Team news and statistics for the weekend's action in the npower Championship.
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(Current league positions in brackets)
Saturday, December 8
Michael Morrison is back in the Charlton squad for the visit of Brighton after serving a one-match ban, but his return to the side is not guaranteed after Dorian Dervite impressed alongside Leon Cort in the goalless draw at Millwall. Striker Ricardo Fuller missed out at The Den with a slight hamstring problem and he will be assessed, while full-backs Rhoys Wiggins (foot) and Lawrie Wilson (thigh) are set to miss out again.
Brighton are without Andrea Orlandi and Lewis Dunk for the trip to The Valley. Spanish midfielder Orlandi has been ruled out for up to six weeks after suffering a broken rib against Crystal Palace,
while Dunk is suspended after being sent off after just eight minutes of the 3-0 defeat at Selhurst Park. Full-back Marcos Painter (calf) is still out so boss Gus Poyet is hoping Wayne Bridge (calf) and Adam El-Abd (hamstring) will shake off their injuries.
Last season: No corresponding fixture
Last five league matches: Charlton W W D W D; Brighton D W D W L
Top scorers (all competitions): Johnnie Jackson (Charlton) 4; Craig Mackail-Smith (Brighton) 9
Referee: Darren Sheldrake (Surrey)
Manager Ian Holloway could name an unchanged side against his old club. Defender Darcy Blake could return to the squad after illness, but skipper Paddy McCarthy and midfielder Jonathan Williams remain on the sidelines with groin injuries. Centre-half Danny Gabbidon has been on the bench for the last three matches but has yet to make his Eagles debut.
Blackpool manager Michael Appleton faces a selection headache in attack. Veteran striker Kevin Phillips was among the substitutes at Peterborough last weekend and his replacement, Wes Thomas, marked a first start since joining on loan from Bournemouth with the opening goal. Fellow forward Gary Taylor-Fletcher is stepping up his recovery from a hamstring injury, but this weekend may come too soon. Winger Matt Phillips (toe) and defender Ian Evatt (knee) remain sidelined.
Last season: Blackpool 2 Crystal Palace 1, Crystal Palace 1 Blackpool 1
Last five league matches: Crystal Palace W W L D W; Blackpool D D D D W
Top scorers (all competitions): Glenn Murray (Crystal Palace) 17; Thomas Ince (Blackpool) 13
Referee: Keith Stroud (Hampshire)
Derby will give Gareth Roberts and Craig Bryson as much time as possible to prove their fitness.
Left-back Roberts (calf) and midfielder Bryson (knee) both missed the 4-1 defeat at Leicester last weekend with injuries sustained during the 1-1 home draw with Cardiff. Jamie Ward has missed the last dozen games with a troublesome hamstring injury and will miss out again.
Leeds striker El-Hadji Diouf could return after missing last week's derby win at Huddersfield due to a slight groin strain, but Ross McCormack made his first start since returning from a long-term ankle injury to partner Luciano Becchio and manager Neil Warnock may be tempted to stick with a winning formula. Luke Varney will return from his three-match ban.
Last season: Leeds 0 Derby 2, Derby 1 Leeds 0
Last five league matches: Derby L L W D L; Leeds L L W W W
Top scorers (all competitions): Theo Robinson (Derby) 9; Luciano Becchio (Leeds) 13
Referee: Scott Mathieson (Cheshire)
Huddersfield striker James Vaughan is hoping to return to the starting XI after coming on as a substitute in last week's derby defeat to Leeds. But Jermaine Beckford remains doubtful due to the hamstring problem that has kept him sidelined since the win at Barnsley early last month. Sean Scannell (hamstring) is pushing for a recall after missing the last four games, while fellow striker Lee Novak and midfielder Oliver Norwood are hoping to feature after they were unused substitutes last week.
Bolton defender Stephen Warnock (toe) is an injury doubt and if he does not recover in time Marcos Alonso is poised to keep his place. Jacob Butterfield and Lee Chung-Yong were on the bench against Ipswich and are pushing for a start, while Martin Petrov adds another attacking midfield option having overcome a hamstring strain. Stuart Holden has returned to training but remains a couple of months away from first-team action, while fellow knee-injury victims David Wheater and Josh Vela are still sidelined.
Last season: No corresponding fixture
Last five league matches: Huddersfield W L D L L; Bolton D D D W L
Top scorers (all competitions): Chris Atkinson (Huddersfield) 6; Kevin Davies & Chris Eagles (Bolton) 6
Referee: Eddie Ilderton (Tyne & Wear)
Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy is again likely to be without the services of Nigel Reo-Coker (hamstring), who has not featured since the draw with Peterborough last month. Fellow midfielder Luke Hyam missed last weekend's win at Bolton with a calf injury but could come back into contention. Striker Michael Chopra, who scored a last-gasp winner at the Reebok after coming off the bench, could be in line for a starting role. Paul Taylor (foot) remains out.
Millwall boss Kenny Jackett hopes to welcome Darius Henderson, Liam Trotter and James Henry back from spells on the sidelines. Henderson has been out for a month with a hamstring injury but has trained this week. Former Ipswich midfielder Trotter has missed the last three matches with a thigh problem and winger Henry sat out last weekend's goalless draw against Charlton due to a calf strain. Captain Paul Robinson is still out with a pelvic problem and striker John Marquis is recovering from a groin operation.
Last season: Ipswich 0 Millwall 3, Millwall 4 Ipswich 1
Last five league matches: Ipswich W L D W W; Millwall W W W W D
Top scorers (all competitions): DJ Campbell (Ipswich) 6; Chris Wood (Millwall) 9
Referee: Carl Boyeson
Jesse Lingard will be added to the Leicester squad for Barnsley's visit to the King Power Stadium. Lingard played for Manchester United's Under-21 team this week following the end of his initial loan spell, but has returned until the new year. David Nugent could be pushing for a start after scoring twice as a substitute against Derby last week. Centre-half Sean St Ledger remains the only absentee with the hamstring problem that has now kept him on the sidelines for two months.
Barnsley could be without influential midfielder Jacob Mellis after he sustained a dead leg in last week's heavy defeat at Watford and is rated as very doubtful. Teenager Reuben Noble-Lazarus, Stephen Dawson, Tomasz Cywka and Jim O'Brien will all be hoping to return to the starting line-up in Mellis' absence. Another midfielder, David Perkins, remains sidelined with a hamstring problem.
Last season: Leicester 1 Barnsley 2, Barnsley 1 Leicester 1
Last five league matches: Leicester D W W L W; Barnsley L D L D L
Top scorers (all competitions): David Nugent (Leicester) 11; Craig Davies (Barnsley) 9
Referee: James Adcock (Nottinghamshire)
Daniel Ayala is ready to return to the Nottingham Forest squad after missing the 2-1 home defeat to Hull last weekend due to illness. Sean O'Driscoll's side came through that game without any new injury problems. Defender Greg Halford (calf), midfielders Radoslaw Majewski (ankle) and Jermaine Jenas (calf) and striker Simon Cox (foot) will remain on the sidelines.
Burnley will be without defender Ben Mee after he sustained medial knee ligament damage against Blackburn and is now facing several weeks on the sidelines. Danny Lafferty and Joseph Mills will contest the vacancy in Sean Dyche's starting XI, with Lafferty favourite to get the nod. Elsewhere Dyche has no other injury or suspension worries.
Last season: Nottingham Forest 0 Burnley 2, Burnley 5 Nottingham Forest 1
Last five league matches: Nottingham Forest D W W L L; Burnley L L W D D
Top scorers (all competitions): Billy Sharp (Nottingham Forest) 6; Charlie Austin (Burnley) 21
Referee: Mark Heywood (Cheshire)
Michael Bostwick comes back into the reckoning for Peterborough. The midfielder had been used as a central defender in the two games prior to his one-match ban, but with Gaby Zakuani primed for a recall, it remains to be seen whether manager Darren Ferguson will continue down that road. With Tyrone Barnett and Emile Sinclair on the transfer list and currently out on loan at Ipswich and Barnsley respectively, Saido Berahino's return to West Brom with a knee injury leaves Ferguson short of striking options.
Full-back George Friend has a 50-50 chance of returning to the Middlesbrough squad after missing the last three games with a hamstring tear. Central defender Jonathan Woodgate will be assessed as he continues his recovery from a calf problem, as will midfielder Faris Haroun, who has a similar injury. Midfielder Julio Arca is making good progress after toe surgery, but his return is not expected until the new year.
Last season: Middlesbrough 1 Peterborough 1, Peterborough 1 Middlesbrough 1
Last five league matches: Peterborough L L D L L; Middlesbrough W L L W L
Top scorers (all competitions): Dwight Gayle (Peterborough) 8; Scott McDonald (Middlesbrough) 8
Referee: Carl Berry (Surrey)
Striker Jay Bothroyd (ankle) is expected to miss out, while Mamady Sidibe, who partnered Chris O'Grady up front at Cardiff, is also doubtful due to a hamstring strain. Defender Anthony Gardner is struggling with a similar problem and both players will undergo late fitness tests. Midfielder Danny Mayor is hoping to retain his place in the starting XI after making his full debut at Cardiff, while David Prutton is expected to continue alongside him.
Bristol City will be without Martyn Woolford after the winger developed shingles. Manager Derek McInnes was already without a number of first-team players, including the likes of Lewin Nyatanga and Jon Stead, while Stephen McManus, Greg Cunningham, Cole Skuse and Jody Morris have returned to training but the trip to Hillsborough comes too soon for them.
Last season: No corresponding fixture
Last five league matches: Sheff Wed L L L L L; Bristol City L D W L L
Top scorers (all competitions): Michail Antonio & Chris O'Grady (Sheff Wed) 5; Steven Davies (Bristol City) 8
Referee: Andre Marriner
Almen Abdi is in contention to return following a shoulder injury after playing in a friendly victory over Gillingham on Tuesday. Defender Lloyd Doyley has been sidelined with a calf injury for the last three matches and also stands an outside chance of being in the matchday squad. Midfielders Ikechi Anya (hamstring) and John Eustace (back), defender Nyron Nosworthy and goalkeeper Jonathan Bond (groin) are not quite ready to return.
Hull manager Steve Bruce will make a late decision on whether to include Sone Aluko in his squad as the winger is still struggling with the knee problem that kept him out of last week's win at Nottingham Forest. Bruce has no new injury or suspension problems, but long-term casualties Jack Hobbs and Tom Cairney (both knee) are not expected to be included.
Last season: Watford 1 Hull 1, Hull 3 Watford 2
Last five league matches: Watford W W D W W; Hull L W L D W
Top scorers (all competitions) Troy Deeney & Matej Vydra (Watford) 8; Sone Aluko (Hull) 8
Referee: Mark Haywood
Tongo Doumbia makes a timely return to boost Wolves ahead of their derby clash against midlands rivals Birmingham. The midfielder has been rested for the club's last two games having struggled with fatigue but is expected to replace Dave Edwards, who is out for between six to eight weeks with a hamstring tear. Jamie O'Hara is back in full training after three hernia operations which have kept him out of action since March, although he is not yet ready for first-team football.
Midfielder Ravel Morrison is expected to be fit after being forced off at half-time in last Friday's 3-2 win over Middlesbrough nursing a dead leg. But he faces a battle for his position with replacement Wade Elliott coming on to score the second goal in Blues' victory, while Papa Bouba Diop was again on form for the club's Under-21 side in midweek. Full-backs David Murphy and Stephen Carr (both knee) are long-term absentees while striker Akwasi Asante (hamstring) remains sidelined.
Last season: No corresponding fixture
Last five league matches: Wolverhampton D L L L W; Birmingham D L L D W
Top scorers (all competitions): Sylvan Ebanks-Blake & Bakary Sako (Wolverhampton) 7; Marlon King (Birmingham) 13
Match odds: H 23-20 A 21-10 D 12-5
Referee: Anthony Taylor (Cheshire)