The Nottingham Lions begin the new year with a difficult away trip, as they prepare to take on the Billingham Stars at the TFM Radio Arena this Sunday (8th January – Face-Off 6.30pm).

The Stars start 2012 with a seven point lead over their local rivals Whitley at the top of the table, whilst the Lions sit two points clear of the drop zone and will be hoping for a little more luck and consistency which had clearly deserted them last year.

So far Nottingham have not had the best of times taking on the league leaders on home ice, losing both regular season fixtures by a 7-1 scoreline. However they will be buoyed be the fact that they have inflicted the leaders’ one and only league defeat this season - taking a superb 3-2 victory away from the Teeside back in November.

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Joe Wightman in action against the Stars

Having not had a weekend off since the season began back in September – the festive break was a welcome respite from a busy fixture schedule for the Lions. Three weeks of rest and recuperation for the players and management can only be a plus for Nottingham, as injuries and fatigue began to pile-up in the weeks heading into the break.

Lions TV caught up with Head Coach Matt Bradbury ahead of Sunday’s clash for his thoughts on the upcoming game and how the squad are limbering up for a tough post-Christmas set of fixtures – that interview can be seen here.

The Lions will be without their captain Chris Colegate who is still out injured – also missing are Max Bennett and Reece Glossop along with a number of youngsters who will be on duty with the Under 18′s.

For score updates during Sunday’s game, just head to our official Twitter page and don’t forget to follow us while you’re there too.

Friday, 06 January 2012.