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Match Preview: South Shields vs Tamworth

South Shields welcome Vanarama National League North leaders Tamworth to 1st Cloud Arena on Saturday (3pm kick-off).

The Mariners take an unbeaten home record into the match, and are aiming to close the gap at the top of the table to three points.

Tamworth were on a 10-match unbeaten run in the league until they were beaten 2-1 by Buxton in their most recent outing on Tuesday.

Both clubs are newly-promoted, having won their respective divisions last season.

Julio's thoughts

Shields manager Julio Arca insists his players must approach the game in the same manner as they have every other challenge so far.

He said: "We all know that this is a big match, but we expect the players to show equal intensity in every game. That’s our philosophy.

“We need to show good organization, discipline and be patient sometimes, because we don’t necessarily need to score within the first 10 to 20 minutes.

“Our approach to this game will be consistent with our approach to every other match. We have to show the same professionalism, attitude and belief in what we are doing.”

Shields have a home double-header this week, with Buxton to visit 1st Cloud Arena on Tuesday.

Arca added: “The league table is starting to take shape and some gaps are emerging.

“Our aim is to be up there at the end of the season, in the top three or four, so it’s important we close Tamworth’s lead at the top.

“That is the mentality we have and it’s easy to say that, but the lads have to work hard in every single game to make sure we collect the points to do that.”

Team news

Shields are set to remain without Joao Gomes (knee), who is expected to be out for at least another four weeks.

John Lufudu is suspended for this match, having collected five yellow cards in the league so far this season.

Luke James is also unavailable with a knee injury, but the Mariners are hopeful Robert Briggs and Paul Blackett will return from their respective injuries to play a part on Saturday.

Information for supporters

Kick-off at 1st Cloud Arena is at 3pm and the turnstiles will open at 12.30pm.

Tickets are available to purchase until 12pm on Saturday by clicking here, with online tickets priced at £14 for adults, £9 for students and over-65s, £5 for children aged 13 to 16 and £3 for children aged 12 and under. There is an additional £2 charge to sit.

Tickets are available to purchase at the turnstiles on matchday, when standing prices will increase to £15 for adults and £10 for students and over-65s. Cash and card will be accepted.

There is no segregation in place for this fixture.

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