Champ Matthew back to lead Duffield
TWO days after landing a record fifth British National Championships title, Nick Matthew will look to help Benz-Bavarian Duffield celebrate the first aim in their Premier Squash League.
Victory away to Nottingham tonight can see the Derbyshire side clinch their place in the play-offs.
Even if Chapel Allerton take maximum points at home to Oxford, Duffield will be assured of a top-two place with two rounds of matches to go if they take 16 points against Nottingham.
It is possible for them to tie up the Group A title if results go right for them but that may have to wait for another day.
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But with Matthew at number one and Laura Massaro, denied her third successive National title when she lost a thrilling final to Alison Waters in Manchester, at number five, Duffield should have too much power for their East Midlands neighbours.
Matthew faces a rematch of his quarter-final in Manchester, when he comfortably beat Alan Clyne in three games.
Massaro takes on another top-ranked Scot, Lisa Aitken, a 23-year-old who has risen to 39 in the world.
Duffield also look to have the edge in the night's other three match-ups, with Joel Hinds facing Eddie Charlton at two, Andy Whipp against Declan James at three and Chris Fuller against Greg Lobban at four.
That should be enough for Duffield to make it eight wins out of eight in the group stages and a 5-0 on the night is not out of the question.
"That would be ideal but the big thing for us is to get the points to be sure of that play-off place," said manager Felix Frixou.
"After that, we want to go the whole of the season unbeaten. I'm not sure that has ever been done before."
Nottingham v Benz-Bavarian Duffield match line-ups (home player first): Alan Clyne v Nick Matthew, Eddie Charlton v Joel Hinds, Declan James v Andy Whipp, Greg Lobban v Chris Fuller, Lisa Aitken v Laura Massaro.