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Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Ebbsfleet could close in on National League playoffs

Sutton should be too good for Gateshead

Ebbsfleet fans could be celebrating
1 of 1

National League 
Kick-offs 3pm Saturday

Ebbsfleet are coping well with life in the National League and their chances of securing back-to-back promotions can increase with a home victory over struggling Chester.

Just four points separate the Fleet from the playoff places but they need to dispense with their reputation as draw specialists, having shared the spoils in 12 of their 27 league matches this season.

However, they have been on a decent run at home, taking 13 points from their last five games at Stonebridge Road, and look solid odds-on favourites to see off Chester, who are third-bottom and eight points adrift of safety.

Chester picked up just one point from three games over the festive period and that came on New Year's Day when they conceded an injury-time equaliser in a 1-1 draw at fellow strugglers Guiseley.

Their top scorer Ross Hannah missed that match with a calf strain and is not expected to return for this game. Hannah has notched three of the five goals Chester have scored in their last eight league games.

It is hard to see where Chester's attacking threat is going to come from and they appear to be there for the taking.

Third-placed Sutton United are one of the fifth-tier sides who play their home games on an artificial surface but seven of their 13 league wins have come on the road and they are value to secure maximum points from their long trip to 17th-placed Gateshead.

United's run to the FA Cup fifth round last season enhanced their profile and boosted their spending power.

They have been in the top five positions since August and their ongoing ambition was demonstrated this week when they snapped up midfielder Harry Beautyman from Stevenage for an undisclosed fee.

Sutton look equipped to stay in the promotion-chasing pack and should fancy their chances of beating Gateshead, who are closer to the drop zone (nine points clear) than the playoffs (11 points adrift).

2pts 14-19 188Bet
1pt 2-1 Sky Bet

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Sutton's ambition was demonstrated this week when they snapped up midfielder Harry Beautyman from Stevenage
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