NON-LEAGUE nut Callum Jones (@Goaldust) makes his 2016/17 debut with his weekend NAP from the National Leagues.
Lincoln v Sutton United | Saturday 15:00
It’s been a whirlwind start to the National League season, that’s for sure.
Since we spoke last, Forest Green have failed to win twice and are now a general 11/2 shot to win the league (from 9/2 a week ago).
Tranmere have started very convincingly, with two wins from two, while Lincoln have blown everyone away, scoring nine goals in their first two fixtures (including four from pre-season tip Matt Rhead, who is now as short as 4/1 to finish Top Goalscorer).
Of course, anything can happen in the first few weeks of the season, but nothing is decided. As a very astute individual once said, you can’t win a league in the first few weeks, but you can certainly lose it!
Having said that, I’m not surprised Lincoln have started so well, and I expect them to carry on much in the same vein. They face Sutton United on Saturday at Sincil Bank, and I think they`re worth backing again against the newly promoted National League South side.
There was a quiet sense of confidence behind Danny Cowley’s side before the season started, and I wasn’t particularly surprised to the see the Racing Post put the Imps up as their bet for the title.
Tuesday’s demolition of North Ferriby United displayed their embarrassment of goal scoring riches, with new signing Nathan Arnold and Jonny Margetts chipping in alongside frontman Rhead.
I was particularly impressed by Arnold last season, as he played a key part in helping Grimsby back up to the Football League. If truth be told, I was surprised that Paul Hurst rejected the chance to keep him around, as he’s a very talented lad, and at the age of 29, he’s pretty much at the peak of his career.
Grimsby’s loss is most certainly Lincoln’s gain though, and I expect him to surpass the eight goals he notched for the Mariners last term.
Sutton United, on the other hand, have faced a difficult start to life in the National League. They were beaten on their own patch by fellow newly promoted side Solihull Moors last Saturday, but did manage to bag a maiden point on the road at Forest Green in midweek.
It’s always difficult for a smaller club like United to adapt to life in the National League, but I expect them to survive. They were absolutely dominant last season, and in manager Paul Doswell, have a young and talented leader at the helm.
Having said that, it’s really difficult to see past a Lincoln win on Saturday. They’ve started like a train, and it’s hard to see them slowing down against Saturday’s visitors.
The Red Imps beat the likes of Tranmere and Eastleigh in their own back yard in 2015/16, and with a vastly improved squad, they should have more than enough quality to dispose of Sutton United.
All things considered, I’m happy to take the 10/11 (Betfair) about Lincoln in the Match Result and Over 1.5 Goals market.
You have to go back 17 league games to find the last time a Lincoln fixture finished with fewer than two goals, and after nine in two this season, it’s difficult to envisage it happening on Saturday.
Of course, if you want to play it safe and boost an acca, I definitely wouldn't put you off the 4/6 about a home win – this should be closer to 1.50, at least in my book.
Lincoln v Sutton United – Lincoln to win and Over 1.5 Goals (10/11 Betfair)
Lincoln v Sutton United – Lincoln to win (4/6 marathonbet)
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