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Friday, 14 December, 2018

Wrexham well placed for National League success

Wrexham fans give their team a big finger
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It looks wide-open in the National League with the top 12 teams separated by just 11 points and each of them in promotion contention.

Every team in the division has had bad spells but third-placed Wrexham have sustained the fewest home defeats – just one in 12 games – and their consistency at the Racecourse Ground could keep them in the hunt.

The Red Dragons are 10-1 sixth favourites in the title betting which seems a little disrespectful, considering they are among the biggest clubs in the division.

Wrexham have lacked firepower and their 23-goal tally is the lowest of the teams outside of the relegation zone.

But manager Dean Keates has been working hard to increase his attacking options and completed December deals for striker George Miller (on loan from Middlesbrough) and out-of-contract target man Ferdinand Takyi, who played in the Europa League during a spell with Latvian club FK Spartaks.

If either of the new arrivals has a strong second half of the season it will be a huge boost for Wrexham and could make the difference in a league that will be decided by fine margins.

Leaders Macclesfield are two points clear at the top and on a six-game unbeaten run.

They have been in the top four since October and are unlikely to get carried away with experienced manager John Askey in charge for the fifth consecutive season.

However, they have been unconvincing in league matches at Moss Rose, winning just five of 12, and will need to do better on home soil.

Second-placed Sutton and fifth-placed Dagenham & Redbridge are joint-favourites at 4-1 but both look too short given the unpredictable nature of the division.

Sutton, boosted by a windfall from last season's run to the FA Cup fifth round, have been in the top five since August. But they were hammered 4-1 at lowly Leyton Orient last time out and will need to play better over a testing Christmas period which features four matches against top-half teams.

The Daggers are on a four-match winning sequence, their best of the season, which has lifted them from ninth to fifth.

Manager John Still has won the fifth tier three times, with Maidstone in 1988-89, Dagenham in 2006-07 and Luton in 2013-14.

Given Still's track record and their recent surge, the Daggers look the most convincing of the teams quoted at single-figure odds.

Fourth-placed Dover and ninth-placed Tranmere are also at single- figure prices.

But Dover are going through a rough patch with only one win in their last five league games and Tranmere have a lot of work to do with ten points and eight places separating them from leaders Macclesfield.

1pt each-way 10-1 bet365

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The leaders have been unconvincing in league matches at Moss Rose, winning just five of 12, and will need to do better on home soil
E.W. Terms
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