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Match Preview :- Gateshead - Tuesday February 24th, 2009 (19:45:00)
Celtic are at home for the second time inside four days when table toppers Gateshead roll into town for the Conference North fixture on Tuesday (kick off 7:45pm ? there will be a live match centre for this game). Gateshead are currently top on fifty-six points, six places and thirteen points ahead of Celtic having played four games more.

Gateshead are the league?s current inform team, having won thirteen of their last seventeen matches, losing only twice, and drawing twice. Although their opening thirteen games saw them lose five and draw four, they adapted to life in the Conference North, and have risen up the table from an early season low of twelfth to their current loft position one point clear of Tamworth, and five ahead of Telford.

Gateshead have won their last two games, at home to Hucknall and away at Burscough, though King?s Lynn beat them at the end of January. Mostly, their away wins this season have come against bottom half teams, though they did beat Tamworth at the International Stadium in Gateshead with a whopping 5-1 result.

Their last visit to Bower Fold was back in October 2002, when both teams were in the Unibond Premier. That game ended in a 4-4 draw. Celtic?s last win over Gateshead was in the same season, when we beat them 1-0 in Gateshead, almost six years ago to the day. Celtic?s last win over Gateshead at Bower Fold was back in January 2001 when we won 2-1. Gateshead?s last win over Celtic was at their place in March 1999, whilst their last win at Bower Fold was a 3-0 win in September 1998. In their last twelve matches at Bower Fold, Celtic have beaten Gainsborough four times, drawn four times and lost four times.

A lot of Gateshead?s success this season is down to Lee Novak, whose eighteen goals have propelled him into top spot on the League?s Goal Scorers? chart, and earned him a move in the summer to Huddersfield Town. His closest rival is Graeme Armstrong, who has twelve goals, which puts him fifth in the goal scoring chart. The pair have scored over half of all of Gateshead?s fifty-eight goals this season. Gateshead have scored fairly consistently throughout their games, with twelve in the opening fifteen minutes and fourteen in the last fifteen, possibly their most dangerous periods. With only ten of their conceded thirty-two goals coming in the first half, it is the last half an hour where most goals are scored against them, with eighteen going in during this period. On average, they score two goals per game (1.6 away), and concede 1.1 goals per game (1.2 away). They have kept five away day clean sheets (ten overall) with the last away clean sheet coming mid-January away at Droylsden, and the last one in their last game at home to Hucknall. Gateshead have failed to score in five away games (six overall), with three of those five coming in their last six outings, to King?s Lynn, Droylsden and Telford.

Gateshead have added to their already impressive team with Harrogate Keeper Jim Provett (he of the comedy goal), and striker Dan Broadbent on loan from Huddersfield Town. Central defender James Curtis and striker Graeme Armstrong are both doubts ahead of the match tomorrow through injury, but Gateshead are suspension free. In their last match, the 1-0 home win over Hucknall Town, Gateshead lined up as:
1. Jim Provett
2. Craig Baxter
3. Phil Cave
4. Kris Gate
5. Darren Holloway
6. Carl Jones
7. Steve Turnbull
8. Phil Turnbull
9. Dan Broadbent
10. Lee Novak
11. Wayne Phillips

Celtic were without Lee Ellington and Nicky Platt for Saturday?s 2-1 defeat at home to Gainsborough Trinity on Saturday. In that match, Celtic lined up as:
1. Paul Phillips
2. Ashley Woolliscroft
3. Rhys Meynell
4. Barrie Keeling
5. Terry Barwick
6. Paul Sykes
7. Steve Torpey
8. Keith Briggs
9. Alex Meechan
10. Richard Battersby
11. Andy Smart

The automated prediction algorithm is predicting another poor home result for Celtic on Tuesday, suggesting a 4-2 win for the visitors. Hopefully, Celtic can turn their home form around, and change that result.
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