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NLS | Ebbsfleet United & Dartford meet in Kent derby

The first National League South games of 2022 are upon us - with some important games set to impact both ends of the table.  Read on for your regular preview and match odds courtesy of Betfred. 

NLS odds 2-1-22

By Steven Oldham

Lots to play for in NLS New Year fixtures 

Oxford City headed into the new year as league leaders, on goal difference from Maidstone United.  Ebbsfleet United and Dartford are still within touching distance of the top, and any of these four sides could lead the way at the end of play today. 

At the other end of the table, Billericay Town will look to reach double figures and a first win since October at Concord Rangers.  A win for Jody Brown’s side will draw them level with relegation rivals Braintree Town, albeit having played two games more.

It’s been an incredibly competitive season to date - the top eight are covered by just six points - with no team dominating the division.  St Albans City have up to six games in hand on their rivals, and victory in these will bring them right back into the title hunt.

Ebbsfleet United vs Dartford 

The day’s main attraction is this Kent derby between two of the title contenders.  With the reverse fixture postponed last week, it’s an opportunity for both sides to secure bragging rights and start 2022 on the right foot.  

The sides head into this game on the same number of points having both had similar stories so far this season. 

Both sides tripped up unexpectedly last time out, being held by strugglers Billericay and Braintree respectively. 

Ebbsfleet have recovered from a three game losing streak to go three unbeaten, with Dartford picking up nine points in the same time period. 

The last game between the two ended goalless - exactly a year ago.  Let’s hope for more goals today. 

Match odds: Home 7/5, Draw 21/10, Away 13/8

Havant & Waterlooville vs Dorking Wanderers 

This game provides a chance of redemption for Havant & Waterlooville following their Boxing Day drubbing at Dorking. 

The 8-0 loss - both Dorking’s best ever win and Havant’s worst ever loss - will live long in the memory of both sides. 

To their credit, The Hawks recovered to take a point - and more importantly a clean sheet - in their last game at Hemel Hempstead Town. 

Nevertheless, Paul Doswell’s side have only one win in five and will need to change that to maintain their playoff challenge.

In contrast, Dorking have won three on the bounce and unsurprisingly are now the division’s top scorers.

Match odds: Home 2/1, Draw 23/10, Away 21/20

Concord Rangers vs Billericay Town 

Relegation-threatened Billericay go into the second half of this festive double header buoyed by their result against Ebbsfleet. 

They recorded just a second clean sheet of the season while gaining a point at Stonebridge Road - with both shutouts coming in the last three games.

Concord won the reverse fixture on Boxing Day 3-1 - but fell to defeat to Chelmsford City last time out by the same scoreline.

Chris Search’s side are midtable - but only three points away from the playoffs in an incredibly congested pack of teams. 

Match odds: Home 23/20, Draw 23/10, Away 15/8 

Slough Town vs Oxford City 

League leaders City will look to do the double over Slough having won the Boxing Day fixture 3-2. 

That victory saw David Oldfield’s side immediately bounce back from losing their long unbeaten run after defeat at Dorking Wanderers.

With nearest rivals Maidstone heavy favourites for a sixth straight win over Tonbridge Angels, City will need to be on their guard to retain top spot.

Slough picked up an impressive 4-1 win over Hampton & Richmond Borough last time out to keep their playoff ambitions alive. 

Over the last ten games, Oxford have only scored one more point than Slough - who were as low as 20th in the early stages. 

Note: The game between Braintree Town and Chelmsford City is off due to a number of Covid cases in the away side’s squad.

Will you be adding any NLS games to your acca today? Let us know on social media.

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