On Saturday Celtic face Solihull Moors for the Conference North clash (kick off 3pm). Solihull are currently six places and eight points behind Celtic on forty points in fourteenth despite having played a game more. There will be a live match centre for this game.
Solihull have had an inconsistent season, spending the first few weeks in the relegation spots with just two wins in their opening ten games (away against Harrogate and Stafford). With home and away wins against Vauxhall and the season?s first home win against Harrogate in their next ten games, lifted them to thirteenth. However, a run of five wins, beating Corby, Hinckley, Redditch, Eastwood and Hyde lifted them to a season high of tenth. Their last four games have seen a return to early season form, with draws with Telford and Northwich, but losses to Droylsden and Fleetwood.
We met Solihull earlier this season, when they held us to a 2-2 draw thanks in large part to a sensational save from Danny Crane to deny Matty Barlow the winner. We took six points off Solihull last season the same as the season before, scoring fifteen goals and conceding none between the two seasons. Solihull?s only win at Bower Fold came in January 2007 (they won 3-2), when they beat us away as well. In their last five visits (under both the incarnation as Solihull Moors and Moor Green), Solihull have won one, drawn one and lost three.
Moor?s top scorers this season are Junior English and Jake Edwards, who have five apiece, with Marvin Johnson right behind them on four. They are a definite second half team, with eleven of their forty-two goals coming in the first half. With fifteen goals in the last quarter of an hour, they are a team that concentration for ninety minutes is required against. They do not have a particularly vulnerable point, conceding throughout the ninety, with ten of their forty-seven goals coming in the ten minutes after the restart, this is possibly their weakest point. On average, they score 1.2 goals per game (1.1 away from home), whilst conceding 1.4 goals per game (1.5 away from home). They have failed to score in nine away matches this season, keeping clean sheets in five, and have not scored in their last two away matches. With four wins and six defeats in the last ten matches, Celtic have dropped to midtable in the form table, whilst Solihull are sixth having taken fifty-five percent of the available points. Away from home, they have taken thirty-six percent of the points, making them ninth in the away form table whilst Celtic?s home form has seen them take only thirty-six percent of the points in the home form table, putting us nineteenth.
Solihull will be without defender Ryan Amoo, who is serving the last of his three match ban for a sending off in the 0-0 away draw with Telford. Goalkeeper Danny Crane suffered a cut head against Northwich Victoria, but played in their 2-1 defeat to Droylsden. In that match, Solihull lined up as:
1. Danny Crane
2. Indy Khela
3. Philip Midworth
4. Theo Streete
5. Liam Murray
6. Alex Price
7. Junior English
8. Tim Gould
9. Jake Edwards
10. Dean Lea
11. Ryan Beswick
Celtic?s injury list has been extensive over the past few weeks, with Richard Battersby, Keith Briggs, Michael Carr, Dave Hankin, John Hardiker, Craig Hobson, Graeme Law and Joe O?Neill all missing from Celtic?s last game, the 3-2 defeat away at Droylsden. Jim Harvey has moved to ease the problems with the re-signing of Paul Ennis back from Bala Town. In our last match, Celtic lined up as:
1. Dave Carnell
2. Barrie Keeling
3. Danny Adams
4. Steve Woods
5. Warren Peyton
6. Tim Ryan
7. Lee Dodgeson
8. Michael Twiss
9. Matty Barlow
10. Jody Banim
11. Andy Smart
The automated prediction algorithm is suggesting that Celtic?s torrid time will continue with a 4-2 win for Solihull, however, we have an excellent recent record over the Midlands outfit, and this is a chance for the squad to rebuild some confidence ahead of the final month of the season. Despite our recent results, getting into the play offs is still in our hands. Telford and Workington are in the two placed above us, and a win could put us back into sixth (should they both lose), within six points from Hinckley, with two games in hand on them.
Other games this weekend (Celtic are 8th on 48pts):
Hinckley United (54pts 5th) v Eastwood Town (47pts 10th) [Friday]
Alfreton Town (57pts 3rd) v Redditch United (37pts 16th)
Blyth Spartans (39pts 15th) v Hyde United (37pts 17th)
Fleetwood Town (73pts 1st) v Droylsden (57pts 4th)
Gloucester City (35pts 19th) v Corby Town (45pts 11th)
Harrogate Town (23pts 21st) v Southport (71pts 2nd)
Ilkeston Town (48pts 9th) v AFC Telford United (51pts 6th)
Northwich Victoria (41pts 13th) v Workington (50pts 7th)
Stafford Rangers (36pts 18th) v Vauxhall Motors (28pts 20th)