Easter Monday will see the top two in the National League go head-to-head when Wrexham host Notts County in a 3pm BST kick-off from the Racecourse Ground. This is being billed as the biggest-ever game at this level and it is hard to disagree. These two sides have been so far ahead of the rest of the National League this season that the fact they play each other so close to the end of the season and that only one of them can gain automatic promotion makes this game so important for both sides.
The fact Wrexham lost for just the third time this season on Good Friday helped set this game up as well. Both sides have 100 points (25 points clear of Woking in 3rd) and County have played 1 game more. Both sides have scored a staggering 106 goals and Wrexham have conceded just 3 more than County so even the goal difference is tight. It really should be a game to savour.
Can Wrexham Remain Unbeaten at Home?
Despite Wrexham going in front at Halifax on Friday they didn’t play very well and not for the first time this season on their travels. An xG of 0.48 was one of their lowest of the season and if we compare their average xG’s at home and away we can see a clear difference. At home, it is a huge 2.58, but away it is down to 1.5. The xG against figure is 0.82 at home but rises to 0.99 on their travels.
It has been Phil Parkinson’s big weakness this season and they have often been lucky to get as many points as they have away. At home though, as those xG figures suggest, it has been a very different story. They have won 19 out of 20 games and the only dropped points came when they drew to 3rd place Woking. That is impressive and they just really thrive at home as they look to be more attacking.
Mullin the Magic Man
There is quality all the way through the side as you can imagine and, as their games against Coventry and Sheffield United showed in the FA Cup, they can hold their own against sides higher up the leagues. Striker Paul Mullin is the headline star and has netted 34 goals in the league already. He is all class and it would be no surprise to see him on the scoresheet on Monday.
A possible weak link is goalkeeper Ben Foster though because as much as he did make some good saves against Halifax on Friday he really ought to have done better with the first 2 goals and I get the feeling a lack of match practice may have told. In the first two games he played York and Oldham only managed 1 shot on target each and Halifax had 6. County are going to be a much bigger test for him.
I also have to mention defender Ben Tozer. As well as Wrexham being superb from corners and free kicks, his throw-ins are a potent weapon. Quite a few players have long throws, but Tozer’s are something else and I don’t remember seeing anyone being able to throw a ball quite like he can. They have the potential to cause County all sorts of problems.
Williams the Mastermind Behind County’s Success
Pre-season I was concerned about the appointment of Luke Williams as manager because he had no experience of non-league football and it has been proven time and time again that you need that knowledge to get out of this league. There are always exceptions to any rule though and Williams is just that. I have been very impressed with the way he has set County up this season and the football they have played has been exceptional at times.
Clearly, they have a very good team, but on paper, you would say Wrexham’s squad is better and I actually think if you change the managers around then Wrexham would be a few points clear of County in the league table.
Langstaff the Smart Money?
For a player like Mullin to have scored 34 goals and not be leading the top scorer chart is incredible, but then Macaulay Langstaff has had an incredible season. He looked good at Gateshead in the National League North last season, but the question was could he step up to the next level and that has been a resounding yes. 41 league goals is a superb figure and he will likely set a record which won’t be beaten.
Since scoring against Halifax on January 28th he has only failed to score in 2 games which is a run of 15 matches and 19 goals. What impresses me most is his movement which makes him so hard to defend against and I think there is a strong chance he scores again here.
County’s two defeats were at Dorking – which was a total freak result that they should have won – and against Dagenham where they created numerous chances and again on another day they would have won.
Wrexham vs Notts County Betting Tips
I have long thought Wrexham would manage to get over the line, but this is clearly the biggest test they have faced at home and with my doubts about Foster in goal and the quality of Langstaff up front I think that might give County the edge and it is no surprised that the quotes of over 2/1 have already gone. I just wonder if the value has gone there. I will look at other markets to try and profit from. Langstaff to score at any time at Evens with Bet365 looks like a good price because I really fancy him to score at some stage.
I also think we will see two sides really going for it because Wrexham do that at home and did it against Coventry and Sheffield United in the FA Cup and that is when they are at their best. County always play an attacking style of football as well and they know that if they are going to win the title the chances are they will need to win this game. Therefore I think we could be in for a bit of a goal fest, especially with the quality up front both teams have, so I like the chances of over 3.5 goals being scored at 2/1 with Bet365.
Langstaff to score at any time @ Evens with Bet365
Over 3.5 goals scored @ 2/1 with Bet365
All odds are correct at the time of writing.
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