BRADFORD (Park Avenue) begin a sequence of two must-win matches as they visit an out-of-form Southport at Haig Avenue.

After a visit to Merseyside, it is a home encounter against fellow relegation contenders Gloucester, all six points are needed if Avenue are to avoid the dreaded drop.

Here’s all the news, analysis and insight that you need ahead of Saturday’s Vanarama National League North 3pm kick-off.

Form Guide

Conceding early goals has become a theme for Bradford in recent weeks and it was no different at Altrincham as they let in a third goal before the five minute mark in four matches.

The 2-0 defeat was Avenue's seventh loss in their last eight with the 13 point gap becoming bigger week by week.

Mark Bower's men may carry some hope travelling to 11th-placed Southport though who only halted a four match losing streak last week in their 1-0 win over Gloucester.

Bower’s thoughts: Start key at play-off chasing Southport

"I hope they're low (Southport) on confidence. They've had a bad run but they're still in play-off contention.

"They're a settled squad with players who've been there for years, so you know what you'll face as they're consistent.

"They had a good result last week but there'll be pressure on them, as they're at home and they'll expect to beat us.

"I'm looking for more resilience from us, especially early on, so we're not chasing the game."

Team News

Bower will have the same squad available from the Altrincham game, including new loan signing international full back Stellios Demetriou, with Nicky Clee, who came off at half time due to illness, also expected to feature.

It has been a busy day for Southport who made two loan signings. Jack Dunn signed on a one-month deal from Warrington Town while Adam Anson came in from Witton Albion but has been sent straight back to the Betvictor Northern Premier League side until the end of the season.

Possible line-ups

Southport: Hanford, Mohammad, Doyle, Winnard, Astles, Morgan, Benjamin, Oliver, Green, Sampson, Bauress

BPA: Nicholson, Toulson, Priestley, Hughes, Demetriou, Clee, Hibbs, Hall, Hurst, Knight, Johnson

Battle to watch: Nicky Clee v David Morgan

The middle of the park clash between these two talented playmakers could decide which way the three points go.

Clee has been in relentless form for Avenue staring across the pitch since arriving back at Horsfall before the festive period.

With his great passing ability Bower deployed him as a deeper midfielder at Altrincham, he has also bagged two goals in his last four games for the strugglers.

Southport's Morgan is impressively in double figures (10) this campaign with the Northern Irishman starring for the Port since joining from Harrogate Town in 2017.

Head to Head

Southport and Avenue have a vast history of playing each other over almost a 100-year time span.

The pair are tied on 20 wins from their 51 league meetings while the Yellows hold the advantage in the FA Cup.

Last time out it was slim pickings for Bradford who got hammered 3-0 at Horsfall thanks to goals from Morgan, Ryan Astles and Devarn Green.