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Manchester Thunder team huddle before the game

Thunder looking to build

The first game of Vitality Netball Superleague action starts at 5pm at the Manchester Thunderdome.

2014 champions Manchester Thunder will be hosting Celtic Dragons. Thunder will be looking to build on their first round win against Northumbria and Dragons will be hoping to bounce back from their Super Saturday loss at the hands of Mavericks.

Thunder have taken a look ahead to their fixture against the Welsh outfit below:

Manchester Thunder will be looking to build on their opening win of the season in Birmingham when they take on Celtic Dragons at the Thunderdome on Saturday.

The Black and Yellows ran out relatively comfortable winners over Team Northumbria in the inaugural Superleague Super Saturday event, and will hope to put on a solid performance in front of their home fans in round two.

However they will be without experienced keeper Kerry Almond, who missed the opening 59-43 victory, as she is currently on the sidelines through injury.

Fortunately Jamaican import Malysha Kelly was a more than a capable stand-in for Almond, impressing on her debut for Thunder.

Fellow new signings – New Zealand international Liana Leota, who won player of the match against Northumbria on debut – and England star Natalie Haythornthwaite, are also set to make their home Superleague bow in front of the notoriously loud Thunder fans.

Coach Dan Ryan said: “We’re looking forward to our first home game after a great start last week.

“Malysha and Liana had great débuts for us. Liana put in some beautiful balls to the shooters against Northumbria and I hope that continues throughout the season.

“Malysha was outstanding and very consistent – she will do quite a serviceable job back there at keeper for us in the Superleague.

“I’m hoping to get the whole squad out there on Saturday, including Amy Clinton. Her time will come.”

Celtic Dragons head to Manchester on the back of a heavy loss to Hertfordshire Mavericks in their opening fixture at the Genting Arena.

The Cardiff-based outfit started poorly but improved significantly in the middle quarters of the game. But they were unable to get back in touch with Mavericks, who took the win 39-60.

Thunder will be confident of a victory at the weekend, but will be wary of a strong Dragons centre court, which includes Welsh international Kyra Jones.

Don’t forget that if you don’t have tickets for tonight’s game in Manchester, you can follow all the action live on Twitter. Follow us or the teams for updates!