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Preview | Weymouth (a)

The Magpies have found themselves amongst the early front runners this season and will be looking to continue in the same vein when they visit the Bob Lucas Stadium this weekend where they face a team they managed to do the double over last season.


Based on the unbeaten opening to the season an away trip to face The Terra’s may suggest that run will continue, but these are the sort of games Notts have often managed to make a mess of in the past.


In the same fixture last season it was indeed the Magpies who came away with the 3 points, but it was a freak goal from Eli Sam that separated the teams, a goal with an xG value of just 0.06 suggesting that if that chance was replicated 100 times the likelihood is that only 6 of those attempts might actually end up in the back of the net.


Notts continue to be a team in transition under head Coach Ian Burchnall who's players are slowly coming to grips with his desire to play an expansive construction based passing game. It's worth noting that the Weymouth pitch dimensions are a couple of yards shorter in length and width than that at Meadow Lane so might not be conducive to this style of play and may provide the hosts with the upper hand.


I’ve taken the liberty of looking at the key match statistics for last season’s trip to the Dorset Coast and it’s fair to say on paper an away win looked a fair result, but have to say it looked a much closer affair on the live match stream.

Of course the return at Notts was a completely different affair and the outcome was never going to be anything other than a comprehensive win for the men in black & white who were finally getting to play in front of their own fans for the first time in over 14 months.


Looking ahead to this weekends game and it's safe to say Weymouth could offer a very different challenge.


With 6 points from their opening 4 games The Terra's have won their last two games, a convincing 3-1 home win against a good Maidenhead team and a nail biting 4-3 win away at Solihull Moors, a game in which at one point they were leading by 4 goals to 1.


Current form suggests Weymouth are some way off that of Notts' own recent form, but again we cannot avoid the fact they are currently on a high having won their last two games against decent opposition.


There are a couple of Notts links in the Weymouth squad with Ross Fitzsimons joining from Stockport in the summer and of course Sean Shields who established himself well in the Weymouth team last season where he was a constant threat on the flanks.

Sean Shields Weymouth
Sean Shields playing for Weymouth FC

However my one to watch for this fixture is attacking midfielder and club captain Josh McQuoid. The former Northern Ireland international is leading from the front having scored in both of the Terra's last two games.


McQuoid has plenty of experience at this level having previously turned out for both Torquay and Aldershot and without wanting to be disrespectful to Weymouth is probably punching below his weight with a career that has seen him play in the Championship for Burnley as well as having spells at Luton Town, Coventry City and Bournemouth where he started his professional career.

Josh McQuoid Weymouth FC
Josh McQuoid - Weymouth FC

Below you can see how the key attributes for McQuoid compare to Notts County's Jim O'Brien who fulfill's a similar role for the Magpies. Comparison based on a 90 minute average for all games played last season.


key attributes Matt Palmer vs Asa Hall

Weymouth will most likely start with a traditional flat back 4. They played most of the game away at Solihull with 5 in the middle, probably to counter the Moors threat down the flanks. As they are at home I wouldn't be surprised to see them start 4-3-3 which can easily change to a 5 in the middle if necessary.


Notts are heavily favoured for the win at the bookies with best odds available below at the time of writing.


Notts win: 9/20

Weymouth win: 11/2

Draw: 10/3


Based on these odds you would expect Notts to have a 69% chance of winning but historically they win 79% of their matches when at these odds.


Weymouth odds would suggest a 15% chance of winning but historically they win 29% of matches when at these odds.


Before I go I'd just like to remind you about Analysts Bar podcast. After a short break we recorded the latest episode yesterday and were lucky enough to be joined by Aldershot Town Academy Director Waleed Khan who spoke openly about the challenges facing small clubs trying to run their own academies. We also looked back at Saturday's Notts v Aldershot game where Waleed declared his love for all things Jim O'Brien and looked at a couple of players we had previously featured on the pod.



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.


COYP!

Richard


Note:

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.

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