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Preview: Altrincham vs. Torquay United - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's National League clash between Altrincham and Torquay United, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

With a spot in the playoff semi-finals already sealed, Torquay United prepare to meet another side with nothing to play for in Altrincham on the final day of the National League season.

The hosts' midweek encounter saw them hold promotion-chasing Eastleigh to a 1-1 draw, while Torquay have had a week to recover from their own stalemate with lowly Barnet.

Match preview

Alchincham manager Phil Parkinson in 2019© Reuters

Altrincham's first season back in the fifth tier of English football has been a challenging affair - especially since the turn of the year - but Phil Parkinson's men have some solid foundations from which to build on next season.

A stellar run of form over the winter months - during which they won six and lost one of 10 games between November and February - led to whispers of promotion creeping in, but they have not had a spring in their step over the past few weeks as the gruelling schedule catches up to them.

Parkinson had overseen six defeats from seven before witnessing his side triumph 4-3 over Yeovil Town last weekend, and they rescued a point in a 1-1 draw with Eastleigh last time out, as Ryan Colclough's eighth league goal of the season cancelled out Tyrone Barnett's opener.

The 7th-placed Robins cannot rise any higher or drop any lower down the table on the final day, but having gone toe-to-toe with one top-half side in Eastleigh, Parkinson would love nothing more than to round off a mixed season with another positive result versus League Two-chasing Torquay.

The visitors are also assured of their league position before Saturday lunchtime's games, as a stellar unbeaten run since the start of April has propelled Gary Johnson's men into second place and a spot in the playoff semi-finals.

Torquay head into their final-day meeting with Altrincham aiming to round off an impressive campaign with a 13th successive game without defeat, although each of their last three encounters has ended level, with Barnet coming back from two goals down to rescue a point in a 2-2 draw last weekend.

That result paled into insignificance, though, as Stockport County's own run of three successive draws has ruled out their chances of catching second-placed Torquay, who will now have their sights firmly set on a return to the fourth tier after an eight-year absence.

Altrincham did seal a 2-1 success over Torquay when the clubs met earlier in the season, and the Robins have navigated their last two home games unbeaten against their second-placed opponents, most recently drawing 1-1 in the 2015-16 National League season.

Altrincham National League form:
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • D

Torquay United National League form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • D

Team News

Altrincham have no fresh injury concerns to deal with from Tuesday night's fixture, and Parkinson would be reluctant to shuffle the pack too much given the manner of his side's performance in midweek.

However, with substitute Tom Peers credited with inspiring a second-half turnaround in gameweek 41, the striker has a good chance of forcing his way into the XI for the final day.

Torquay ever-present Sam Sherring was hauled off after just 40 minutes against Barnet, so Kyle Cameron - who replaced him on the day - could get a run-out from the first whistle.

Jake Andrews and Connor Lemonheigh-Evans ought to reprise their roles out wide after finding the back of the net last weekend, but six-goal forward Billy Waters could push for inclusion over Armani Little.

Altrincham possible starting lineup:
Thompson; Densmore, Mullarkey, Hannigan, Senior; Moult, Williams; Mooney, Kirby, Colclough; Peers

Torquay United possible starting lineup:
Lucas; Wynter, Cameron, Lewis, Moxey; Hall, Randell; Lemonheigh-Evans, Waters, Andrews; Boden

SM words green background

We say: Altrincham 1-2 Torquay United

Altrincham are ending the season as they mean to go on, and Torquay cannot afford to underestimate their final-day opponents, despite the 33-point chasm separating them in the table.

That being said, the visitors have had more time to recover from their most recent battle and will aspire to keep that momentum going into the playoffs, so we are backing Johnson's side to come up trumps on the final day.

Top tip

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A general view of Southport football clubs ground Haig Avenue during the FA Cup sponsored by E.ON first Round match between Southport and Sheffield Wednesday at Haig Avenue on November 7, 2010
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