Friday 10 May: 7.45pm KO

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Tranmere Rovers were only promoted back to League Two after winning last season’s National League play-offs. They begin their bid to gain promotion to League One with a home first leg in the semi-finals against Forest Green Rovers.

Latest Odds

Last season ended with a trip to Wembley for Tranmere Rovers. They beat Boreham Wood in the National League play-off final to win promotion back to League Two. Twelve months later, they are looking for another journey down in the capital, this time in the League Two promotion play-off final. To achieve that dream though, they need to improve their current form.

Tranmere Rovers are 11/4 (3.75) at William Hill to win the play-offs. They finished sixth in the final League Two table with 73 points, six behind the final automatic promotion spot. Their hopes of a top-three finish ended due to a run of only two points from their final four league games with only two goals scored in those matches.

Home form for Tranmere had seen them win six straight league games before a 1-0 loss on April 19. Who beat them? None other than Forest Green Rover. Overall, Tranmere won 14 home league games and conceded only 13 goals, that’s the best defensive record in the division. If you think they can get revenge on Forest Green for that recent loss, the odds are 5/4 (2.25) at Paddy Power to win this game.

Forest Green Rovers are 5/2 (3.5) to win promotion if your wager is placed with SkyBet. They finished fifth in the final League Two table, a point ahead of Tranmere and five off automatic promotion. This is only their second season in League Two and a big improvement on the 21st place finish they managed in 2017/18.

They also had a disappointing end to their campaign with a 4-3 loss at Crewe Alexandra and a final day 0-0 home draw with Exeter City. Before that though they had won four league games in a row, including of course the win at Tranmere. BetVictor will give you 12/5 (3.4) on them winning this match.

Their away form this season has been one of their strong points. Only champions Lincoln City earned more away league points than Forest Green Rovers. They won 12 out of 23 taking 41 points, one less than Lincoln but nine more than any other side. Four away games in a row had been won before the loss at Crewe, a game they led 3-1 with 27 minutes to go. It has to be noted though that of their last eight away league games, they’ve won four and lost four.

They might need a good result from this away leg having only the 16th best home league record with only eight wins. Forest Green Rovers are 10/11 (1.91) at Black Type to qualify for the play-off final. That’s compared to the odds of 1/1 (2.0) at Betfred for Tranmere to get to Wembley.

Head-to-Head

Forest Green Rovers have fond memories of playing Tranmere Rovers. That’s because they beat them in the 2016/17 National League play-off final at Wembley to win promotion to League Two. Forest Green have won both of their games against Tranmere this season and only lost one of seven games played against them.

Team News

Tranmere will be without Mark Ellis, Luke McCullough and Liam Ridehalgh.

Norwood in Form

Tranmere will be pinning a lot of their hopes on striker James Norwood. He’s scored in their last two games and has 30 for the season. He has 28 in League Two and that’s nine more than any other player. You can get odds of 13/10 (2.3) at Betfair on him scoring in this game and it’s 15/4 (4.75) with Bet365 on him getting the first goal.

Under 2.5 Goals?

Five of the last seven Tranmere Rovers games have had under 2.5 goals scored in them. That stat also applies to 16 of their 23 home games. Coral will give you odds of 4/6 (1.66) on under 2.5 goals being scored in this game.

Prediction

This looks like being a closely fought semi-final. Both sides failed to get wins in their last two league games and a draw with under 2.5 goals in the game has odds of 14/5 (3.8) at Betway.

Published by Steve Ashfield

Steve is a self-employed freelance writer with years of experience writing about everything from sport to politics. He loves his statistics and quotes them at every opportunity.

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