Championship briefing

  • Last Updated: January 18 2013, 12:12 GMT

Team news and statistics ahead of the weekend's action in the npower Championship.

Wilfried Zaha: Fit after midweek substitution
Wilfried Zaha: Fit after midweek substitution

Saturday, January 19

Birmingham v Brighton

Birmingham hope to welcome back Callum Reilly (virus) and Hayden Mullins (calf) for the visit of Brighton. 0n-loan winger Robert Hall is definitely back in the fold having been denied permission to play in the FA Cup by parent club West Ham. Jonathan Spector continues to be ruled out with his hamstring injury and is again joined on the sidelines by Akwasi Asante, Darren Ambrose, David Murphy, Stephen Carr and Will Packwood.

Brighton's Craig Mackail-Smith (hamstring) should be fit after missing the 2-1 win over Derby, but defender Bruno (Achilles) looks set to miss out for the fourth match running, with fellow Spaniard Inigo Calderon set to deputise once again. Manager Gus Poyet has signed Argentinian striker Leonardo Ulloa from La Liga side Almeria for an undisclosed fee, but the Seagulls may not get international clearance in time for him to feature.

Last season: Brighton 1 Birmingham 1, Birmingham 0 Brighton 0

Last five league matches: Birmingham D W L L D; Brighton D D L W W

Top scorers (all competitions): Marlon King (Birmingham) 13; Craig Mackail-Smith (Brighton) 11

Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire)

Blackburn v Charlton

Mauro Formica and Grant Hanley are ready to feature when Michael Appleton takes charge of Blackburn for the first time against Charlton. Formica (knee) was substituted 10 minutes from time in last week's 1-1 draw at Wolves and centre-back Hanley followed the winger off due to a migraine, but both are fit to play. Former Manchester United youngster Josh King remains a doubt with a hamstring injury but Portugal Under-21 winger Fabio Nunes may return from a similar complaint.

Dorian Dervite returns to the Charlton squad after suspension but his route back into the first team could be blocked by Matt Taylor, who impressed on his first npower Championship start of the season against Blackpool. Fellow centre-half Leon Cort is close to fitness after a hamstring injury but is not expected to be risked.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Blackburn L L W W D; Charlton L L D W W

Top scorers (all competitions): Jordan Rhodes (Blackburn) 16; Johnnie Jackson (Charlton) 6

Referee: David Coote (Nottinghamshire)

Blackpool v Cardiff

Blackpool caretaker manager Steve Thompson has no new injury worries. Winger Matt Phillips has returned to light training following a toe injury but the match comes too soon for the Scotland international. Experienced centre-back Ian Evatt remains sidelined due to bone bruising in his knee.

Cardiff boss Malky Mackay has no fresh injury worries as his side look to build on their eight-point lead at the top of the table. Striker Nicky Maynard is the only absentee with his ruptured cruciate knee ligaments.

Last season: Cardiff 1 Blackpool 3, Blackpool 1 Cardiff 1

Last five league matches: Blackpool L D L D L; Cardiff W W W W D

Top scorers (all competitions): Thomas Ince (Blackpool) 13; Heidar Helguson (Cardiff) 8

Referee: Michael Naylor (Sheffield)

Crystal Palace v Bolton

Winger Wilfried Zaha will be fit to face Bolton after coming off at half-time with an ankle problem against Stoke in midweek. Boss Ian Holloway can add new loan signing Jacob Butterfield to his squad and welcome back Manchester City loanee Alex Nimely, who was ineligible against the Potters. Julian Speroni, Dean Moxey, Yannick Bolasie, Andre Moritz and Glenn Murray should return to the starting XI, but Kagisho Dikgacoi is on African Nations Cup duty while Danny Gabbidon (hamstring), Paddy McCarthy, Joel Ward (both groin) and Owen Garvan (knee) are out.

Bolton boss Dougie Freedman will run the rule over Keith Andrews (Achilles) and Sam Ricketts (groin) before his return to Crystal Palace. Marvin Sordell hopes to retain his starting place after a brace in the FA Cup replay win over Sunderland. New signing Craig Davies is ready for his debut and long-term injury victims Stuart Holden and Josh Vela returned to first-team action at the Stadium of Light, but Mark Davies (shoulder) and Matt Mills (thigh) remain sidelined.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Crystal Palace D L D W L; Bolton L L W L D

Top scorers (all competitions): Glenn Murray (Crystal Palace) 23; Chris Eagles & Tom Eaves (Bolton) 7

Referee: Robert Madley (West Yorkshire)

Derby v Nottingham Forest

Jamie Ward could return to Derby's starting line-up after coming on as a substitute in the defeat to Brighton last weekend. Ward replaced Will Hughes in that game, but Derby boss Nigel Clough expects the midfielder to be fit after a back injury. Clough is also tempted to bring Craig Bryson back into the team after he missed the last four matches with a knee injury.

Nottingham Forest have captain Danny Collins available after suspension and is expected to go straight back into the team and partner Elliott Ward at centre-half. Manager Alex McLeish will check on the fitness of striker Dexter Blackstock, who sat out the game with Peterborough after suffering a slight knock in training. Andy Reid and on-loan defender Daniel Ayala (both hamstring) are out, while Adlene Guedioura is away on African Nations Cup duty with Algeria.

Last season: Derby 1 Nottm Forest 0, Nottm Forest 1 Derby 2

Last five league matches: Derby L L D W L; Nottm Forest L W D L W

Top scorers (all competitions): Theo Robinson (Derby) 9; Billy Sharp (Nottm Forest) 11

Referee: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear)

Ipswich v Barnsley

Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy could keep faith with the same starting XI which held leaders Cardiff last weekend. That means home debuts for strikers David McGoldrick and Aaron Mclean, with fellow new boys Patrick Kisnorbo and Frank Nouble again on the bench.

Barnsley midfielder Jacob Mellis could return to the starting line-up after featuring as a substitute in last week's win over Leeds following a seven-game lay-off with a dead-leg. Jim O'Brien was carried off on a stretcher in that game and is definitely out, but new manager David Flitcroft

has no other new injury or suspension problems.

Last season: Ipswich 1 Barnsley 0, Barnsley 3 Ipswich 5

Last five league matches: Ipswich D W W L D; Barnsley W L L L W

Top scorers (all competitions): David McGoldrick (Ipswich) 18; Craig Davies (Barnsley) 9

Referee: Nigel Miller (Durham)

Leeds v Bristol City

Leeds striker Luciano Becchio returns to the squad after missing the FA Cup replay win at Birmingham through illness. Manager Neil Warnock will be without Adam Drury (ankle) for several weeks, but midfield pair Michael Tonge and Ross Barkley, on loan from Everton, are in contention after being cup-tied against Birmingham. Goalkeeper Paddy Kenny and central defender Alan Tate were rested in midweek and are likely to return to the starting line-up, while the likes of Jason Pearce, Aidy White and David Norris are also pushing for recalls.

Bristol City's new manager Sean O'Driscoll is without star man Albert Adomah who is on African Nations Cup duty. Midfielder Marvin Elliott (groin) is doubtful and defender Joe Edwards completed a permanent move to Yeovil this week, while Stephen McManus returned to parent club Middlesbrough.

Last season: Bristol City 0 Leeds 3, Leeds 2 Bristol City 1

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

Top scorers (all competitions): Luciano Becchio (Leeds) 18; Sam Baldock (Bristol City) 9

Referee: Darren Sheldrake (Surrey)

Millwall v Burnley

Millwall are set to add Nathan Tyson to their squad after he joined on loan from Derby for the rest of the season. Scott Malone (back) and Liam Feeney (hamstring) are out, while defender Shane Lowry is suspended. Skipper Paul Robinson is also unavailable, but is now back in training after missing the majority of the season with a pelvic injury.

Burnley will again be without top scorer Charlie Austin (hamstring) for the trip to Millwall. Defender Ben Mee (knee) also remains absent, but forward Martin Paterson and midfielder Chris McCann return from hamstring complaints of their own. Danny Lafferty has deputised in Mee's absence at left-back while fellow defender Kevin Long may miss out after hurting his ankle in a gym session this week, but midfielder Brian Stock is back from suspension.

Last season: Burnley 1 Millwall 3, Millwall 0 Burnley 1

Last five league matches: Millwall D L L W D; Burnley D W L W W

Top scorers (all competitions): Darius Henderson (Millwall) 7; Charlie Austin (Burnley) 23

Referee: Stuart Attwell (Warwickshire)

Peterborough v Hull

Peterborough have an unchanged squad for the visit of Hull. On-loan Manchester United duo Scott Wootton and Davide Petrucci could make their home debuts having gone straight into the starting line-up against Nottingham Forest last weekend. Forward Lee Tomlin will complete a three-match suspension while centre-half Gaby Zakuani is still away with DR Congo at the African Nations Cup.

Hull will be without Sone Aluko and Ahmed Elmohamady at Peterborough. Aluko has a slight tear in his Achilles and could be sidelined for up to eight weeks, while Elmohamady has been recalled from his season-long loan by Sunderland. Nick Proschwitz and Jay Simpson were partnered together up front in the midweek FA Cup replay win at Leyton Orient and could continue, while Liam Rosenior is likely to continue in place of Elmohamady.

Last season: Hull 1 Peterborough 0, Peterborough 0 Hull 1

Last five league matches: Peterborough W W L W L; Hull W D W D L

Top scorers (all competitions): Dwight Gayle (Peterborough) 14; Sone Aluko (Hull) 8

Referee: Tony Bates (Staffordshire)

Sheff Wed v Wolves

Owls midfielders Jeremy Helan and David Prutton will both return to contention for the home clash with Wolves. Helan, on loan from Manchester City, was ineligible for the midweek FA Cup replay defeat at MK Dons, while Prutton sat out the second game of his two-match ban. Manager Dave Jones has concerns over the fitness of Jermaine Johnson (back) and midfielder Rhys McCabe (illness).

Dave Edwards, Tongo Doumbia and Bjorn Sigurdarson have trained ahead of the trip to Hillsborough, but it remains to be seen whether they are fit enough for consideration. Edwards (hamstring) has not played for seven weeks, while Doumbia has missed the last three matches due to a similar complaint and Sigurdarson has been sidelined with a thigh problem. Long-term absentee Stephen Hunt is not far off as he completes his lengthy recovery from a hip injury, but Razak Boukari, Steven Mouyokolo, Wayne Hennessey and George Elokobi remain sidelined.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Sheff Wed W W D L W; Wolverhampton W L L L D

Top scorers (all competitions): Chris O'Grady & Michail Antonio (Sheff Wed) 6; Jake Cassidy (Wolverhampton) 11

Referee: Andrew Madley (West Yorkshire)

Watford v Huddersfield

Jonathan Hogg and Fitz Hall (both hamstring) are unlikely to return in time to face Huddersfield. Tommie Hoban is also a doubt with an Achilles problem which ruled him of last weekend's 2-1 win at Middlesbrough. Midfielder Connor Smith is definitely ruled out with a knee complaint. Goalkeeper Manuel Almunia and midfielder Almen Abdi returned from injury to start against Middlesbrough last week and suffered no ill-effects.

Huddersfield winger Danny Ward (knee) is expected to be in contention after a five-game injury lay-off. Defender Joel Lynch is still out with a hamstring strain that has forced him to miss the last two games, while midfielder Oscar Gobern remains a long-term absentee following ankle surgery. Adam Hammill could feature in the starting XI after the on-loan Wolves winger came off the bench against Birmingham last week to score the winner.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Watford D W W L W; Huddersfield D D D L D

Top scorers (all competitions): Matej Vydra (Watford) 14; Chris Atkinson (Huddersfield) 6

Referee: Scott Duncan (Tyne & Wear)

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