Why should I watch..?

To see if 1874 Northwich can maintain the momentum given to them by winning eight successive matches in all competitions.

However the most recent one of those was more than a fortnight ago – a 2-0 home win against Hanley Town.

A side managed by Paul Bowyer and Wayne Goodison starts Saturday’s game sitting 17th  in the table, although three games before the end of the calendar year provides an opportunity to make up ground on those ahead of them.

Maine Road lost heavily at City of Liverpool last time out, although they did record back-to-back wins against AFC Darwen and Barnton following Matt Barnes’ appointment as manager.

They arrive in Winsford occupying a place in the Premier Division’s relegation zone.

What they’ve said

“There has been a high turnover of players at Maine Road and, coupled with them getting used to how a new manager wants them to play, that makes them unpredictable.

“Of greater concern to us though is our lads showing that an enforced break hasn’t halted their momentum and that their mind-set is still right.”

Wayne Goodison, 1874 Northwich co-manager

“We got the two wins [against Darwen and Barnton] and it has put us in a good place.

“When I came in initially it was a quiet changing room, downbeat too, and now the lads are all laughing and joking.

“Those results have changed everything, and we’ve got keep going.”

Matt Barnes, Maine Road manager

Numbers game

1874 have won their past eight matches in all competitions, and a ninth would set a new club record

Man to keep an eye on

Scott McGowan

The front man has 17 goals to his name in 24 appearances to date this season, and will feel confident of adding to that tally against opponents that have yet to keep a clean-sheet.

He has recovered too from a slight hamstring strain that prevented him from playing against Hanley last time out, and so should be fresh this weekend.

1874 team news

Danny Meadowcroft is ruled out by a foot injury sustained in a training session last Saturday, and is unlikely to be available for a Boxing Day derby against Winsford United.

Danny Thomas is included in the squad for the first time since sustaining knee injury in an FA Cup encounter with Northwich Victoria on the opening day of the season.

Scott McGowan (hamstring) and Adam Whitlock (groin) are both fit after recovering from slight strains.

Form guide (past six in league)

1874 W W W W L D

Maine Road L W W L L L

Most recent meetings

1874 2-0 Maine Road (NWCFL Premier Division, April 11 2017)

Maine Road 1-1 1874 (NWCFL Premier Division, January 14 2017)

Maine Road 4-2 1874 (NWCFL Premier Division, February 27 2016)

Essential information

When Saturday, December 23

Kick-off 3pm

Address Barton Stadium, Kingsway, Winsford CW7 3AE

Admission Adults £6, Concessions (OAP/Students) £4, Under 16s Free

Parking Free at the ground