The Arena season starts here for Sheffield Steelers and Belfast Giants

Belfast are visitors on Saturday and Sunday
Belfast are visitors on Saturday and Sunday
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Sheffield and Belfast have a history of success, a history of winning league titles – finish your season one point above one of these two teams and you could well find yourselves with a championship trophy.

That’s why the eight-game Sheffield v Belfast series will be 'Titanic' and it all starts this weekend with two home games at the Sheffield Arena.

So what's to look out for?

1; The return of former Steelers hero Mike Forney – the man whose goals helped the Steelers win the EIHL championship last season. It will be interesting to see him go head to head against Mathieu Roy and ColtonFretter, rather than alongside them. Who will come out on top of the points board over the two games?

2: The reality is that it will be this weekend that Steelers and other hockey fans see the first proper series of games this season. The Steelers V Giants double header will tell us all where both Sheffield and Belfast are ahead of their assault on the Elite League Championship. Other sides like Nottingham, Braehead and Cardiff will anxiously watch the outcome hoping for a split on the results. They won't want one team taking all four and gaining momentum.

3: The Battle of the Goalies – the Steelers new net minding sensation Tyler Plante, the league's new hot shot against the Giants' Stephen Murphy, the best British goalie our country has ever produced, other than Andy Havenhand. To win the league championship your goalie has to be both hot and consistent, will it be Plante or Murphy that backstops their team to success this Saturday and Sunday?

4: Swing Low Sweet Chariot – the best of the Brits are on show when the Steelers and Giants go head to head. Steelers hit you with GB Internationals, The Goldern Child Robert Dowd, The brilliant Ben O'Connor, GB Captain Jonathan Phillips, the BullDog Hewitt and young Luke Ferrara – the Giants hit back with the old fox Colin Shields, goal scoring machine Craig Peacock, the brick wall that is Stephen Murphey, the ever reliable Mark Garside and some other ginger haired chap ….. Boxill that’s it, Jonathan Boxill. The Steelers Giants series is one when Her Majesties Warriors come to play.

5: Mike Duco v Adam Keefe – should be good, this one. Keefe is perhaps one of the toughest troops in the game, an ultimate leader respected throughout the league and a reason the Giants will always be contenders. Duco is new to the league but comes with the same background and reputation. A man you want alongside you in the trenches. A leader, an assault weapon and a man who is supposed to be built for one on one battles. These two won't give an inch.