their visitors will drop out of the top half altogether.

There have been several calls for Daryl McMahon’s time at Dagenham to be finished, as once again he looks to be struggling to steer them to a playoff finish. This seems to be a repetitive cycle, as year on year Dagenham flatter to deceive. Pre season they are heavily backed, both in a financial sense but also in terms of being tipped for success, but time and again they fail to deliver. For the amount of investment and quality of playing squad, McMahon’s failure to deliver a playoff berth seems rather significant.

Identity crisis? | Daggers Boss McMahon
Identity crisis? | Daggers Boss McMahon

A large part of this is a lack of tactical identity. McMahon has a talented playing squad at his disposal, however he seemingly doesn’t know how to get the best out of them. He has tried several different systems, but none of them have been particularly compelling. There is a serious lack of tactical purpose, giving the impression that the Irish manager is simply throwing systems out there until one of them sticks.


Current Form:

Two wins in the last six for Dagenham sees them 17th in the recent form tables. In fact it's just 3 wins and a draw in the last 10 league games for the Daggers.

Some big differences in style of play with Dagenham not particularly employing much of a press and a team with a lower than average challenge intensity. Equally they don't keep much possession and tend to be long and direct.

Tactics & Players:

In recent weeks McMahon has tinkered with several systems, seeing them line up in a variety of shapes. They’ve used a 4-4-2, a 4-2-3-1 and even a 4-1-4-1, all to limited success. The issue McMahon faces is that he has quality players, but all in the same positions. In other areas they are severely lacking, leading him to playing players out of position. Omar Mussa, typically a deep lying playmaker, has been played as both a 10 and a striker in recent weeks, while Mo Sagaf, widely considered to be their finest central midfielder, has been used as a winger. They’ve had issues at left back too, evidenced by their loan of County man Joel Taylor, where natural right sided player Sam Ling featured last time out. There seems to be a lack of cohesive direction, and players being used out of position is indicative of that.

A return to a 5 at the back system proved fruitful last time out, with the back 3 providing much needed solidity. It’s a system that also seems to suit the personnel McMahon has at his disposal. Width is provided by the wing backs, which makes sense considering their complete lack of wingers, and they are able to field 3 central midfielders, arguably their strongest area of the pitch. The 5-3-2 also allows them to play a front 2, likely to be Effiong and Morias this weekend.

In recent weeks we have seen sides look to match Notts’ back 3 with a front 3 of their own, with each man pressing the Notts backline to varying degrees of success. A front 2 would leave Notts with a man spare in build up, something especially dangerous at Meadow Lane. Dagenham would have a numerical advantage in midfield however, where the energy of Matt Robinson and the defensive guile of Dean Rance could prove problematic for Notts, preventing them from building in their usual fluid manner.

Matching Notts with a wing back system would develop some fascinating battles in the wide areas. If Luke Williams persists with Jodi Jones at RWB we could see a similar battle on that flank as we did on Tuesday night against Jack Bridge, as Sam Ling is also a natural right footer and therefore more comfortable dealing with Jones’ inversion. Dagenham have been given a boost in these areas with the return to fitness of former Magpie Myles Weston. The 34 year old is capable on either flank, and despite his advancing years still possesses good amounts of pace. However, you would still back Notts to have the edge in these wide areas, simply due to the difference in class of personnel. Considering the number of bodies in midfield, the flanks could be key areas to control on Saturday.

Myles Weston
Fit again | Myles Weston

Despite the fact that, on paper, Notts and Dagenham have similar shapes their playing styles couldn’t be much different. Notts average 68.6% possession, most in the league, while the Daggers record just 46.5% on average. That’s a whopping 22.1% difference, suggesting Notts will dominate possession once again this weekend. Their styles in possession are vastly different too. Keeper Elliot Justham almost exclusively goes long, and Dagenham are an extremely direct side as a whole. They’ve played the 7th most long passes in the division, 1980, some 400+ more than Notts, who have played the fewest. They look to hit their tall front line as quickly as possible, with the fewest actions required. They look to transition quickly, but it means they struggle to exert any real control over games.

We saw this in the return fixture, which, at Victoria Road, saw a 5-0 battering and Macaulay Langstaff hat trick. Notts made a blistering start in that game, with the score 3-0 at half time, and Dagenham must avoid a similar scenario in order to stand a chance this weekend. Expect Dagenham to start fast this weekend, looking to match Notts physically, being combative in the process.

Former Magpie Inih Effiong is a man we’ve highlighted on a few occasions this season, when Notts faced Aldershot, but the big forward has recently made the move to Dagenham. It’s easy to see why they paid a fee for the 31 year old, with red hot form seeing him score 14 goals before his move, and 2 on debut for the Daggers. Both of those goals were absolute howitzers, and his powerful performance was one he will be looking to repeat at his former stomping ground.

Inih Effiong in action for Notts County
Inih Effiong in action for Notts County

Despite his incredibly large frame, Effiong has an unusual amount of pace to compliment his game. He’s a direct runner with a fierce strike, and at 6ft3 he is a threat in the air too. If Dagenham play to his strengths he could be extremely effective, and would certainly cause a worry in the air against Notts’ back 3. Only 5 players have scored more goals than Effiong this season, and it’s a tally he will be motivated to add to. He has the potential to form a deadly partnership with fellow striker Junior Morias, with the pair’s physical attributes complimenting one another. However, Notts will be confident when dealing with the big forward. They’ve dealt with him twice already this season, keeping 2 clean sheets in the process. Still, he is Dagenham’s biggest goal threat.



Dagenham currently sit 10th in the league with 45 points from 32 games averaging a PPG of 1.40.

They have only managed 4 wins on the road losing 8 in the process securing 15 points from 15 games.

In attack they are averaging a creditable 1.5 goals per game compared to an xG of 1.28 so performing ever so slightly better than expected.

Defensively they are conceding 1.63 goals per game with an xCG of 1.71 so pretty much as expected.

Dagenham Away Form:

P 15 | W 4 | D 3 | L 8 | F 18 | A 27 | GD -9 | PTS 15

Leading Scorers:


Macaulay Langstaff - 32 (xG 25.68)


Junior Morias - 10 (xG 9.95)


Notts very firm favourites as expected where the best currently is 7/25 from BetUK.

Coral are offering 9/1 for the away win and you can get 5/1 for the draw with 10Bet.

Based on these odds there is a 78.12% chance of a Notts win and 10.00% chance of a Dagenham win.

Final thoughts:

Very difficult to see anything beyond a Notts securing an 8th win on the bounce, and in all honesty, so high is the bar set by both Notts and Wrexham this season anything less than 3 points for the Magpies would be disappointing and could potentially make a dent in their title winning aspirations.

As always thanks for reading.

Full stats report to follow.




For Notts County Stats:

Richard Ogando - @notts_stats

Tom Williams - @tomhwilliams23

Colin Sisson - @colin_sisson

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Betting odds and score predictions are only used as another means to assess current form and sporting industry expectations of possible result. Notts County Stats do not receive any remittance from gambling organisations. We also understand that for some people gambling can have a harmful impact. If you are concerned about the way you gamble please seek advice here Be Gamble Aware

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