On Saturday, Celtic are away at Bradford Park Avenue (kick off 3pm) in a game both sides MUST win. Bradford won their last game (away at Altrincham) and moved above Celtic in the league, leaving Celtic at the foot of the table, and Bradford one place and one point above Celtic.
Like Celtic, Bradford have had a torrid start to the season, but with four draws and a win, have lost two less games than Celtic. Three of their four draws came in the opening three games of the season, with a nine game losing streak following this (a current league record). In their last for games they have drawn with Telford, beaten Altrincham and lost to Gloucester and Chorley. Avenue have failed to score in seven games with only two of those home games, and have conceded in every match this season (Celtic have one clean sheet Ė away at Boston). With their only win being away from home, they have not won at home this season.
Chris Sharp is BPAís top scorer this season, with four goals, all of which were scored at home, whilst Ben McKenna and Emile Sinclair both have two each. They score an average of 0.9 goals per game (1.2 at home), and concede 2.5 goals a game (2.6 at home). In total they have scored fifteen and conceded forty.
We have not beaten Bradford at Cemetery Road for four years, last winning 3-2 in the league there in September 2012; Greg Wilkinson, Jack Laird and Callum Warburton with the goals. Our last win over them was the same season when we beat them 2-0 at home as well; Jamie Mullan and Tom Buckley on the score sheet this time. In the last six encounters, we have drawn three and lost three, with Bradford winning two of the five encounters at their place. Cemetery road is the site of one of Celticís most famous victories. January 2007, a thirty-five yard wonder goal from Scott Bonsall turned Celticís disastrous season around, and we made the Great Escape under John Reed. Celtic need Cemetery Road to be the turning point in their season again.
Bradford have the familiar face of Ben McKenna in their line-up, who scored in their last match, the 3-2 away win at fellow strugglers, Altrincham. In that match, Bradford Park Avenue lined up as:
1. Jon Worsnop
2. Ryan Toulson
3. Matt Hill
4. Adam Nowakowski
5. Shane Killock
6. Luke Dean
7. Nicky Wroe
8. Ben McKenna
9. Emile Sinclair
10. Chris Sharp
11. Nicky Boshell
Under the terms of the loan, Liam Dickinson isnít eligible to play. Aaron Chalmers is now back from injury, Matty Hughes has served his suspension and both are ready for selection, though Keil OíBrien is still a doubt. In Celticís last match, the heart-breaking 3-2 loss at home to Alfreton, Celtic lined up as:
1. Tony McMillan
2. Danny Morton
3. Adam Mather
4. Nick Ryan
5. Danny Wisdom
6. Darren McKnight
7. Brian Summerskill
8. Gary Gee
9. Liam Dickinson
10. Scott Spencer
11. Aidan Chippendale
A win for Celtic could lift us to the top of bottom three and close the gap on the safety mark. A loss could see the gap to safety widen. With the teams above the safety zone playing each other, some of the teams will be widening that gap. Celtic cannot afford to lose sight of them. Both sides are desperate for the win, and Bradford will be buoyed up on their win at Altrincham midweek.
There is a full fixture list on Saturday:
AFC Telford (12th 18pts) v Salford City (10th 23pts)
Alfreton Town (15th 16pts) v Chorley (4th 30pts)
Curzon Ashton (14th 19pts) v Gainsborough Trinity (17th 16pts)
FC Halifax Town (3rd 30pts) v Brackley Town (8th 24pts)
FC United of Manchester (13th 17pts) v Gloucester City (7th 24pts)
Harrogate Town (3rd 30pts) v Darlington (2nd 33pts)
Nuneaton Town (18th 14pts) v Boston United (16th 16pts)
Stockport County (th pts) v Kidderminster Harriers (5th 28pts)
Tamworth (11th 23pts) v AFC Fylde (1st 37pts)
Worcester City (14th 16pts) v Altrincham (20th 7pts)
From the M67 join the M60 towards Oldham.
Stay on the M60 to the junction with the M62 and M66.
At the roundabout, turn right (exit 3 of 4) to join the M62 towards Leeds.
Stay on the M62 for 27 miles to junction 26 (Bradford, M606).
Join the M606.
Stay on the M606 for just over 2 miles to the very end and leave the motorway (follow signs for Halifax).
At the roundabout at the end of the slip road, turn left (exit 2 of 7) to join the A6036 (Rooley Avenue).
After 1/2 a mile, you will reach a roundabout with the A641 - go straight across (exit 3 of 6) signposted Halifax, to stay on the A6036 (now called Halifax Road).
You will pass Ordsal Stadium on your left.
After nearly a mile, you will see a sign for Horsfall Stadium by a left turn at the Kings Head pub.
Turn left here onto Cemetery Road.
The ground is 300 yards on the left.