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English National League Preview and Best Bets

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Barnet v Dorking

Barnet to win – 23/20 (2.15)

Over 2.5 goals – 6/10 (1.80)

I had been very confident that Barnet would beat Aldershot in their last game, but they decided to throw in their worst performance of the season.

Even so they didn’t have the greatest of luck as in the build up to the penalty that gave Aldershot the lead the ball had gone out, but the ref and linesman missed it. They had to apologise to Dean Brennan after the game due to the mistake and at 1-1 Aldershot’s keeper pulled off a wonder save to keep it level.

If Barnet go 2-1 up I suspect they see the game out from there. I have often highlighted their low xG compared to goals scored and at the moment it stands at 0.94 to 1.86.

That obviously shows they have been clinical and they now host a Dorking side who as we know love to concede goals and chances.

Their average xG against is 2.11 and average goals against is 2.86. My thinking is that Barnet are going to get more chances than they usually do and if they remain as clinical as they have been so far then they could hit 3 or 4.

Dorking’s 7 games so far have seen 31 goals and backing over 2.5 goals has been very profitable.

I think there is every chance Barnet cover that themselves and I also think they will win.

Sadly for Dorking their main striker Alfie Rutherford has picked up an ACL injury and he misses the rest of the season which is going to harm their chances going forward, but given how they set up they should still create chances anyway and they still have the players to score them. I do think though that Barnet will outscore them here.

Halifax v Gateshead

Gateshead or draw – 8/13 (1.62)

Halifax may have picked up 4 points from their last 2 games, but I don’t think that shows they are improving at all.

They got their first win against Scunthorpe which doesn’t say much given how bad they have been so far this season and then they were very fortunate to get a point at Maidenhead as they xG figures of 3.02 v 0.61 highlight.

The fact they have managed 4 goals in their last 3 games is something as prior to the goal against Notts County they hadn’t managed to score a goal.

Clearly the win against Scunthorpe didn’t lead to an improved performance at Maidenhead and I think Gateshead are more than capable of getting something out of this game.

They have been scoring goals this season and even in the 1 game they haven’t scored in they should have done as they bombarded the Wealdstone goal in that 1-0 defeat.

Their average xG is 1.7 and their average goals scored is 1.67 so they are clearly scoring the amount of goals they should be.

They breezed past Maidstone 4-1 in their last game and although that is their only win so far this season they have been performing with great credit and I think are playing better than Halifax.

Like I say I think they can pick up at least a point so will take them in the double chance market.

Maidstone v Wealdstone

Wealdstone or draw – 8/11 (1.73)

Maidstone have been a bit hold and cold so far this season with some fair wins, but also some hefty defeats.

Key for them has been their poor defence because they have kept just one clean sheet so far this season and that came in a 1-0 win over Torquay and it is no surprise that that it came against them given how poor Torquay have been in front of goal this term.

They were woeful against Gateshead as highlighted above and managed just 4 shots during the game.

I’m surprised that Wealdstone are such a big price here given how well they have done so far this season. I don’t necessarily expect them to stay as high in the table as they are, but they have a decent enough side that should be capable of finishing mid-table.

They played in the live game in the last set of matches and I thought they more than held their own against a good Woking side and the 1-1 result was a fair reflection on the game.

The slight concern for me is their lack of goals as only twice this season have they scored more than 1, but as I mention Maidstone concede goals for fun so you have to fancy them to get at least 1 here.

What is also crucial for their chances is that only against Bromley on the opening day have they conceded more than 1 goal.

That means I think at the very least they are going to come away with a point and with Max Kretzscmar finally getting his first goal for the club against his former club Woking he might well kick on and score here.

Woking v Oldham

Woking to win – 10/11 (1.91)

Speaking of Woking I am also happy to back them on Tuesday evening. They have been very good at home so far this season having beaten Dagenham & Redbridge and Scunthorpe.

In their other home game they lost 3-2 to Wrexham, but that came after going down to 10 men early and I thought they more than held their home against the hot favourites for the title. My belief is that with 11 men on the pitch they would have picked up at least a point.

Oldham haven’t really convinced me at all this season and they barely mustered a shot of note in their last two games against York and Chesterfield.

They did actually pick up a point against York, but they didn’t deserve one and they were never in the hunt against Chesterfield.

Before the season started I did think Oldham would be a fair way off being a play-off side and that Woking could well reach the play-offs and nothing I have seen so far has changed my mind.

I do think Woking need to improve away from home to kick on to the next stage, but that will come I think and of course this game is at home where they have played really well. 

Wrexham v Dagenham & Redbridge

Wrexham -1 Handicap – 5/4 (2.25)

I have no idea where their 4-1 win over Bromley on Bank Holiday Monday came from because Dagenham have been pretty poor otherwise.

I did wonder if Darryl McMahon might get sacked after their woeful effort last time against Notts Country where they lost 5-0. I know County punished them, but there is every chance they won’t have an easier game all season as they were gifted all 5 goals from a very kind Dagenham defence.

The average xG for Dagenham’s opponents is 1.77 and they have averaged 1.7 goals against. That 4-1 really was an anomaly as they only managed 5 shots on target during the game and Bromley’s xG was actually higher.

As an aside I haven’t got round to watching the Wrexham documentary on Disney + yet, but by all accounts it is very good and I look forward to watching it.

I’m looking forward to taking them on again especially away from home because that Woking game I mentioned above proved to me Phil Parkinson is not the right man for the job, however they had the perfect game for them last time against Dorking and this one promises to be the same.

They put 5 past Dorking’s poor defence and quite frankly it is easy to see them getting close to and even matching that in this match.

Ollie Palmer has finally started to find the net so that means he and Paul Mullin now have 9 goals between them.

They should easily reach double figures here and I would be surprised if Wrexham don’t cover the -1 handicap with ease.

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