On Saturday, Celtic travel down south to face Worcester City (kick off 3pm). Worcester are currently two points off the play offs in eighth place on fifty-three points; two points and three places below fifth placed Celtic. There will be a live match centre for this game.
Worcester have had a pretty good season so far and have been hovering around their current position for much of the season. Although they lost their last match 2-0 at home to Droylsden, this came off the back of four straight wins, and seven without loss. They had a bad start to 2012, losing their opening four games, although only the 1-0 home defeat to Colwyn Bay was at home. The loss to Droylsden was only their third loss at home all season, the third was at the start of September when they were beaten 2-0 by Corby.
Our last meeting with Worcester was in October when they visited Bower Fold and lost 2-0, with a brace from Connor Jennings securing all three points for Celtic. Our last visit to Worcester was in February last season, when we lost to a ninetieth minute Danny Glover goal from a set-piece in a game with very few chances for either team. You have to go back four visits to 2006 to find Celtic's last win at St Georges Park, ending an away win drought of eight games with a last minute winner from Lee Ellington. That stands as our only win there in the last twenty years.
Worcester's top scorer this season is Mike Symons, who has fifteen goals, this is double that of his closest rival, Tom Thorley who has found the net eight times this season. They are most dangerous before the half time and full time whistles, with twelve just before half time and fifteen just before full time. Defensively, they are weak half way through the second half, with ten goals conceded in this period. They score an average of 1.6 goals per game (1.7 at home), and concede 1.4 a game (1.1 at home). Their fifty-four goals this season puts them mid-table for attacking, with their forty-nine goals putting them just outside the top five for defending. Worcester have scored more penalties (ten) than any other team this season. Half of Tom Thorley's goals and all of Simon Brown's have come from the spot.
Worcester have captured the signing of right back Dwayne Samuel from AFC Telford, whilst Ryan Clarke has left the club due to travel commitments. Kevin O'Connor will be available for selection, as he does not start his suspension until Monday. Tom Thorley requires a late fitness test after pulling his hamstring, as does Matt Birley who missed the Droylsden match through a groin strain. In Worcester's last match, the 2-0 home defeat to Droylsden, they lined up as:
1. Matt Sargeant
2. Jacob Rowe
3. Ellis Deeney
4. Kevin O'Connor
5. Tom Thorley
6. Tyler Weir
7. Greg Mills
8. Phil Green
9. Rob Elvins
10. Mike Symons
11. Michael Taylor
Celtic will be without Kristian Platt through suspension, whilst Andy McWilliams (hamstring) and Greg Wilkinson (ribs) both limped off in Saturday's 2-2 draw at home to Corby. Stephen Brogan missed the match due to a calf strain, and will need to be assessed ahead of the Worcester game. In the Corby match, Celtic lined up as:
1. Jan Budtz
2. Joel Bembo-Leta
3. Andy McWilliams
4. Rhys Meynell
5. Kristian Platt
6. Jack Rea
7. Arthur Gnahoua
8. Greg Wilkinson
9. Mitchell Austin
10. Craig Hobson
11. Ollie Banks
The automated prediction algorithm is suggesting a 3-2 win for Worcester. This is unsurprising, given Celtic's recent form and Worcester losing just one in the last eight. However, it was a similar situation last time we beat Worcester, and the games have always been close. Hopefully, Celtic can repeat that one and only win at St Georges Lane. A win for Celtic could move them to fourth, but more importantly, put some distance between us and the play-off chasing pack of Gainsborough, Altrincham and Worcester. With Altrincham having a tricky home tie to hot and cold Solihull, they should get a win, which could see them replace Celtic in the top five. Halifax have a very difficult game away at Bishop's Stortford. Gainsborough should get a regulation win at home to basement team Eastwood, and Nuneaton should take the three points on offer away at Histon. The game of the day is the promotion deciding match when Guiseley are away at Hyde.
All of Saturday's fixtures:
Altrincham (53pts 7th) v Solihull Moors (45pts 12th)
Bishop's Stortford (43pts 15th) v Halifax Town (58pts 4th)
Blyth Spartans (27pts 21st) v Gloucester City (43pts 14th)
Corby Town (43pts 13th) v Colwyn Bay (48pts 10th)
Droylsden (46pts 11th) v Boston United (50pts 9th)
Gainsborough Trinity (55pts 6th) v Eastwood Town (20pts 22nd)
Harrogate Town (42pts 16th) v Workington (39pts 18th)
Hinckley United (39pts 19th) v Vauxhall Motors (37pts 20th)
Histon (41pts 17th) v Nuneaton Town (63pts 2nd)
Hyde (71pts 1st) v Guiseley (63pts 3rd)
From the M67 join the M60 towards Stockport.
After 7 miles, leave the M60 at Junction 4 (Chester, M6) to join the M56 Stay on the M56 for 7 miles, coming off at junction 7 (Northwich, M6) to join the A556.
The roundabout can be avoided by using the slip road.
Stay on the A556 for 5 miles to the roundabout with the M6.
Join the M6 southbound (Birmingham) avoiding the roundabout by using the slip road.
Stay on the M6 for 64 miles to junction 8 (M5, the South).
Join the M5.
Stay on the M5 for 13 miles to junction 4 (A38, Bromsgrove).
Take the second exit onto Halesowen Road (A38).
Stay on the A38 for 3 miles to a set of lights with Birmingham Road (signposted Bromsgrove North / Minor Injuries Unit).
Turn right here using the filter lane.
The club is on the right after about a mile.