19th-placed Oxford City host 7th-placed Altrincham at the RAW Charging Stadium in this weeks televised National League tie.
In March 2022, Oxford City took a massive risk by appointing 31-year-old Ross Jenkins as manager. However, this risk was rewarded a year later, with Jenkins guiding the Hoops to promotion to the National League for the first time in their history.
Tipped by many for relegation, Oxford City are currently defying expectations sitting in 19th. A 5-2 defeat at Aldershot was a tough start to the season. Home games against Rochdale and Chesterfield weren't much better, losing 0-1 and 1-2, respectively. However, a seven-game unbeaten run followed, drawing away at Halifax, Maidenhead, Solihull Moors, and Eastleigh, and at home to Dagenham and Redbridge. Jenkins side also dispatched Boreham Wood (4-0) and Hartlepool (5-2) at home.
Despite this, they’ve struggled in the last two games, losing 4-0 to both Oldham and Gateshead. Their games have averaged 3.5 goals per game, with the Hoops scoring 18 and conceding 24. Over 2.5 goals has landed in 8–12 games.
Altrincham are going under the radar and currently occupy the last playoff spot, having lost just twice this season: 1-2 at home to Bromley and 3-0 at Barnet. They are also the only team to beat Chesterfield so far, and they recorded an impressive 3-2 win at Woking. They are on a two-game winning streak, beating Ebbsfleet 6-1 and Maidenhead 0-1.
The Robins have scored 22 goals and conceded 18, with their games averaging 3.33 goals per game. Like Oxford City, over 2.5 goals has landed in 8/12 games.
Oxford City gained an unlikely promotion last campaign, finishing third in the league before dispatching Worthing (2-0) and St Albans (4-0) in the playoffs. Oxford City League games last season were high-scoring, with their games averaging over 3 goals per game. Jenkins’ side's home games saw a higher average of goals at home (3.5), with Oxford City scoring 53 and conceding 28 at the RAW charging stadium. They also boasted an impressive home record, ranking third in this metric and gaining 46 points in 23 games.
A run of seven games without a win to end last season saw Altrincham finish 17th, eight points clear of relegation. Phil Parkinson’s side scored 68 goals and conceded 82, with the Robins games averaging 3.26 goals per game. The 82 goals conceded by Altrincham was the fourth most in the league, with only Dorking and relegation duo Maidstone and Scunthorpe conceding more.
Oxford City’s key man is undoubtedly Josh Parker, whose 16 league goals and one playoff goal last season helped fire the Hoops to promotion. So far in the National League this season, the Antiguan and Barbadian international has scored five goals.
Chris Conn-Clarke is enjoying a stellar season thus far, scoring six in 11 starts, including three in his last two. He joined in the summer on a permanent basis from Fleetwood after nine goals in 28 appearances from midfield last campaign.
3-2 Altrincham-23.0 - bet365
Given both teams goal statistics, both last season and this, I can’t see anything other than goals. Both sides have seen over 2.5 goals land 8/12 times so far. However, the 1.7 on offer is perhaps too short to back as a single, so adding BTTS to bump the price up to 1.95 seems nice.
BTTS and over 2.5- 1.95
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