Match Preview :- Workington - Saturday April 8th, 2006 (15:00:00)
Celtic have lost ground on the play off spots with their two recent losses, but we are still in with an outside chance of making it, and Saturday?s game with Workington (kick-off 3pm) has become a vital one in our hunt for promotion. Overcoming Workington won?t be an easy task though.

Workington are currently only one place and two points behind Celtic, and could well put themselves back into the hunt for a play off spot with a win on Saturday, so will be no easy mark. In addition both sides will be out for revenge. Celtic will be looking to avenge Workington dumping us out of the FA Cup earlier in the season (for the second time), whilst Workington will be looking for retribution for their home defeat to Celtic back in December.

Since the start of the year, Workington have been beaten just twice and only once away from home (to Northwich). They have won a third of their fifteen games since the start of 2006, drawing eight. They have taken twenty-three points from a total of forty-five, and have taken the scalps of Northwich and Droylsden at home. Indeed, they have taken all six points off Droylsden this season, doing us a big favour in the process. Their last match was a 2-1 win over Droylsden up in Cumbria, though their last away match was only their second defeat of 2006, away at Northwich, a game they lost 4-1.

Prior to that, away from home Workington have earned four draws (including a creditable 1-1 draw at Harrogate) and beaten Alfreton. All season they have kept nine clean sheets, five of which were away, and failed to score seven times (four times away). On average, they are scoring 1.6 goals per game away from home (1.5 overall), whilst conceding 1.5 goals per game (1.4 overall).

Their top scorers, Craig Johnston and Matt Henney have only scored four goals between them at home, but Johnston?s nine goals and Henney?s seven have put them in contention for Workington?s golden boot this season. Both players are on scoring form, both scoring in their last win over Droylsden. A total of fifteen different players have scored for Workington this season.

Workington?s goal rate goes up as the game progresses, with just four in the opening ten minutes, and fifteen in the last ten minutes, suggesting that they get stronger as the opposition tire. Workington?s defence remains quite steady throughout matches though, with no significant peaks at any one point in a game.

Workington lined up in their recent 2-1 win at home to Droylsden as:
1. Craig Summerskill
2. David Hewson
3. Marc Green
4. Kyle May
5. Darren Edmondson
6. Matthew Henney
7. Tony Hopper
8. Gary Prosser
9. Craig Johnston
10. Graham Goulding
11. Steve Birks

Celtic lined up in their recent 3-2 loss at home to Worcester as:
1. Paul Pettinger
2. Grant Black
3. Steven Baynes
4. Mark Barnard
5. Mark Haran
6. Ashley Winn
7. James Turley
8. Scott Maxfield
9. Lee Ellington
10. Paul Sykes
11. Neil Prince

A ?must-win? ?six-pointer? then. A loss on Saturday would effectively end our play-off hopes. Workington are a good team at the moment, and have the results to prove it. That said, the prediction league algorithm still thinks that five wins at home out of six is good enough for Celtic to win this game, and is predicting a 3-2 win for Celtic.
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