Match Preview :- Solihull Moors - Sunday January 4th, 2015 (15:00:00)

On Sunday, Celtic travel to the Midlands to take on Solihull Moors. Solihull are currently sixth having dropped out of the top five with two losses on the bounce. They have thirty-seven points, putting them fifteen points and thirteen places above Celtic. There will be a match centre for this game.

After a poor start to the season that saw Solihull win once in the opening six games, the Moors went on a ten game unbeaten run (still a league record), scoring freely that propelled them into the top three. With only two wins in their last six, against Colwyn Bay and Gainsborough, they've now dropped to sixth. We have already face Solihull once this season, when they visited in the league back in August. That was their one win in their opening six.

You have to go back a long way to find the last time Celtic beat the Moors on their own ground: January 2009, when we won 2-0, with goals from Nicky Platt and Matty Barlow. We did nearly win last season at Damson Park, when we were leading 3-1, but two goals in the last five minutes from Gary Birch cancelled out Obi Anorou's two and Kris Platt's free kick. Solihull's last win over us at Damson Park was in December 2012, when they won 1-0, whilst our last win over them at all was the season before in March 2012, when we won 2-0 at Bower Fold.

The goals this season are, unsurprisingly, coming from Omar Bogle, who's eighteen goals put him at the top of the league goal scorer's chart, and putting Solihull second in the overall best league attacks with over two goals per game and forty-eight in total (twenty-two at home). Bogle has scored nearly half of Solihull's goals, with Ryan Beswick (nine) and Darryl Knights (eight) his closest rivals for the Moors Golden Boot. Defensively, they are not so hot, and have the tenth best defence in the league, conceding thirty-three goals. Most of their conceding has been in the second half, with two thirds of their conceding done in this period.

Because having one twenty-goal a season striker is never enough, Solihull have recently signed Stefan Moore from Leamington. Even with the extra firepower, though, Solihull were beaten twice over the festive period by Tamworth, losing 2-0 at home, and 3-1 away to the Lambs. In their last match, the 3-1 away defeat to Tamworth, Solihull lined up as:
1. Tony Breeden
2. Mike Nottingham
3. Jordan Gough
4. Jay Denny
5. Liam Daly
6. Rob Elvins
7. Stefan Moore
8. Junior English
9. Omar Bogle
10. Ryan Beswick
11. Darryl Knights

Celtic have won two of their last three away matches, and two of their last matches, so Solihull could very well see a different team to the one that they beat in August. Liam Dickinson is still suspended following his four match ban, but Matty Hughes will be available, despite his red card against Hyde, which doesn't kick in until the Colwyn Bay game. Kelvin Bleau picked up a knock against Hyde, but should be fit to start. Nathan Heath made it through the full ninety against Hyde, after his injury, but George Lomax is a doubt. In our last match, the stupendously magnificent 7-1 win at home over local rivals Hyde, Celtic lined up as:
1. Lewis King
2. Kelvin Bleau
3. Nathan Heath
4. Matt Regan
5. Matty Hughes
6. Stefan Galinski
7. Ben McKenna
8. Scott Kerr
9. Dominic Calvert-Lewin
10. Paul Ennis
11. Kevin Holsgrove

Celtic will be riding high after their eleven goals in two matches, so it won't be an easy ride for Solihull, despite their loftier league position that would suggest a routine home win. A win for Celtic could see them reach seventeenth and overtake Gainsborough and Leamington on the way, whilst a loss could allow Bradford and Gloucester to overtake Celtic, and put us right back into the bottom three. With Gainsborough and Brackley playing each other, a win would let us catch up to at least one of them, but also Leamington and Bradford are playing each other, and they are on either side of us!

Other games on Sunday:
AFC Fylde (49pts 1st) v Lowestoft Town (28pts 13th)
Boston United (35pts 10th) v Colwyn Bay (27pts 14th)
Chorley (38pts 5th) v Oxford City (37pts 7th)
Gainsborough Trinity (25pts 17th) v Brackley Town (26pts 16th)
Gloucester City (21pts 20th) v North Ferriby United (35pts 9th)
Harrogate Town (27pts 15th) v Hednesford Town (31pts 12th)
Hyde (11pts 22nd) v Barrow (48pts 2nd)
Leamington FC (23pts 18th) v Bradford Park Avenue (20pts 21th)
Stockport County (36pts 8th) v Tamworth (39pts 4th)
Worcester City (34pts 11th) v Guiseley (45pts 3rd)

Distance: 107
Time: 2 hours and 15 minutes

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 72 miles to junction 4a (M42, The North).
Stay on the M42 for 4 1/2 miles to Junction 6 (Birmingham South East).
At the roundabout at the end of the slip road, turn right (exit 3 of 4) onto the A45 (Coventry Road).
After 2 miles (at the first set of traffic lights) turn left onto Damson Parkway.
The ground is three quarters of a mile down Damson Parkway on the right.