LEADERS Clydesdale will today attempt to overcome the absence of two star performers and keep their Western Union title bid firmly on course with victory over Drumpellier.

The Titwood side travel to Coatbridge without Scotland duo Richie Berrington and Con de Lange but will surely take heart from the fact that the same pair missed last week's win over Ferguslie.

Indeed, it could be said that they are without a third key player since ambitious plans to bring in Taufeeq Umar fell through this week when the former Pakistan Test cricketer sustained a dislocated shoulder. Dale's manager Colin Mitchell, though, is content to back the players at his disposal.

"It would have been nice to have a player of Umar's pedigree but that's not to be. We're not overly concerned about it because I think the guys will take real confidence from the win against Ferguslie.

"They gave us a real stiff test and to have come through it showed a lot of character."

Clydesdale will not treat today's task lightly especially since Drumpellier are still involved in the fight to remain in the top flight and have players who are capable of troubling any opposition. One of them, Sudesh Fernando, was a key figure in the WDCU Select side's T20 win over Canada earlier in the week and the Sri Lankan will be keen to add to the 279 runs and eleven wickets he has so far claimed for the Langloan side.

The visitors are boosted by the return of fit-again Mo Afzaal and Sam Page who will make his first appearance of the season after a spell in Australia. Closest challengers Kelburne are also on their travels, heading south to Nunholm where Dumfries will be out to avenge defeat on the second day of the season.

That was the match in which Kelburne announced themselves as a team worth keeping an eye on this term and they have continued to impress, losing just one of their seven completed fixtures.

Somewhat surprisingly that reverse came against Drumpellier and, while Kelburne skipper Qasim Sheikh might privately be hoping Drumps can balance the books by beating Clydesdale, he is more concerned with his own team's agenda.

He said: "We have guys contributing throughout the team and we want to keep our momentum going. Elsewhere, Gregor Preston-Jones, the Ferguslie captain, is looking for his men to lift themselves following last week's disappointing defeat at Clydesdale when Uddingston visit Meikleriggs.

The Paisley side remain on the fringes of the title race but Preston-Jones knows there can be no repeat of the collapse that saw his team lose their last eight wickets for thirty runs.

Having won their last two league games, Uddingston will be no pushovers and victory in Paisley could see the 2013 champions join Ferguslie in fourth place. West of Scotland could ease their relegation fears if they can carve out only their second win of the campaign when East Kilbride visit Hamilton Crescent.

However, EK still have one eye on the title and are determined to bounce back after their Rowan Cup final defeat against Poloc on Thursday evening. If West want to double their victory tally Renfrew would be content simply to break their duck but to do so they will have to overcome reigning champions Ayr at King George V. That will be no easy task especially since Lenert van Wyk, Ayr's South African batsman, is comfortably the Union's leading scorer, his 408 runs having come at an average of 80.