Oldham head to a thoroughly unhappy hunting ground this afternoon. One of RED’s authors was present in 1999 when they limply fell to defeat on their first ever trip to Moss Rose. A League One (or, Division Two) that contained Manchester City, no less. Last year, Oldham lost again there, meaning it’s two defeats out of two. Can that change this afternoon?

Macclesfield enter the game with some form, with just one defeat in eight games (although six of those have been drawn), and winning last week against Cambridge. Both Macclesfield and Oldham have their off-field problems, with the police called in at Oldham this week, and Macclesfield’s on-going issues that have led to a six-point deduction.

Oldham enter the game off the back of an awful Christmas period, shipping nine goals since Boxing Day. As such, it’s a little difficult to understand why the bookmakers make Oldham slight favourites, at 38% relative to Macclesfield’s 33%. RED sees it more according to the form book, with Macc at 42%, Oldham at 32%.

Do the bookmakers know something RED doesn’t? RED is a statistical model, its inputs are previous matches, and information that can be extracted from them (hence form, league table, recent promotion/relegation, etc). The bookmakers, on the other hand, collect information on a minute-by-minute basis, often updating their prices. This needn’t be information on fixes, it may be things like injuries to players, new signings, and off-field issues (which both sides are replete with). We shall see how things turn out this afternoon…