Sky Bet League 1 briefing

  • Last Updated: December 13 2013, 14:23 GMT

Team news, statistics and our verdict for Saturday's action in Sky Bet League 1.

Liam McAlinden: In line for Wolves start
Liam McAlinden: In line for Wolves start

Saturday, December 14

Shrewsbury (13) v Walsall (10)

Shrewsbury defender Cameron Gayle faces a late fitness test on his ankle injury. Striker Liam McAlinden has been recalled by parent club Wolves, while winger Jon Taylor (knee) looks set to be available but midfielder Aaron Wildig (knee) remains sidelined.

Walsall will take a full-strength squad to Shropshire. Manager Dean Smith admitted a couple of unnamed players were nursing minor knocks after last weekend's defeat to Leyton Orient but have since recovered this week and all will be in contention to face Town.

Last season: Walsall 3 Shrewsbury 1, Shrewsbury 1 Walsall 0

Last five league matches: Shrewsbury W L W L W; Walsall L W D D L

Top scorers: Tom Bradshaw (Shrewsbury) 5; Craig Westcarr (Walsall) 10

Referee: David Phillips (West Sussex)

Our verdict: Shrewsbury 0 Walsall 2

Bradford (8) v Leyton Orient (1)

Bradford winger Garry Thompson is expected to be fit after having an injection in his troublesome Achilles. Andy Davies (knee) remains sidelined but fellow defender Carl McHugh could return to the bench following his recovery from an ankle injury.

Leyton Orient will be without David Mooney who begins a three-match ban. Kevin Lisbie (ankle), Nathan Clarke (groin) and Scott Cuthbert (illness) are hoping to return, while on-loan midfielders Marvin Bartley and Josh Wright are available after being denied permission to play in the cup by their parent clubs.

Last season: No Corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Bradford D D W D D; Leyton Orient W L W D D

Top scorers: Nahki Wells (Bradford) 14; David Mooney (Leyton Orient) 15

Referee: Carl Boyeson (E Yorkshire)

Our verdict: Bradford 1 Leyton Orient 2

Brentford (4) v Oldham (14)

New Brentford boss Mark Warburton has a fully-fit squad available for his first game in charge. Midfielder Jonathan Douglas and winger Kadeem Harris missed last weekend's FA Cup defeat at Carlisle to rest minor niggles but are back in contention.

Oldham winger James Dayton (ankle ligament damage) joins Charlie MacDonald (thigh), Kirk Millar (ankle and calf) and Edijs Joksts (back) on the sidelines. James Wesolowski (hamstring) is a doubt, while Cristian Montano has been suspended by the club without pay following a National Crime Agency investigation into spot-fixing.

Last season: Oldham 0 Brentford 2, Brentford 1 Oldham 0

Last five league matches: Brentford W W D W W; Oldham L D W W D

Top scorers: Clayton Donaldson (Brentford) 10; Danny Philliskirk (Oldham) 9

Referee: Carl Berry (Surrey)

Our verdict: Brentford 1 Oldham 0

Bristol City (23) v Rotherham (6)

Bristol City's new boss Steve Cotterill will be able to call on Bobby Reid (hamstring) for his first league match in charge of the Robins. Simon Gillett and Stephen McLaughlin come back into the equation after they were cup-tied for the 2-1 victory over Tamworth.

Rotherham will monitor defender Joe Skarz after he missed Tuesday's defeat to Fleetwood with a thigh problem. Mark Bradley, who went off at half-time with a groin injury, is expected to be fit along with Pablo Mills (leg), while David Worrall (groin), Rob Milsom (back) and Michael O'Connor (thigh) could be involved and Michael Tidser returns to the squad after a one-match ban.

Last season: No Corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Bristol City W D L D L; Rotherham D W D W W

Top scorers: Jay Emmanuel-Thomas (Bristol City) 15; Kieran Agard (Rotherham)

Referee: Lee Collins (Surrey)

Our verdict: Bristol City 1 Rotherham 2

Carlisle (18) v Tranmere (19)

Carlisle loanees Max Ehmer, Ben Amos and Josh Morris could all return, while Courtney Meppen-Walter will be hoping to continue in defence. Chris Chantler may also feature and on-loan Liverpool midfielder Craig Roddan could make his debut.

Tranmere forward Akpo Sodje will come into consideration despite being arrested as part of an investigation into spot-fixing, while Ash Taylor is available again after a three-match suspension. Ian Goodison, another of those questioned by the authorities, is out for four to six weeks with a groin injury but James Wallace (ankle) and Jon Otsemobor (back) should return.

Last season: Tranmere 0 Carlisle 1, Carlisle 0 Tranmere 3

Last five league matches: Carlisle D D D W L; Tranmere D D W L W

Top scorers: David Amoo (Carlisle) 7; Ryan Lowe (Tranmere) 12

Referee: Andrew Madley (West Yorkshire)

Our verdict: Carlisle 1 Tranmere 1

Colchester (16) v Notts County (24)

Colchester captain Brian Wilson serves a one-match ban, while the club's lengthy injury list also shows no sign of easing. Midfielders David Wright (back) and Marcus Bean (hamstring) miss out along with long-term absentees Freddie Sears, Gavin Massey (both hamstring), Sanchez Watt (thigh), Josh Thompson (ankle) and Drey Wright (knee).

Notts County remain without suspended striker Marcus Haber. Midfielder Joss Labadie (ankle) and defender Mustapha Dumbuya (thigh) are still not quite ready to return from injury but manager Shaun Derry has plenty of options should he wish to make any changes to his starting line-up.

Last season: Notts County 3 Colchester 1, Colchester 0 Notts County 2

Last five league matches: Colchester D L D W L; Notts County L L D L W

Top scorers: Jabo Ibehre & Freddie Sears (Colchester) 4; Callum McGregor (Notts County) 10

Referee: Simon Hooper (Wiltshire)

Our verdict: Colchester 0 Notts County 2

Coventry (11) v Crewe (22)

Coventry's Leon Clarke is back in training and set to be available having missed the last three matches with hip and thigh problems, while Callum Wilson also returns to contention having served a suspension. Chris Dagnall and Chris Maguire, who were both been denied permission to feature in last week's FA Cup by respective parent clubs Barnsley and Sheffield Wednesday, are also available leaving defender Jordan Willis (knee) as the only absentee for boss Steven Pressley.

Crewe go into their clash without their two first-choice goalkeepers after on-loan stopper Neil Etheridge returned to parent club Fulham for treatment on a thigh strain while veteran Steve Phillips (shoulder) is also out. Teenage winger Ryan Colclough (chest infection) is considered fully-fit again but striker Mathias Pogba and midfielder Ollie Turton, both back in full training, will be eased back.

Last season: Coventry 1 Crewe 2, Crewe 1 Coventry 0

Last five league matches: Coventry W D L L W; Crewe D L L L W

Top scorers: Callum Wilson (Coventry) 13; Harry Davis & Chuks Aneke (Crewe) 3

Referee: Steve Bratt (W Midlands)

Our verdict: Coventry 1 Crewe 1

Crawley (15) v Preston (3)

Crawley skipper Josh Simpson (hamstring) misses out but fellow midfielder Mike Jones returns from a groin injury. Boss John Gregory has an otherwise fully-fit squad for his first home game in charge.

Preston have Bailey Wright back from suspension but Joe Garner and loanee Paul Gallagher are still banned. Boss Simon Grayson has concerns over Lee Holmes and Iain Hume (both hamstring) and Neil Kilkenny (calf) while Jack King (foot) is unlikely to return.

Last season: Crawley Town 1 Preston 0, Preston 1 Crawley Town 2

Last five league matches: Crawley Town L D D D L; Preston D W D W W

Top scorers: Billy Clarke (Crawley Town) 5; Joe Garner (Preston) 8

Referee: Charles Breakspear (Surrey)

Our verdict: Crawley 0 Preston 1

Gillingham (17) v Peterborough (5)

Steven Gregory is available for Gillingham following his recovery from a thigh injury. Striker Craig Fagan is not yet ready to return from his hamstring problem but Charlie Lee has recovered from a similar complaint and is fit.

Peterborough will be without the suspended Danny Swanson but Gabi Zakuani (Achilles) and Joe Newell (thigh) will come back into the reckoning. Tommy Rowe (knee), Danny Kearns (hip) and defender Craig Alcock (calf) remain on the sidelines.

Last season: No Corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Gillingham W L W L L; Peterborough L L L L W

Top scorers: Danny Kedwell (Gillingham) 10; Britt Assombalonga (Peterborough) 14

Referee: Tim Robinson (West Sussex)

Our verdict: Gillingham 1 Peterborough 3

Port Vale (9) v Stevenage (21)

Port Vale manager Micky Adams is still without captain Doug Loft (calf) and goalkeeper Chris Neal (wrist). Fit-again Dan Jones and Robert Taylor were on the bench against Salisbury last week in the FA Cup, and could play some part against the Boro.

Simon Heslop and Filipe Morais are suspended for Stevenage after they received their fifth yellow cards of the season in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy against Swindon in midweek. Ben Chorley came through the full 90 minutes but a second match in four days may be too much, while Darius Charles is definitely out as he continues his recovery from ankle ligament damage.

Last season: No Corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Port Vale L W W L W; Stevenage L L W L L

Top scorers: Tom Pope (Port Vale) 9; Francois Zoko (Stevenage) 10

Referee: Geoff Eltringham (Tyne & Wear)

Our verdict: Port Vale 2 Stevenage 1

Sheffield United (20) v Swindon (7)

Sheffield United defender Tony McMahon (suspension) and on-loan Leeds winger Aidy White (ineligible) return to contention. Winger Febian Brandy is pushing for his first appearance since completing a recent four-game ban.

Swindon can call on defender Nathan Byrne after the former Crawley man completed a two-match ban while boss Mark Cooper is expected to recall Nathan Thompson and Wes Foderingham to his starting line-up. Nile Ranger looks set for a place on the bench but the injured trio of Alex Smith, Tijane Reis and Troy Archibald-Henville are not likely to return until the new year.

Last season: Sheff Utd 2 Swindon 0, Swindon 0 Sheff Utd 0

Last five league matches: Sheff Utd L L W D D; Swindon W W L D W

Top scorers: Harry Maguire (Sheff Utd) 5; Nick Ajose (Swindon) 9

Referee: Scott Duncan (Tyne & Wear)

Our verdict: Sheffield United 1 Swindon 0

Wolves (2) v MK Dons (12)

Wolves winger James Henry is back in contention after missing the last four games with a groin injury. Matt Doherty (hamstring) remains out but striker Liam McAlinden will hope to feature having this week been recalled from his loan spell at Shrewsbury.

Antony Kay (hip) will return to the MK Dons squad for the first time in two-and-a-half months. Midfielders Dale Jennings (ineligible) and Darren Potter (suspended) will also be available after their absence last weekend against Dover, but Dele Alli, Daniel Powell, Luke Chadwick (foot) and long-term absentee Dean Bowditch (hip) remain on the sidelines.

Last season: No Corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Wolverhampton D W D W L; Milton Keynes Dons L W L L L

Top scorers: Leigh Griffiths (Wolverhampton) 12; Patrick Bamford (Milton Keynes Dons) 13

Referee: Darren Sheldrake (Surrey)

Our verdict: Wolves 4 MK Dons 2

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