What Tranmere v Lincoln City means for National League title race

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There’s little doubting that Lincoln City’s visit to Tranmere Rovers is the biggest fixture of the National League season so far – and it could turn out to be the most crucial 90 minutes in the title race, with both sides flying high and within a point of Forest Green Rovers in top spot.

Last season’s Tranmere stats suggest that this is more a must not lose game than a must win one. The Birkenhead outfit struggled to recover from home defeats last season – taking 17 points from their first seven at Prenton Park, before four defeats in five on their own patch.

But despite some home struggles last year, this is a fixture where Gary Brabin’s men have consistently done the business on Merseyside. In Lincoln’s last three visits, they’ve managed just a single draw, losing 3-2 on their most recent visit in March 2016.

So, is there a case to be made for the visitors?

Yes, as it turns out. Despite defeat on Merseyside last time out, they’re beginning to establish themselves as good travellers. Three wins in their last four trips – including victory at high-flying Macclesfield – have totally changed the travelling fortunes of a side who didn’t win on any of their last 13 trips last season.

They also boast the division’s in-form striker in Matt Rhead, with the gigantic hitman finding the net six times in as many National League games. Though their opponents also have two men on four and five goals in Andy Cook and James Norwood.

That means we’re almost certain to see the net bulge with frequency, so backing Both Teams to Score at 4/6 looks like good value, while a repeat of last season’s five-goal haul can be backed at 9/2 for over 4.5 goals.

In the match betting, Lincoln are the more appealingly priced at 13/5 to win what should be a close and high-scoring contest, with Tranmere 21/20 for a home victory and 12/5 for the draw.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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Dave Burin

Dave graduated with an MA in English Literature at Durham University, and worked in marketing before joining the Ladbrokes News team. A Man United fan and avid groundhopper, he’s also an ardent follower of Rugby League. You can usually find him at a ground near you, clutching a big cup of tea.