On Saturday Celtic are at home to Fleetwood Town for the Conference North clash (kick off 3pm ? there will be a Live Match Centre for this game, but there may be some disruption due to the small child accompanying me...). Fleetwood are currently twelfth in the league on forty points, thirteen points and seven places behind Celtic.
Fleetwood had a slow start to the season winning just twice in their opening dozen games, but results have picked up since October, and Fleetwood?s position in the table has risen accordingly. With a run of ten wins in seventeen matches they rose to a season high of eleventh. Their last three matches have seen them lose two and draw one, drawing most recently at home to Gainsborough Trinity, whilst losing away at Hinckley and at home to Hyde. They have yet to do a league double over any team.
We played Fleetwood earlier in the season at their Highbury Stadium, and came away 2-1 winners. In our past nine meetings, we have won four, lost three and drawn twice. Prior to this season, our last meeting with Fleetwood was back in the Unibond in the 91/92 season when we beat them 2-0 home and away. Fleetwood?s last win over Celtic and their last win at Bower Fold was New Year?s Day in 1990, when they won 5-4.
Fleetwood?s top scorer this campaign is Adam Warlow, who has twelve goals, putting him seventh in the overall league goal scorers? chart. His closest rival at Fleetwood is Jamie Milligan who has six goals. On average, Fleetwood score 1.5 goals per game overall (1.6 away), whilst concede 1.8 goals per game overall (2.4 away). Their most dangerous period is the last fifteen minutes when they have scored thirteen of their forty-five goals this season, whilst their most vulnerable period is the second half, when they have conceded thirty-eight of their fifty-three goals, with sixteen in the last ten minutes. Fleetwood have kept just one clean sheet away from home this season (a 0-0 draw away at Telford), and five more at home, whilst they have failed to score just three times away (0-0 at Telford, 0-1 at King?s Lynn and a 0-3 at Blyth). They have failed to score just once at home (lost 2-0 to Gateshead).
Fleetwood will be without the services of Steven Connors who will be serving a one match suspension for an accumulation of bookings. In their last match, the 2-2 draw at home to Gainsborough Trinity, Fleetwood lined up as:
1. Danny Hurst
2. Shaun Beeley
3. Ryan Elderton
4. Ricky Mercer
5. Michael Taylor
6. Nathan Pond
7. Sean Clancy
8. Steve Connors
9. Andy Bell
10. Adam Warlow
11. Chris Williams
Celtic will be without Keith Briggs who is serving a one match ban for an accumulation of bookings. Andy Smart will be missing also, although he is recuperating well from his operation and may be back in training in the near future, depending on how his scan goes on Saturday. In Celtic?s last match, the 4-1 victory over Hyde United, Celtic lined up as:
1. Paul Phillips
2. Ashley Woolliscroft
3. Rhys Meynell
4. Barrie Keeling
5. Michael Bowler
6. Paul Sykes
7. Steve Torpey
8. Keith Briggs
9. Matty Barlow
10. Lee Ellington
11. Chris Denham
The automated prediction algorithm is suggestion a 3-2 win for Celtic on Saturday, which would mean that Celtic?s home form continues to improve and would give Celtic a fifth league double of the season. Celtic are in a position to overtake Telford with a win on Saturday, if Telford fail to win themselves. A win would also help maintain or increase the gap on the play off chasing pack.
Other games on Saturday:
Alfreton Town (49pts, 6th) v Hinckley United (46pts, 8th)
Burscough (30pts, 19th) v Redditch United (31pts, 18th)
Gainsborough Trinity (43pts, 10th) v Hucknall Town (21pts, 22nd)
King?s Lynn (38pts, 13th) v Vauxhall Motors (41pts, 11th)
Solihull Moors (34pts, 16th) v Gateshead (66pts, 1st)
Southport (57pts, 3rd) v Farsley Celtic (31pts, 17th)
Stafford Rangers (36pts, 15th) v Droylsden (45pts, 9th)
Tamworth (63pts, 2nd) v Blyth Spartans (25pts, 21st)
Workington (37pts, 14th) v Hyde United (28pts, 20th)