Celtic are back down the M6 this weekend when we travel to Stafford Rangers for the Conference North league match (kick off 3pm). Stafford are currently two places and one point behind Celtic in the league table in fourteenth on eight points. There is a coach to this match, and there will be a live score centre.
After an unbeaten run of four games, Stafford have lost their last two games, as well as losing their opening day fixture away at Boston, however, they remain unbeaten at home, with a win over Solihull moors followed by two draws with Guiseley and Worcester. Away from home, they have won once, beating Ilkeston Town 2-0, whilst their most recent games saw them lose 2-0 at both Alfreton and Droylsden.
Chris Sterling is their top scorer, with three goals, with three other scorers this season, all getting a goal apiece. Four of their six goals so far this season have been in the second half, with the first ten minutes from the restart seeing them score three. Five of their conceded eight goals this season have been in the opening half an hour. On average they score 0.8 goals per game (1.3 at home), whilst conceding 1.1 goals per game (a goal per game at home). Stafford have kept one clean sheet, away at Ilkeston, whilst they have failed to score in three (all away). They have won or drawn every game that they?ve scored in.
Our last meeting with Stafford (last season) saw them draw 2-2 at home with us, after losing 2-0 in Stafford earlier in the season. Stafford?s last win over Celtic at Stafford was back in October 2006, when they won 1-0, however, we have won two and drawn two of our last seven visits, the two won being our last two visits there. In their last seven visits to Bower Fold, Stafford have won three and drawn one. Stafford?s best result over us was back in November 1994, when they beat us 5-0 at Stafford.
Stafford have had a few injuries recently, mainly with strikers, with Nick Wellecomme and Ben Mills both missing the 2-0 defeat away at Droylsden, as was defender Jermaine Johnson. Expectations are that at least two of them will be available for selection against Celtic on Saturday, with Jermaine Johnson returning to training this week. In their last match, the 2-0 defeat away at Droylsden, Stafford lined up as:
1. Lee Evans
2. Andr? Francis
3. Mark Dudley
4. Craig McAughtrie
5. Harry Davis
6. Kelvin Mellor
7. Levi Reid
8. Ross Davidson
9. Tyree Clarke
10. Chris Sterling
11. Fabrice Kassiama
Celtic saw Lee Elam limp off in Celtic?s last match, the 2-0 home win over Gainsborough Trinity, and he will have to be assessed ahead of Saturday?s match. Craig Hobson is available for selection once again, having completed his three match ban. With Jody Banim departing, Hobson?s competition for the striker role will be against new signing Dennis Sheriff, the hotshot striker from Woodley Sports who is also now available for selection, and Lloyd Ellams. In our last match, Celtic lined up as:
1. Jan Budtz
2. Glen Rule
3. Andy McWilliams
4. Tim Ryan
5. Steve Woods
6. Jack Rea
7. Connor Jennings
8. Greg Wilkinson
9. Phil Marsh
10. Lloyd Ellams
11. Lee Elam
With Celtic having lost our previous two away games, winning only once on the road and Stafford being unbeaten at home, the automated prediction algorithm is suggesting a 4-3 win for Stafford.
Other games this Saturday:
Blyth Spartans (16th 6pts) v Worcester City (10th 11pts)
Boston United (4th 16pts) v Workington (2nd 19pts)
Eastwood Town (20th 4pts) v Gloucester City (11th 9pts)
Gainsborough Trinity (15th 7pts) v Droylsden (7th 12pts)
Hinckley United (18th 5pts) v Guiseley (6th 12pts)
Hyde (21st 1pt) v Corby Town (5th 14pts)
Nuneaton Town (9th 12pts) v Alfreton Town (1st 21pts)
Redditch United (22nd 1pt) v Ilkeston Town (17th 6pts)
Solihull Moors (8th 12pts) v AFC Telford (3rd 17pts)
Vauxhall Motors (19th 4pts) v Harrogate Town (13th 8pts)