BRADFORD Dragons return to league action against Barking Abbey on Saturday afternoon (4.00pm tip-off).

The talented youngsters will look to end a run of two-straight losses when they host Dragons.

The Dragons go in pursuit of three-consecutive league wins for the second time this season. A victory would take the team within two points of the three teams directly above them.

With the Derby Trailblazers and the Loughborough Riders hosting the top two ranked teams, in the Solent Kestrels and Hemel Storm respectively there is a chance for the Dragons to cut the gap and firmly cement their position as the eighth seed.

Coach Mellor thoughts

"Barking have shown with recent narrow losses to top six teams that they are a match for anyone especially on their floor, so our intensity and execution needs to be decent."

Players Perspective: Andreas Lycoudis

Lycoudis is under no illusions of the challenge Barking will pose.

He said: "We know this will be a tough game as is every game in this league, but even with some injuries, we know we have what it takes to take a win down South. Barking have picked up a few good wins and we haven’t been so lucky down there in recent years.

"We’ve found our identity and have only lost once in our last six games. We’re confident this weekend that we can keep up this run of good form."

The Opponents

Looking to keep the feel-good factor around the club after the academy’s exploits in the Adidas Next Generation Tournament in Lithuania last week, Abbey will hope for a quick return to winning ways in NBL Division One action.

Barking come into the game 11th in the league with a 4-12 record on the season.

Despite the two recent home losses against the Reading Rockets (77-72) and the Trailblazers (89-79), the team had won three of their last four games beforehand.

All three victories came against the teams sitting below them in the standings.

Pivotal results in the battle to avoid relegation, all those games came in a potentially season defining January.

Barking, the league’s lowest-scoring offence will take on the division’s fourth tightest defensive outfit when the two teams take to the floor at the Barking Abbey Leisure Centre this weekend.

Last Time We Met: Bradford Dragons 93-69 Barking Abbey

Matchday 6 proved to be a season-changing game for the Dragons. Both teams came into the November clash with a 1-5 record, but the arrival of Barking proved to be a spark for Coach Mellor’s team as they turned in their best performance of the young season.

A tenacious defensive performance was the catalyst for a fully deserved blowout victory. Leading for all but the opening minute of the game, Dragons size inside proved too much for Barking to handle, outscoring the visitors 54-28 in points in the paint.

Dragons got double-figure scoring from five players as Rihards Šulcs top-scored with 17 points. 18-year-old Barking big Theo Hughes led all scorers with an impressive 26 points and 11 rebounds performance.

Player to Watch: Veron Eze

A member of the Great Britain under 18s finished 8th at the 2019 FIBA European Championships in Greece, Eze is Barking’s leading points scorer this season.

The 18-year-old is averaging 14.4 points per game on 50.6% shooting from the field.

Eze is shooting 34.5% from three-point range, making 1.4 of his 3.9 attempted threes per game.

In his last outing against relegation rivals Liverpool, the young wing led his team to a crucial win with 22 points and 8 rebounds.