WORCESTER City are about to embark on a gruelling run of fixtures as they look to turn games in hand into points at the top of the Hellenic League Premier table.

City lead the way on goal difference but have four games in hand on second-placed Corsham Town, who they beat 2-1 last weekend at Claines Lane.

But in the next seven days, they will play four times, starting with this Saturday's clash with Fairford Town at Malvern Town's HDAnywhere Community Stadium. City will also face Highworth Town on New Year's Day on Malvern's artificial surface after agreeing to move the next two league games from Claines Lane, to allow the waterlogged pitch to recover.

The Boxing Day clash with Worcester Raiders fell foul to the conditions once again in December, the fourth game to be cancelled in the last four weeks, so the decision was made to move the next two matches.

The first of those, Saturday's clash with Fairford, will involve an element of revenge for Chris Cornes' men. The visitors on Saturday scored an 85th-minute equaliser to deny City three points earlier in December in the reverse fixture.

But on the artificial surface at Malvern, it should allow City to play the type of football that has seen them succeed in most games this season. They are unbeaten in 15 Hellenic Premier games and have still only been beaten once.

Worcester have dropped just nine points in the entire 2023/24 league campaign but Fairford are one of the four sides to take points off City and so they will have some confidence that they can frustrate the 'hosts' again on Saturday.

They come into the game having secured back-to-back victories, including last weekend's 3-1 win at Sixways over Worcester Raiders and are unbeaten in their last five, a run that has put them back into contention for a play-off place.

Team news

City will be without a couple of key players on Saturday. Calvin Dinsley will be sitting out the second of his two-match suspension and centre-half Kirk Layton will also be missing after picking up a yellow in the game with Corsham.

Cam Monteith stepped in for Dinsley in the 2-1 win over Corsham and his impressive display should see him keep his spot, whilst you would expect Lorcan Sheehan will come in for Layton.