Saturday sees a return to league action for Celtic when we host beleaguered Redditch United in the Conference North clash. Redditch are currently in eighteenth, outside the relegation spots on goal difference, ten places and eight points behind Celtic. There will be a live match centre for this game.
Redditch have not had a good start to the season, winning three, drawing one and losing seven. They have won once on the road, beating Northwich Victoria 2-0. At home, they have fared little better, though one of their two scalps was a 3-0 win over Alfreton, with the other being their last game, a 2-1 win over Workington. Redditch have kept three clean sheets, including a 0-0 draw at home to Fleetwood, whilst they have failed to score in three games, but have only failed to score once away from home, a 1-0 loss away at Blyth.
We met Redditch only a few weeks ago when we opened this season with an emphatic 4-1 victory in Redditch, and our previous meetings do not give Redditch fans much cause for hope, with their best result being their last visit to Bower Fold that ended 3-3. Apart from that, we have a one hundred percent record against them. Two other visits from Redditch have seen six goals, with the game in April 2008 seeing Celtic put six past Redditch without reply, whilst the game in April 2006 saw us win 5-1. We have never failed to score against the Midland?s outfit, and have kept five clean sheets in the last twelve meetings.
Redditch?s top scorer this campaign has been David Bridgewater, with three goals, with Gary Hay right behind him on two. With fourteen goals scored, seven away, their other nine goals have come from eight different players and one own goal. On average they score 1.3 goals per game (1.4 away), whilst conceding two goals a game (2.4 away). With seven scored in each half, they do not have a particularly favourite time to score, and with their conceding nearly half and half as well, they also do not have a favourite time to concede, though they have not conceded any goals in the last fifteen minutes of a match this season.
In the FA Cup, Stratford took Redditch to a replay, that Redditch won 2-0 in Stratford. In that match, Redditch lined up as:
1. Danny Lewis
2. Jerry Gill
3. Asa Charlton
4. Tom Birch
5. Liam Francis
6. Joe Clarke
7. Jack Byrne
8. David Bridgwater
9. Gary Hay
10. James Dance
11. Myron Semper
Celtic are now unbeaten in eight matches, winning five of them, including the last three. We have been free scoring, netting twenty-seven goals in those eight matches, though we have also been loose at the back conceding fourteen. Matty Barlow and Joe O?Neill are currently neck and neck in the Golden Boot league, with five league goals and one cup goal each. In our last match, the thumping 7-2 demolition of Stocksbridge Park Steels, Celtic lined up as:
1. Paul Phillips
2. Graeme Law
3. Andy Smart
4. Steve Woods
5. Warren Peyton
6. John Hardiker
7. Dave Hankin
8. Keith Briggs
9. Joe O?Neill
10. Matty Barlow
11. Connor Jennings
The automated prediction algorithm has suggested a 3-2 win for Celtic. With Celtic only three points off the top of the table, a win could well propel us into the top five.
Other games on Saturday:
AFC Telford United (16pts, 10th) v Droylsden (21pts, 1st)
Blyth Spartans (12pts, 12th) v Alfreton Town (18pts, 7th)
Corby Town (20pts, 5th) v Eastwood Town (21pts, 3rd)
Farsley Celtic (3pts, 22nd) v Hyde United (15pts, 11th)
Fleetwood Town (20pts, 4th) v Gainsborough Trinity (10pts, 17th)
Ilkeston Town (19pts, 6th) v Gloucester City (11pts, 14th)
Northwich Victoria (10pts, 15th) v Harrogate Town (10pts, 20th)
Solihull Moors (10pts, 19th) v Southport (21pts, 2nd)
Stafford Rangers (12pts, 13th) v Hinckley United (17pts, 9th)
Workington (10pts, 16th) v Vauxhall Motors (9pts, 21st)