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Monday, 12 November, 2018

Aldershot can claim playoff first-leg win over Tranmere

Youthful Shots may benefit from lack of expectation

Aldershot boss Gary Waddock
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National League playoff semi-final first leg
BT Sport 1, 7pm Wednesday

National League runners-up Tranmere finished 13 points above fifth-placed Aldershot after 46 games but face a tough playoff semi-final first leg at the Recreation Ground where the Hampshire hosts look value to secure victory.

Aldershot's top-five berth was not sealed until a 2-0 victory at home to Braintree on Saturday.

Shots manager Gary Waddock was quick to praise his players' efforts and admits his young side are ahead of schedule.

It would be no disgrace if Aldershot bow out at this stage but a lack of expectation may work in their favour.

They have lost just one of their 21 league games since Christmas and haven't tasted defeat at home since November.

Tranmere have also impressed in the second half of the campaign and were in the title hunt until the penultimate weekend of the season.

A second-string Rovers side triumphed 1-0 at Maidstone at the weekend and all of their regulars will return for the Aldershot game.

Having a weekend off has allowed key players to recharge their batteries but it might not be a huge advantage against a youthful, energetic Aldershot side, who have shown that they can cope with a busy schedule.

The Shots have been particularly strong at home, winning 15 of their 23 matches, including a 3-1 success over Tranmere in September.

Waddock's side went toe to toe with Tranmere at Prenton Park last month, drawing 2-2 and reinforcing the players' belief that they can compete with any of the sides in the top five.

The onus is on them to push for a first-leg victory and they should be backed to get it.

Recommendation
Aldershot
1pt 12-5 Hills

Bet on this game at Soccerbase.com


Team news
Aldershot
Midfield regular Jake Gallagher dropped to the bench for Aldershot's last game of the league season but is likely to return. No fresh injuries have been reported.

Tranmere
Jay Harris, Jake Kirby, Ben Tollitt and Darren Stephenson are out long-term and Lois Maynard (calf) is a doubt.

Key stat
Aldershot are unbeaten in their last 12 home games.

The Shots have been particularly strong at home, winning 15 of their 23 matches, including a 3-1 success over Tranmere in September.
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