Tomorrow, or today depending on when you read this, it’s the big one. Lincoln take on Exeter in our sixth play-off semi-final clash, looking to make it our third trip to the finals of the ‘competition’ and of course, our second to Wembley in as many months.
Once again our good friends at www.kickoff.co.uk have provided us with the stats which we’re going to have a quick look through now. There’s some reluctance on my part to pay a lot of attention at this stage of the season, they call these games a lottery, one off occasions which defy the form book.
There is a form book though, there is likelihood of certain things happening and the stats show that we have a 50% chance of winning tomorrow, with them having a 25% chance of beating us. Not one fan who saw the Yeovil game, or Accrington, will feel we’re in a strong position but the numbers say we are.
Exeter have lost three of their last six away, one of which was against us. We’re unbeaten in five home games, not since the shocker against Crewe has a side taken maximum points against us. With Colchester beaten 2-1 and both Yeovil and Wycombe sharing draws since we beat Exeter.
We’ve only lost three at home all season, compared to Exeter’s ten defeats on the road. We have a plus 12 goal difference at home against their minus eight, meaning if this was being played on paper, we’d be in a strong position.
One result I wouldn’t touch would be a draw. They would be happy with a split result, we wouldn’t, but they’ve only drawn three on the road all season. Combined with keeper Christy Pym recently being given a Player of the Year award, they do expect pressure. The key is us keeping Stockley quiet and if I were Danny, I’d be tempted to put Bozzie on him. Keep that man out of the game and we’re in the driving seat.
The likelihood of them taking a two-goal lead to St James Park is minuscule, they’ve not beaten a side by more than one goal away from home all season. Of course, stats like that are made to be broken, aren’t they?
Despite them finishing fourth and us seventh, our form is very similar over the last ten games. They’ve won more, just, but crucially they’ve scored in every one of their last ten matches. For us to keep a clean sheet would be huge, although we’ve kept three in the last ten, they’ve kept just two. If any game had ‘both teams to score’ written all over it, this is the one.
The graphic below shows they win almost all of the attacking form categories, whilst we win the defensive ones.