Updated: Feb 10, 2022
It was interesting to see how Notts started this game as we would have expected to see Matty Palmer as the holding midfielder with Zak Brunt and Cal Roberts as the attacking wide midfielders with Ruben and Kyle Wootton up top.
In fact what we actually saw was Brunt alongside Palmer with Ruben and Roberts both ahead of them and of course Richardson and Taylor providing the width. By the time Sam came on for Ruben on 68 minutes the formation, mainly thanks to Grimsby's aggressive press, had resorted to a defensive 5-3-2.
At this point in the game Notts still had the lead so under the circumstances a disciplined defensive low block wouldn't be the worst option, if indeed that was what it was. I'm more inclined to think it was more by circumstance than design.
The change to a 4-3-3 around 85 mins maybe should have happened sooner but fair play to Grimsby who stuck to their task and deserved to head back to North East Lincolnshire with all three points.
Key match stats.
A couple of stand out stats above that again emphasise the impact Grimsby's second half press had on the game.
Firstly average passes per possession is a stat that even in defeat Notts still excel at. On this occasion there is nothing to separate the two teams, both averaging around 3.5 passes per possession.
Secondly PPDA for Grimsby is very good. The average PPDA recorded by Notts opponents in the league this season is in the region of 14 passes allowed. Grimsby's press was such that they reduced Notts to just 7.71 passes per attacking action.
For those of you still not familiar with PPDA it is a metric used to identify a teams press when out of possession in their lower 60% zone. On this occasion Grimsby broke up Notts' attacking phases every 7.71 passes on average. Generally Notts average over 14 passes per attacking action.
Points needed. Click on the legend tags at the top to filter options.
Progress updated below and a mixture of poor results and postponements sees Notts making 8th place their own.
National League results tracker updated.
Goal segment chart:
Six game segments updated and 10 points in total for the last six games.
Player stats updated:
As usual this is the new table that is also available to view on the player stats page of the website here. There will also be separate tables for the two cup competitions.
Goals and assists chart.
Goal scatter charts.
You can hover on the dots (tap if on a touch screen) to view details for each goal.
Expected goals and here's where things get a little subjective.
With 17 goal attempts including a penalty Grimsby's xG and xPTS were always going to look decent.
You can see from the table below that the xG has Grimsby winning comfortably. That said they do have a missed penalty to help with that as a penalty xG is rated at 0.76.
Because of the penalty it suggests a Grimsby win was never in doubt, however, if the penalty is removed those xG calculations change dramatically.
Grimsby's xG would reduce to 1.58 meaning the overall expected result would be closer to a draw than a Grimsby win. Essentially win% for both teams would be 11% for Notts and 14% for Grimsby meaning xPTS would be 1.08 for Notts and 1.17 for Grimsby.
I've always been a bit split on whether or not to include penalties in xG calculations because of this but ultimately if a team is awarded a penalty it's a high scoring opportunity and this should be reflected accordingly.
Match xG stats:
Player xG below and Kyle Wootton's deflected effort whilst laying prostate in the 6 yard box 5 minutes in was worth 0.57 and represented just the one big chance for Notts. Cal Roberts well taken goal was impressive considering an xG of just 0.05 suggesting if he had that opportunity 100 times he would only score from it on 5 attempts.
Player xG Stats:
National League goal scorers includes cup games, penalties and own goals. Tshimanga adding another two goals to his impressive tally for the season so far but worth noting the six penalties in that tally, including two on Saturday.
Ian Burchnall's record updated and the Barnet game will be a landmark one for the Notts Head Coach as it will be his 50th in charge since joining on the 25th March 2021.
A quick turnaround now and an early opportunity to get things back on track with the visit of Barnet on Tuesday night.
Despite a poor start to the season under Harry Kewell Barnet have managed to dig out a few decent results and pull away from the relegation spots.
Having shipped 11 goals in three defeats to Chesterfield, Stockport and Southend they somehow came away from Aldershot on Saturday with a decent 3-1 win which will no doubt give them some confidence heading into Tuesday nights encounter at Meadow Lane.
In recent games Caretaker Manager Dean Brennan set up with a 4-3-3 formation or variants of, usually a 4-2-3-1 or a somewhat gung-ho 4-1-3-2 which stood them well in the game at Aldershot.
Barnet did manage to hold Boreham Wood to a goalless draw at Meadow Park with a disciplined 4-4-2 so I wouldn't be surprised if they went the same way again against Notts to try and shut out the Magpies attacking threat.
For Notts it's a game they really need to grab by the scruff of the neck and put in a solid winning performance to wash away the disappointment of picking up just 1 point from 9 in the last three games.
As expected Notts are big favourites with the bookies where the best you can currently get on the home win is 13/20.
You're looking at 9/2 for a Barnet win and if you're prepared to chuck about £30 at it you'll get 3/1 for the draw.
Based on these odds Notts would expect to have a 61% chance of winning but historically win 69% of games with these odds.
Likewise Barnet would expect to have an 18% chance of the win but historically win just 13% of games at these odds.
As always thanks for reading.