MX23RW : Tuesday, July 27 11:27:43| >> :600:3178349:3178349:
Jun 12, 2021 at 12pm UK at Plainmoor Ground
Torquay UtdTorquay United
Notts CountyNotts County
Wright (1', 48'), Hall (102'), Moxey (109' pen.)
Rodrigues (39'), Chicksen (51')
Ellis (105')

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

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

Torquay United take on Notts County in the National League playoff semi-finals at Plainmoor on Saturday lunchtime.

Sutton United have already secured a place in League Two and it is now a battle between four teams - Torquay, Notts County, Stockport County and Hartlepool United - for the other promotion spot.

Match preview

Gary Johnson in charge of Cheltenham Town in August 2017© Reuters

Torquay ended the regular season with four draws in a row to finish four points behind Sutton in the only automatic promotion place.

Gary Johnson's men must therefore do things the hard way by battling through the playoffs, which they enter at the semi-final stage.

Notts County have already had to overcome Chesterfield in the quarters to make it this far, earning a 3-2 victory in that one-legged tie.

It was a dramatic match between the local rivals at Meadow Lane, settled by a 90th-minute header from Mark Ellis in a game County trailed 2-1 with 70 minutes played.

The Magpies may have finished 10 points below Torquay after 42 matches of the regular season, yet there is an argument to be had that they are in better shape heading into this tie.

Whereas County have momentum on their side after beating Chesterfield, Torquay have had a two-week hiatus since their 0-0 draw at Altrincham on the final day.

That stalemate made it 13 games without defeat, though, so there is no doubt that United are the favourites of the four semi-finalists to earn promotion.

However, there was nothing to separate Torquay and County in their two league games this term, playing out a 0-0 draw in January and a 2-2 draw at Plainmoor three months later.

The pressure is now on Johnson's charges in a game that they are expected to win as they look to end a three-year exile from the Football League.

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

Notts County Nations League form:
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W

Team News

Ellis was the last-minute hero against Chesterfield and will be looking to reproduce something similar against his former club this weekend.

That was the centre-back's sixth goal since arriving at the club in March, making him one to watch, though Kyle Wootton is the visitors' go-to man with four goals in five games.

Ian Burchnall may stick with the same lineup from that late win against Chesterfield, with Callum Roberts the only confirmed long-term injury absentee.

As for Torquay, they have had two weeks to rest up for this game, though that 13-day gap is not necessarily a good thing as their players may be a little rusty.

It does at least mean that influential striker Danny Wright and tricky winger Ben Whitfield could return from injury in time for Saturday's showdown.

Scott Boden, Billy Waters and Josh Umerah were named among the subs against Altrincham last time out, but one of them will likely come into the side to lead the line here.

Torquay United possible starting lineup:
Covolan; Wynter, Cameron, Hall, Moxey; Sherring, Lewis, Little, Randell; Waters, Andrews

Notts County possible starting lineup:
Slocombe; Miller, Chicksen, Doyle, Rawlinson; Ellis, Brindley, Reeves, Boldewijn; Rodrigues, Wootton

SM words green background

We say: Torquay United 1-1 Notts County (AET, Torquay through on pens)

Torquay and County have been very tough to beat this term, and both regular season meetings between the sides finished level.

We can see a similar outcome here, though there does of course have to be a winner on the day, and we are tipping Torquay to hold their nerve in the penalty shootout.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

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