The two promoted sides lock horns in Cleethorpes and the visitors can emerge on top.
Grimsby v Cheltenham - Saturday 15:00
The two promoted sides lock horns in Cleethorpes this weekend, their fortunes having taken diverging paths since they returned to EFL. Gary Johnson chose to stick with much of the same personnel at Cheltenham and possibly harbours a few regrets, whereas Paul Hurst made wholesale changes at Grimsby and is reaping the rewards with a mildly surprising promotion push.
However, being cast as underdogs for this game isn’t sitting well with Cheltenham. They did the double over Grimsby on their way to the National Premier title last season, a 1-0 win at Blundell Park last October sending the Robins to the top of the table for the first time, a position they would never relinquish. Such associations might just be the catalyst for a big performance.
Despite the seven points and 13 places that currently separate them, the shot data suggests there are virtually equal. Grimsby are superior but only by virtue of a wave they were surfing in late August and early September. Over the past six matches, their supremacy has dropped by 0.46 goals, during which time they’ve only managed one goal from open play.
So there’s mileage in Cheltenham doing the same job they did here 12 months ago. Take the 17/2 on the Draw/Cheltenham half time/full time option and the 0-1 correct score at 11/1. Johnson will be without striker Danny Wright (suspended for five yellow cards) but Dan Holman (30 goals in 46 games last term) might make his long-awaited return from injury, possibly from the bench.