Lincoln v Exeter Play-Off 1st Leg Betting Preview | 12th May

Lincoln v Exeter Play-Off 1st Leg Betting Preview 12th May

In our Lincoln v Exeter betting preview, we look at team news, potential line-ups, stats and facts, popular bets and more for the Saturday’s afternoon League 2 play-off semi-final first leg.

Lincoln v Exeter Play-Off 1st Leg Betting Preview

Date: 12/05/18

Time: 15:00

Venue: Sincil Bank

Watch: Sky Sports Football

Exeter have the long and tricky trip up to Lincoln in the first of the league 2 play off openers. Exeter finished the campaign in the highest play off spot of them all and ended the season losing only 1 of their last 6, yet they’re as big as 18/5 to win at the team that finished in 7th, that can’t be right can it? Well I’m going to highlight why that is the case.

The Grecians have proved a real outlier when looking at the performance data in the league, it’s a curious case. When looking at the excellent Ben Mayhew’s (@Experimental361) E-ratings you can see they have faced on average of just under 13 shots a game, more than any other team in the league! Defensively they have been extremely busy all season but also admirably competent at keeping the ball out of their net, that however shows that their midfield can be bypassed easily and creating chances against them is relatively simple. It’s no surprise their goalkeeper Christy Pym was voted player of the year for the Devon outfit then, he has kept them up there challenging for the automatic places all season.

Going forward however, Paul Tisdale has seen his side entertain and they aren’t shy of scoring goals. Looking at their expected goals (xG) for and against it has them at 0, both scoring 1.5 goals a game and conceding 1.5 goals a game. With them being 4th in the league with a neutral xG differential it shows they’ve been clinical when chances have arose and defensively overworked but effective.

Fans have largely been split over Tisdale for a while now, but personally I think he’s done a fantastic job to keep them as play off contenders, playing attractive football on a pretty small budget. It could be down to the repetitive nature of their season as Tisdale is the longest serving manager in the football league, but if he left it could be a case of “be careful what you wish for.”

On the other hand, Lincoln have done superbly to reach the play offs in their first season back in the 92. Danny and Nicky Cowley continue to work wonders and they seem like very intelligent and dedicated people, that has been reflected in the pair signing a new long term contract at the club after interest higher up the football league pyramid. They masterminded their FA Cup run last season as well as achieving promotion, and to go again, win the EFL trophy against an excellent Shrewsbury side and finish in the top 7 in their entrance to the football league! They simply don’t get enough credit.

It’s true that the Imps opt for a direct approach and try play off the large presence of Matt Rhead, it may not be pretty but ultimately it’s mighty effective. They have a hardworking midfield with the likes of Elliot Whitehouse and Alex Woodyard to add to the quality of local lad Lee Frecklington. Michael Bostwock has been a lynchpin at the back and he could easily still play at a level above and off the bench they have the player that has scored more times coming on as a substitute than anyone in England in the form of Ollie Palmer. There is strong options all over the park for them.

Looking at their xG differential it is just over +0.3, they score a similar amount to Exeter but their defence is stronger, their xG does have them as a play off side which is reassuring for Lincoln backers. They should get chances in this and as it is at their home ground first they will be eager to take them in front of a big crowd.

This match up is going to be a real clash of styles with the physicality of Lincoln against the possession based, attacking football of Exeter. I do think Lincoln have the potential to bully this Exeter side and it is a game that is going to be won and lost in both boxes.

Odds-on quotes on the home side do not look all that attractive but I do expect them to score a couple and they should if they have their shooting boots on so I’d rather take the 19/20 on Lincoln scoring over 1.5 team goals. I wouldn’t be surprised if Exeter managed to get on the scoresheet though, especially with an in form Jayden Stockley among their ranks so I’d push the more ambitious punter to the juicy 16/5 available for Lincoln to win and both teams to score.

Team News

Potential Lincoln Starting XI: Allsop, Eardley, Waterfall, Wilson, Wharton, Bostwick, Whitehouse, Woodyard, Frecklington, Rhead, Green.

Potential Exeter Starting XI: Pym, Sweeney, Archibald-Henville, Moore-Taylor, Moxey, Harley, James, Taylor, Boateng, Simpson, Stockley.

Stats & Facts

  • Exeter have only won once away at the top 7 sides in the League.
  • However, the Grecians have only failed to score on 4 occasions away from home.
  • Lincoln have one of the best home records in the league, losing only 3 times at Sincil Bank.

Betting Odds

  • Lincoln – 5/6
  • Draw – 13/5
  • Exeter – 18/5

Popular Bets

Exeter ‘double chance’ – 1/1

Tom’s Picks

  • Lincoln To Score 2+ goals – 19/20 (Coral)
  • Lincoln to win and BTTS- 16/5 (William Hill)