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Monday, 10 December, 2018

Aldershot's desperation should lead to an open game

Tranmere defender Liam Ridehalgh
1 of 1

National League playoff semi-final, second leg
BT Sport 1, 12.15pm Saturday

Aldershot have a mountain to climb after losing 3-0 at home to Tranmere in the first leg of their National League playoff semi-final but are likely to have a crack at erasing the deficit and can contribute to a high-scoring match at Prenton Park.

There is nothing left to lose for a young Shots side who appeared to struggle to cope with the occasion of Wednesday night's televised clash in Hampshire.

However, they took part in an exciting 2-2 draw away to Tranmere last month and will be anxious to get back to the standards they reached in the second half of the 46-game campaign.

Aldershot collected 43 points from 20 league games in 2017 (one more than Tranmere) and finished the league season with three successive clean sheets.

Moving on from the first-leg defeat will be tough but Shots manager Gary Waddock has the option of turning to his top scorer, Scott Rendell, who was restricted to a substitute's role on Wednesday.

The Shots are capable of playing a lot better in attack but their defence may struggle once again against a Tranmere side high on confidence.

Rovers boss Micky Mellon left 23-goal top scorer Andy Cook out of his starting line-up in Hampshire and the selection was soon justified when starting centre-forward Cole Stockton netted in the third minute.

Mellon's side are the likelier winners but plenty of goalmouth action is on the cards at both ends and a punt on over 2.5 goals may be the way to go.

Over 2.5 goals
1pt Evs general

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Team news
Lee Vaughan missed the first leg through injury but Lois Maynard (calf) returned. Jay Harris, Jake Kirby, Ben Tollitt and Darren Stephenson are out long-term.

Gary Waddock may be contemplating changes as he attempts to find a way back into the tie. Top scorer Scott Rendell is an option after coming off the bench in the first match.

Key stat
Four of Tranmere's last five home games have featured more than two goals.

Tranmere favoured a more mobile attack than usual and their pace should continue to cause Aldershot problems on the counter-attack
E.W. Terms
Sky bet