Match Preview :- Tamworth - Saturday October 6th, 2007 (15:00:00)
Saturday sees Celtic make a return to league action when we take on newly relegated Tamworth (kick off 3pm). Tamworth are currently fourteenth in the league, six places and three points behind Celtic and they have not had the start they would have wished for in their first season in the Blue Square Premier.

The Lambs have taken just four points from a possible twelve on the road so far this season, their only win coming in their second away trip of the campaign when they beat Hyde United 2-1. Their other away point this season came from a 1-1 draw up at Blyth. At home they have fared a little better, with two wins and one draw, beating Burscough and Workington, and being held to a goalless draw by Barrow. Their relegation from the Conference Premier ended with five straight away defeats, earning them just four points out of their last forty away points available.

After six games on the bounce without a win, they won their last match, at home Workington, a game which saw Tamworth score for the first time in nearly three hundred minutes of football, the current longest goal-drought in the league. Those goals, scored by Matt Williams and Anthony Robinson bring their goal tally for the season up to eleven, five of which have been scored away from home. They have an average of a goal per game away from home (1.1 overall), whilst conceding an average 1.6 away (1.3 overall). All bar four of their goals scored have been in the first half, whilst they have conceded only four of their thirteen goals in the same period. This suggests that they start strong and weaken as the game goes on.

Their top scorers this campaign are Adie Smith, Anthony Robinson and Gareth Sheldon who are all on two apiece. They have kept two clean sheets so far, something of a turnaround from early season when they conceded in their opening seven games. This suggests that Tamworth have turned a corner and found their feet in the division.

Like ourselves, Tamworth had to negotiate a Conference North team in the FA Cup, and did so by beating Worcester City 1-0, Matt Williams getting his second of the season to avoid a replay. Harry Hambleton and Chris Nurse are both suspended for the match on Saturday, whilst Craig McAughtrie missed the FA Cup clash with Workington due to a back injury. They have recently signed on a loan deal Bury midfielder Ben Leonard, who was allowed to play in the FA Cup, and his loan period is a month long, so he will be available for Saturday.

In that 1-0 win of Worcester, Tamworth lined up as:
1. Jose Veiga
2. Des Lyttle
3. Dominic Langdon
4. Michael Briscoe
5. Adie Smith
6. Dave Bampton
7. Chris Nurse
8. Ben Leonard
9. Anthony Robinson
10. Mathew Williams
11. Gareth Sheldon

Celtic welcomed back both James Dudgeon and Mark Haran on Saturday; however Steve Payne was still out with back problems. Barrie Keeling, absent due to being cup tied, is back in contention for Saturday, whilst Andy Smart will be out for some time with a broken foot.

In our 1-0 win over Hyde, Celtic lined up as:
1. Paddy Gamble
2. Terry Berwick
3. Simon Garner
4. James Dudgeon
5. Mark Haran
6. Paul Sykes
7. Lee Ellington
8. Ashley Winn
9. Chris Hall
10. Matty Barlow
11. Carlos Roca

With no previous meetings in the database, the automated prediction algorithm has gone off current season form only, and suggests Celtic will win their fourth game on the trot 3-2. The last time we won four on the trot was in December 2005, and the last time we won five was in March 2004. This is testament to the strong squad Steve Burr has built.
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