NBL Division One Preview - Week 17 (25/26 January 2020)

With D1M teams closing in on single digit games between now and the end of the season, time is running out for making a move. Seven games span week 17, with Liverpool, Barking, Derby and Bradford all in double-header action.

Game of the week

Barking Abbey (3-10) v Liverpool (2-14)

A hugely important contest at the foot of the D1M standings, Liverpool head to East London tomorrow knowing that a loss will leave them even further adrift in the race for survival.

With a point deduction for a forfeit fixture before the mid-season break, Liverpool's two points put them level with Essex for 13th and 14th place. With 12th place Westminster and 11th place Barking both four points ahead, Liverpool can't afford to fall further behind with the number of regular season games fast diminishing.

One of Liverpool's only wins this season came against Barking, an 84-79 win in the North West back in October. The win came courtesy of 25 points from David Ulph and 17 from Jack Hudson, neither of which are still with the club. That's sure to present an opportunity to a BA side that has won two of their last three games.

Elsewhere in D1M

In another important relegation fixture, Essex & Herts Leopards (1-15) welcome Westminster (3-13) tomorrow in a similar scenario. A win for Essex would keep them in touch with the teams above them, including the Warriors, but a loss could create a gap too big to overcome.

Further up the standings, Loughborough Riders (9-5) will aim to cement their playoff spot with a win over 8th place Bradford Dragons (7-7), whilst 2nd place Hemel Storm (13-3) can close the gap on leaders Solent if they can beat Derby Trailblazers (9-6).

Moving into Sunday, both Liverpool and Barking will have an opportunity for further points in their quest for D1M safety. Neither fixture is straight forward though, with Liverpool travelling to Reading Rockets (11-5) and Barking hosting Derby.

After the BBL Trophy quarter-final between Worthing and Solent on Saturday night, the Thunder (11-4) hit the road and head to Bradford to close their weekend in what is sure to be a tough contest. Both teams will be playing their 2nd game in two days, with the DragonsĀ  hoping home court advantage will be enough to swing this one in their favour.

Full fixtures and stats

Saturday 25 January

2:00pm - Loughborough Riders v Bradford Dragons - LIVE STATS
4:00pm - Barking Abbey v Liverpool - LIVE STATS
5:45pm - Essex & Herts Leopards v Westminster Warriors - LIVE STATS
7:00pm - Hemel Storm v Derby Trailblazers - LIVE STATS

Sunday 26 January

3:30pm - Reading Rockets v Liverpool - LIVE STATS
4:00pm - Barking Abbey v Derby Trailblazers - LIVE STATS
4:15pm - Bradford Dragons v Worthing Thunder - LIVE STATS