The main selection for tomorrow is Notts County to beat Barnet down at Meadow Lane.
Although it has been a funny old season for The Magpies, in more ways than one, it is important to ensure the circus does not overshadow one thing in particular.
Notts County are, at a minimum, the second best team in League 2. You could make a case to say that they are in fact be the most complete outfit. However I would never be heard saying anything of the sort, out of respect for BOTW favourites, Rochdale.
We currently have a little bit of “games in hand imbalance” in League 2 at the moment. On the face of it County are meandering through the season, currently sitting joint 6th – 8th with the rather unglamourous Aldershot and, er, Dagenham & Redbridge.
Not quiet what Sven has in mind in the medium term, I am sure. Notts current company is much more Faria Alam, than it is Nancy Dell’Olio.
But if you scratch under the surface, Notts have actually performed quite well. They score goals at a fantastic clip, and more importantly have the best defensive record in the league.
They lead the league with only three blanks all season, and are second only to faltering Bournemouth in clean sheets – more on them in a moment.
Addressing the games in hand imbalance has them sitting a comfortable 4th place going into the latter stages of the season.
However, there is good reason the bookies have them priced at 4/7 to go up this season.
Let’s compare their line with Bournemouth’s, the team currently sitting in the 2nd automatic promotion place.
Bournemouth (14/4/8/+2) are a considerably weaker team than Notts (11/7/5/+29), and if their recent regression (4 defeats in last 6 games) has taken you by surprise, it shouldn’t have. That sort of output from such a meager +ve goal difference is unsustainable in the long term for anyone not managed by David Moyes.
Barnet on the other hand are a team in freefall. Currently 18th, they are in the midst of a run of 1 win in 15 games. For them, the 24th October must feel like a lifetime ago. For an away win you are going back as far as the 4th of September!
Safe to say at this point, I was pretty satisfied with what some people may see as a rather skinny 5/11. It is my favourite selection of the day.
And here is the pièce de résistance… Go back to late August, when Barnet were getting off to their hot start to the campaign. Part of a mini four game win streak was an 1-0 injury time victory down at Underhill against, you guessed it, Notts County.
Now you may have not known that, and to be honest, for your sake, I would hope you didn’t. Why bother when I am going to tell you anyway?
But one thing is for sure – the Notts County players bloody remember this. And if the need for 3 points to maintain their chances of automatic promotion wasn’t enough, there will be plenty of people in that dressing room thinking “we bloody owe these guys one”.
And I am pretty sure they will give them three or four, never mind one.
BOTW: 3pts on Notts County to beat Barnet @ 5/11