Preview | King's Lynn Town (h)
A seemingly revitalised King's Lynn Town are the visitors to Meadow Lane this Friday.
The Linnets season is still very much in the balance as Tommy Widdrington's boys look to a strong final 6 games for an outside chance of escaping relegation. It's a tall order but the ex Bristol Rovers caretaker Manager, who took charge of playing matters in December, is doing his best to make a fight of it winning three and drawing two of their last 6 games with wins against Halifax and Bromley stand out results.
Notts however find themselves licking their wounds after the heavy defeat at Torquay and will be desperate to get their season back on track, starting with the visit of Friday's opponents, where anything less than a convincing win and performance will undoubtedly perpetuate the fans anxiety and inquisitions following last Saturday's dismal showing.
Last six outings for both clubs below.
King's Lynn will be without top scorer Malachi Linton. The Wycombe loanee is out for the rest of the season following surgery after an injury picked up just 15 minutes into the defeat at home to Stockport.
In his place Swiss born Nigerian Gold Omotayo will look to continue his recent good form. The 6ft 4" 28 year old striker will look to be a handful for the Notts defence.
His physical attributes are matched by an ability to score goals with both feet and head as Notts found out in the reverse fixture at The Walks where Omotayo rose the highest at the far post to head in from a Michael Clunan cross.
Clunan had a hand in both goals conceded by Notts in that fixture. As well as providing the assist for Omotayo's goal he was on target with a very tidy free kick, finding the top corner from 25 yards out.
With 36 appearances and 3,086 minutes played in the National League this season only goal keeper Paul Jones has played more for the Linnets this season than Clunan.
The right sided attacking midfielder, who is an accountant by day, is very much the pick of King's Lynn's creative players, with 6 goals and 2 assists to his name in a team that's averaged just 1 goal a game in the league Clunan still impresses with 79.20% passing accuracy and 53.80% recoveries in the opposition half, suggesting he's happy to mix it up and put the hard yards in where necessary.
We couldn't move onto the next section without a mention for ex Magpie Pierce Bird. The 22 year old defender found himself at King's Lynn following an unconvincing season with Eastleigh.
Despite being heavily involved for the Linnets under Ian Culverhouse he's found himself out of favour under Widdrington and his last league game at Boreham Wood was at the end of January.
He has since been loaned out to Halifax where he has made just the one appearance so far.
Widdrington has favoured a 4-3-3/4-2-3-1 formation with King's Lynn but has been known to switch to a 5-3-2, particularly away from home against tougher opposition.
Notts are still susceptible to a high press but King's Lynn are not particularly aggressive in this respect and are probably likely to try and frustrate with a mid/low block and look to break on the counter attack.
Omotayo's height and strength along with Clunan's creativity could cause some problems for Notts from set pieces.
This season the Linnets have been a slightly bigger threat down their right side but a left side of Chicksen and Kelly-Evans for Notts should have more than enough to counter this.
Any threat down the visitors left will likely come from ex Bristol Rovers man Josh Barrett who will look to pick up on the second ball and advance play at pace, so could be a challenge for Lacey if having to cover any space in behind Richardson if caught out in possession in an advanced position.
Worth noting as well that Widdrington's son, Theo will most likely start in midfield.
In attack this season's numbers aren't particularly great for King's Lynn, averaging just 1.03 goals per game with an xG of 1.01, confirming they aren't creating loads of high value chances but they are relatively clinical in taking the chances they create.
They are pretty languid when it comes to touches in the opposition penalty area with just 12 touches per 90 minutes which is currently the lowest in the league. They also have the lowest number of attacking corners per 90 minutes averaging just 3.84.
Defensively they are conceding 1.84 goals per game with an xCG of 1.55 per game so maybe conceding slightly more than expected.
King's Lynn face just under 63 attacking actions per 90 minutes, successfully dealing with just under 62% of those actions. They also are amongst the highest in the league for ball losses with 119 per 90 minutes.
Although they don't press particularly high they do have a high challenge intensity, bettered only by Torquay and Grimsby.
As expected Notts are big favourites with the Bookies where you are looking at a miserly 4/11 for the home win.
You can get around 15/2 for the away win and 17/4 for the draw.
Based on these odds the expected chance of winning for Notts is circa 75%
Without a doubt Notts should be putting this game to bed quite convincingly. Yes King's Lynn have had a decent bit of recent form but the gulf in class through both teams can't be ignored.
Omotayo, Clunan and Barrett will need to be kept quiet and if that happens Notts should have a relatively comfortable afternoon.
Myself and @colin_sisson will be trying something new via @AnalystsBar when we will be holding a Twitter Spaces broadcast to discuss and dissect all the stats and data from this fixture.
It will likely be a couple of days after the game to allow me to publish the usual stats report, so those that want to join in have something to refer to.
If you're interested in tuning in or even contributing with questions around the stats please follow @AnalystsBar on Twitter to keep updated on when the broadcast will be held
It will be our first time attempting this so if you do tune in don't be surprised if there is the odd cock up or two. Either way it would be great to have as many of you on the broadcast with us as possible.
Hopefully 3 points on Friday will ensure everyone has a great Easter Bank Holiday!
As always, thanks for reading.
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.