I’m going to do this preview in two parts, I usually do a proper one and a stats one but I’m knocking out so many articles at present I feel like I’m welded to my chair.
Firstly, the guys at www.kickoff.co.uk have sent me their statistical analysis. Yes, we know the saying about lies and statistics but the truth is they can be accurate. statistically, last weeks game was going to be a low score draw. What happened? Yup, a draw. Goal less, if I recall the hand-wringing and negativity in the hours afterwards correctly.
So, on with today’s show!
Here’s what you know, eighth against fifth. We’ve won 10 at home, losing just three, whilst Exeter have a pretty split win/loss percentage. They’re on good form though, winning four of the last six on their travels. Perhaps worth pointing out Port Vale, Grimsby and Crewe were their opponents who, apart from the odd freak result, are all teams that should be getting beaten by promotion chasing sides. The defeats came against Luton and Morecambe.
So, they appear in better form than us. Stands to reasons, they’re fifth and we’re not. However, over the last ten games we’ve had more shots per game, scored more goals per game, loss fewer games, conceded first on fewer occasions, failed to score in fewer games and seen less shots on our goal per game. It’s a wonder we’re not higher to be honest, although Exeter have conceded less and crucially conceded far less per shot. This interests me, it suggests that despite all the finger-pointing at Matt Green or the forwards, it’s actually at the back we have more of an issue.
Every six shots we face, the opposition score. Every 12 they face leads to a goal. If we could face twice as many shots without conceding, where might we be now? I’d argue that losing Sean Raggett had more effect than perhaps we like to admit.
Stop Stockley, stop Exeter. Next graphic.
This graphic makes me think the most likely outcome is a 1-0 City win, which seems to fit with the various prediction models. There’s an awful lot more defeats in Exeter’s last 20 games than their last six, that is for sure. If they beat us, it’s by one goal, so the key is to not go behind. Get out, get at them and get the lead. That’s the way to unsettle them.
If you’re like me and you’re a sucker for a ‘both teams to score’ bet, this is a dodgy one to take. Of the 40 matches the two have been measured on, 14 have not had both teams score. I never bet on Lincoln anyway, but I’d steer clear from this game if I did.
Same again I’m afraid. The over 2.5 goals is another popular market, I certainly like it, but 16 our of 20 games featuring the two sides have had fewer than 2.5 goals. Don’t fritter your money away needlessly, this game isn’t one for the coupon.