Only one of these clubs can win automatic promotion from the National League and into the EFL – this game will go a long way in deciding who it will be. We look ahead to Monday’s clash with our Wrexham vs Notts County prediction and preview.
Wrexham vs Notts County: Quick Hits
- Wrexham the favourites with the Opta Supercomputer to win this match, with a 39.9% chance of victory.
- The Welsh club have a near perfect home record in the National League this season, winning 19 and drawing one of their 20 matches at the Racecourse Ground.
- Notts County have been the best away team in the league, picking up more points than any other side on their travels (48).
This could well be the National League title decider. The Racecourse Ground will be the scene of this titanic National League meeting between league leaders Notts County and second-placed Wrexham, with the Magpies ahead of their Welsh rivals at the top of the league on just goal difference following their respective matches on Friday.
Notts County come into this match having played 42 of their 46 league games in 2022-23, which is one more than Wrexham (41) – they arguably need a win more than Phil Parkinson’s side, who have that game in hand, but do shade the goal difference by three.
Wrexham, owned by Hollywood stars Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds, had already surpassed the 100-point tally in the National League this season, before suffering a shock 3-1 defeat at mid-table FC Halifax Town on Friday afternoon. Despite losing on Good Friday, their points tally is already 12 more than they won in 44 regular season games in 2021-22, their first season under the ownership, as they finished second behind Stockport County before eventually losing out in the play-off semi-finals to Grimsby Town.
Notts County capitalised on that defeat by leapfrogging Wrexham into first place on goal difference following a 3-0 home win against Wealdstone.
The last time that the top two sides finished level on points in the fifth-tier of English football was back in 1991-92, with Colchester United winning the title ahead of Wycombe Wanderers on goal difference.
After this match, Wrexham will still have four games left to play in the National League before any potential play-off scenario – Barnet (away), Yeovil Town (home), Boreham Wood (home) and Torquay United away on the final day. All four of those clubs have something to play for, with Yeovil and Torquay battling against relegation, and the two north London/Hertfordshire border sides battling it out for the play-offs.
As for Notts County, they’ll only have three games after this in their National League regular season: third-place Woking at home, bottom of the league side Maidstone United away and then York City at home to finish 2022-23… unless they have to end up playing in the dreaded play-offs.
Notts County 1-0 Wrexham: 4 October 2022 (National League)
Notts County enjoyed a 1-0 win over Wrexham in the reverse fixture back in October. That win saw Notts County leapfrog Wrexham to the top of the National League table after 12 matches, and was an excellent advert for the non-league game in England (and Wales) – 10,741 fans were in attendance at Meadow Lane, despite this being a game within the fifth tier.
A clever free-kick routine saw the Magpies’ hotshot striker Macaulay Langstaff score the only goal of the game in the 13th minute – his 15th goal of the 2022-23 league campaign.
Wrexham had the chances to equalise but were unable to find a way through the resolute Notts County defence. The Welsh side did see the ball hit the back of the net, but James Jones’ strike was ruled offside to send the travelling fans home disappointed and without a point.
Wrexham’s loss on Good Friday at Halifax Town saw them miss out on the chance to break the National League record for wins in a season (32). They could reach that tally with a win in this vital game, but the reality is that both sides look set to eventually surpass it in 2022-23.
With both Wrexham and Notts County now on 100 points for the season, one of them – if not both – look extremely likely to go on and break the National League record for points won in a single campaign, surpassing Crawley Town’s 105 tally from their title-winning 2010-11 season.
Both of these sides (106 goals each) have already surpassed the previous record tally for National League goals in a season by a single team (103), previously set by both Barnet in 1990-91 and Hereford United in 2003-04. Notts County need one more goal to equal their highest tally of goals in a single league campaign, set in 1959-60 in Division Four (107).
Wrexham’s defeat to FC Halifax Town on Friday ended a five-game winning run in the National League and was their first defeat since losing to Notts County away on 4 October 2022 in the competition – an unbeaten run of 28 matches (W23 D5 L0). They have now scored in 22 successive National League matches.
Wrexham’s home form at the Racecourse Ground this season has been near perfect. They’ve won 19 of their 20 National League games there, drawing the other – they are just three home games away from going the whole league season unbeaten at home. The only home game in which they have dropped points this season was a 2-2 draw against Woking on 14 February. Since then, they’ve won all five league home games and outscored their opponents by 16-3.
Notts County are unbeaten in seven league matches now, winning five and drawing two since losing 2-1 at home to Dagenham and Redbridge on 25 February.
Notts County have been the best away team in the league, picking up more points than any other side on their travels (48). Of their 21 away matches in the National League this season, Luke Williams’ side have lost just once – a 3-1 defeat to Dorking Wanderers at Meadowbank on 17 September, where James McShane scored a hat-trick for the home team, including two in added time to win the game.
Players to Watch
Wrexham: Paul Mullin
Paul Mullin is Wrexham’s biggest goal threat in this game, having scored 34 goals in 41 league games this season for the Welsh side. In all competitions, that tally is 43 in 47 games, thanks to a brilliant campaign in the FA Cup. Mullin became the first player to score in each of the first, second, third and fourth rounds of the FA Cup in a season for a non-league team since Colin Williams in 1984-85 for Telford United.
Mullin has scored 23 goals in 20 league appearances at the Racecourse Ground this season and has scored three National League hat-tricks there in 2022-23, including one in his last match in Wrexham against Oldham Athletic on 1 April. He is now chasing the Wrexham club record for most league goals in a single season (44), set by club legend and all-time top scorer Tommy Bamford in 1933-34.
Notts County: Macaulay Langstaff
Macaulay Langstaff has not only smashed the club record for goals in a season (41), but he’s also broken the National League record for goals in a single campaign (since it’s rebrand in 2015), previously set by Ricky Miller for Dover Athletic in 2016-17 (40). Arguably the most impressive aspect of this feat is that none of his goals have come from penalties.
He’s now scored in seven successive National League appearances (nine goals) and has only failed to scored in one of his last 13 apps in league competition – that 2-1 defeat to Dagenham and Redbridge on 25 February at Meadow Lane.
The Notts County striker will have to beat Ben Foster in this match to add to his tally, however. Foster was playing Premier League football for Watford only last season before retiring, but he was coaxed out of retirement by Wrexham last month to help them win promotion back to the Football League.
Wrexham vs Notts County Prediction
The Opta Supercomputer gives Wrexham the edge in this potential title deciding match on Easter Monday, with a 39.9% chance of victory. Home advantage is key, with a vocal Wrexham crowd at the Racecourse Ground looking to be Wrexham’s 12th man.
Don’t rule out Notts County spoiling their afternoon, however. The Nottingham-based side have a 33.8% chance of winning, while the 26.3% chance of a draw shows how tight this game will be.