Sky Bet Championship briefing

  • Last Updated: September 13 2013, 19:17 BST

Team news, statistics and our verdict for this weekend's action in the Sky Bet Championship.

Wayne Bridge: Late decision to be made over full-back's fitness
Wayne Bridge: Late decision to be made over full-back's fitness

Saturday, September 14

Bolton Leeds

Sky Bet Championship basement dwellers Bolton are hoping their internationals can shake off jet lag for Leeds' visit.

South Korea's Lee Chung-yong, Jamaica's Jermaine Beckford, Sierra Leone's Medo Kamara and Hungary's Adam Bogdan will all be checked over after the international break.

Chris Eagles, who has not started since the opening game of the season due to an ankle injury, has been declared fully fit while defensive duo Marc Tierney (groin) and Tim Ream (hamstring) have been in training to give boss Dougie Freedman plenty of options.

Freedman does, however, remain without Joe Riley, Mark Davies and Stuart Holden - the trio all long-term knee-injury victims.

Leeds manager Brian McDermott has a full-strength squad to choose from.

Teenage defender Sam Byram (hip) is edging closer to his first senior appearance since April having played 90 minutes in a midweek friendly, but is unlikely to feature.

McDermott must decide whether to retain recent signing Scott Wootton alongside Jason Pearce in central defence or recall Tom Lees, while left-back Aidy White is hoping to return to the squad and El-Hadji Diouf is pushing for his first start of the season.

Last season: Leeds 1 Bolton 0, Bolton 2 Leeds 2

Last five league matches: Bolton D D L L L; Leeds W D D W L

Top scorers (all competitions): Sanmi Odelusi & Darren Pratley (Bolton) 2; Ross McCormack (Leeds) 4

Referee: Andy D'Urso (Essex)

Our verdict: Bolton 1 Leeds 1

Bournemouth v Blackpool

Bournemouth's new signing Tokelo Rantie has been granted a UK visa but the Cherries are unsure whether the South African will make his bow against Blackpool.

Manager Eddie Howe confirmed his record signing had gained the necessary paperwork but he is yet to arrive in the country after international duty and his new manager will leave it late before making the call.

Winger Matt Ritchie is "not too far away" according to Howe, having been missing since pre-season, but the former Burnley boss has been keeping his cards close to his chest on his two other absentees.

Josh McQuiod and Eunan O'Kane were both sidelined before the international break and Howe confirmed he is unsure whether they will be match fit for the clash with the unbeaten Tangerines.

Top-of-the-table Blackpool could give forward Thomas Ince his first start in over a month.

Ince has been struggling with a groin injury and did not feature for the England Under-21s in either of their recent games, yet that was more as a precaution.

The Tangerines have centre-back Gary Mackenzie (hamstring) back in training while Northern Ireland international Craig Cathcart (knee) faces a late fitness test. Deadline-day recruits Bradley Orr, Nathan Tyson and Dutch winger Marvin Zeegelaar are all awaiting their debuts.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

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

Top scorers (all competitions): Lewis Grabban (Bournemouth) 4; Tom Ince (Blackpool) 2

Referee: Oliver Langford

Our verdict: Bournemouth 1 Blackpool 2

Burnley v Blackburn

New Burnley loanee Michael Kightly is in line to make his debut against derby rivals Blackburn. The Clarets swooped for the Stoke winger on transfer deadline day and he could slot straight into Sean Dyche's XI at Turf Moor for the derby contest.

Dyche only has one injury worry to contend with - midfielder Ross Wallace is out until the new year due to a knee injury as he looks to guide Burnley to their first win over Rovers in 34 years.

Striker Jordan Rhodes has been fitted with a cast on his broken hand and will be available for Blackburn. Rhodes has scored four goals in his past two games.

There is less good news elsewhere, though, with David Dunn out for the next couple of weeks due to a knee injury.

Midfielder Lee Williamson (back) and full-back Adam Henley (hamstring) will be in Gary Bowyer's squad but DJ Campbell (ankle), Paul Robinson (back), Dickson Etuhu (knee) and Ruben Rochina (shoulder) all miss out again.

Last season: Blackburn 1 Burnley 1, Burnley 1 Blackburn 1

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

Top scorers (all competitions): Danny Ings (Burnley) 5; Jordan Rhodes (Blackburn) 4

Referee: Craig Pawson (South Yorkshire)

Our verdict: Burnley 2 Blackburn 1

Huddersfield v Doncaster

Huddersfield's new loan signing Jazz Richards could make his debut for the club against derby rivals Doncaster.

The versatile Swansea defender, signed on a 93-day emergency loan deal on Wednesday, could step in as cover for the departed Jack Hunt and injured Calum Woods.

Woods and midfielder Keith Southern (calf), who has yet to appear for Huddersfield this season, appeared for the development squad in midweek and could return to contention.

There are no new problems for Doncaster boss Paul Dickov.

Harry Forrester suffered a knock in training this week and missed a development squad game as a precaution but the midfielder is now back training.

Theo Robinson, who has been away with Jamaica, will not train until Friday but he is expected to be fit having not featured for his country.

Midfielder Marc De Val Fernandez continues to recover from a torn medial ligament and centre-half Jamie McCombe is making good progress in his recovery from a back fracture.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

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

Top scorers (all competitions): James Vaughan (Huddersfield) 8; Theo Robinson (Doncaster) 2

Referee: Paul Tierney (Lancashire)

Our verdict: Huddersfield 3 Doncaster 1

Ipswich v Middlesbrough

Mick McCarthy will once again be without defender Tyrone Mings when his Ipswich side welcome Middlesbrough to Portman Road.

It was hoped the 20-year-old would recover in time to play some part on Saturday but he remains sidelined with the knee ligament injury he picked up against Reading last month.

Goalkeeper Dean Gerken made his first league start for the Tractor Boys in their last outing and he will be hoping to keep his place.

Town boss McCarthy has no fresh injury or suspension concerns and could choose to name an unchanged side.

Middlesbrough manager Tony Mowbray is expected to be without Jozsef Varga.

The 25-year-old sustained a hip injury whilst on international duty with Hungary and is rated as doubtful for the clash.

Newcomers Jacob Butterfield and Kei Kamara are in contention to make their debuts for the club. While Butterfield could be named in Mowbray's starting XI, Kamara is likely to start on the bench following his return from international duty with Sierra Leone.

Stuart Parnaby is carrying a knock and is expected to miss out but fellow defender Frazer Richardson could return.

Last season: Ipswich 4 Middlesbrough 0, Middlesbrough 2 Ipswich 0

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

Top scorers (all competitions): Paul Anderson, Christophe Berra, David McGoldrick, Tommy Smith & Jay Tabb (Ipswich) 1; Lukas Jutkiewicz & Kei Kamara (Middlesbrough) 2

Referee: James Linington (Isle of Wight)

Our verdict: Ipswich 2 Middlesbrough 1

Leicester v Wigan

Leicester will be without suspended midfielder Matty James as he serves a one-match ban against Wigan after being sent off for two yellow card offences during defeat at Charlton prior to the international break.

The only other absentee is expected to be Sean St Ledger as he continues to make progress in his recovery from a knee injury.

Andy King (Wales), Kasper Schmeichel (Denmark) and Chris Wood (New Zealand) have returned from international duty unscathed but captain Wes Morgan only got back from winning his first cap for Jamaica on Thursday, so manager Nigel Pearson will have to decide if it is too late for him to be involved on Saturday.

Midfielder Dean Hammond will hope to make his Leicester debut after joining the club from Southampton at the end of August.

Winger Callum McManaman is back from suspension for Wigan.

The 22-year-old has missed the past three Latics games since being sent off moments after coming on as a substitute against Bournemouth last month. However, boss Owen Coyle is once more likely to be without striker Grant Holt, who has suffered a setback on his return from a knee injury.

Centre-backs Ivan Ramis (knee) and Gary Caldwell (hip) are not expected to be back in first-team action until the end of October.

Loanees Nick Powell and Ryan Shotton are in line to make their debuts with the former likely to slot into central midfield following James McCarthy's move to Everton.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Leicester W D W W L; Wigan W L D D W

Top scorers (all competitions): Chris Wood (Leicester) 3; Shaun Maloney (Wigan) 3

Referee: David Webb (County Durham)

Our verdict: Leicester 2 Wigan 2

Millwall v Derby

Martyn Waghorn is in line for an immediate Millwall debut against Derby.

Boss Steve Lomas has brought in the Leicester striker on loan due to an injury crisis in attack.

Youngster John Marquis is the Lions' only other fit forward as Steve Morison is recovering from a hernia operation and Jermaine Easter (hamstring), Andy Keogh (groin) and Scott McDonald (knee) are all carrying injuries.

Lomas is also without suspended full-back Alan Dunne but midfielder Liam Trotter could start his first game of the season after a knee operation.

Derby will assess Jamie Ward before they travel.

The hamstring trouble that hampered Ward's campaign last season remains an issue for the Rams, who try to manage the diminutive forward's workload accordingly. He played the whole 90 minutes as Northern Ireland suffered an embarrassing World Cup qualifying defeat in Luxembourg on Tuesday night and is not due to report back for training until Friday.

Midfielder Jeff Hendrick (ankle) has joined centre-halves Shaun Barker and Mark O'Brien (both knee) on the injured list.

Last season: Derby 1 Millwall 0, Millwall 2 Derby 1

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

Top scorers (all competitions): Andy Keogh & Martyn Woolford (Millwall) 2; Chris Martin (Derby) 5

Referee: Keith Stroud (Hampshire)

Our verdict: Millwall 1 Derby 3

Nottingham Forest v Barnsley

Simon Cox (ankle) could return to the Nottingham Forest starting line-up against Barnsley at the City Ground.

Boss Billy Davies, who will be absent from the touchline as he serves a one-match ban following a FA charge of improper conduct in relation to his side's defeat at Wigan, will need to decide on a replacement for Adlene Guedioura after he left to join Crystal Palace last month.

Simon Gillett, Guy Moussi, Chris Cohen, Greg Halford and Gonzalo Jara Reyes are all possible candidates to fill the void left by Guedioura's departure.

Barnsley's latest signing Peter Ramage is expected to make his debut. The former Newcastle and QPR defender joined on a season-long loan deal from Crystal Palace on transfer deadline day.

But the Tykes will be without striker Marcus Pedersen, who gashed his foot while playing for Norway in midweek, so Chris Dagnall is expected to return to the starting line-up alongside Craig Davies.

Martin Cranie (knee) could return to contention after being sidelined since early August, but fellow defender Lewin Nyatanga is not fully match fit following a hamstring injury. Goalkeeper Luke Steele is pushing for a recall.

Last season: Nottm Forest 0 Barnsley 0, Barnsley 1 Nottm Forest 4

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

Top scorers (all competitions): Andy Reid (Nottm Forest) 3; Chris O'Grady (Barnsley) 3

Referee: Iain Williamson (Berkshire)

Our verdict: Nottingham Forest 1 Barnsley 0

QPR v Birmingham

Tom Carroll and Matt Phillips will be in the QPR squad to face Birmingham, but boss Harry Redknapp says his other two deadline day signings, Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Niko Kranjcar (groin) are not fit enough.

Striker Andrew Johnson will also miss out against his old club due to a knee problem.

Hayden Mullins misses out for Birmingham although the treatment room is clearing for manager Lee Clark.

Versatile midfielder Mullins picked up a calf problem earlier this week in a behind-closed-doors clash against Manchester United.

Clark has, however, been boosted by the return to full training of Nikola Zigic, David Murphy, Akwasi Asante and Koby Arthur, although none of the quartet are in contention to feature at Loftus Road.

Right-back Neal Eardley has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee injury, but deadline-day signing Paul Caddis goes into contention for his second debut for Blues.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

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

Top scorers (all competitions): Andrew Johnson (QPR) 2; Scott Allan, Kyle Bartley & Christopher Burke (Birmingham) 2

Referee: Mike Jones (Cheshire)

Our verdict: QPR 3 Birmingham 0

Sheffield Wednesday v Yeovil

Sheffield Wednesday will be without captain Anthony Gardner for the clash with Yeovil.

The former Tottenham defender is expected to be missing for five months after snapping his Achilles tendon in the 1-1 draw with Middlesbrough, with the Owls hoping to sign Roger Johnson from Wolves to fill the void.

Right-back Lewis Buxton could return to the side after recovering from the hamstring strain that kept him out at Boro, and on-loan West Ham defender Jordan Spence will be in contention after making his debut at the Riverside.

Midfielder Kieran Lee (hip) and defender Joe Mattock (knee) are not ready to make their comebacks at this stage.

Yeovil remain without Paddy Madden despite the striker stepping up his comeback.

The Republic of Ireland international is now running in training but he seems unlikely to return for another two weeks.

Marek Stech remains sidelined with a broken finger and is unlikely to return ahead of schedule and loanee Alan Tate returned to Swansea for treatment on a hamstring injury.

Bristol City loanee Liam Fontaine, back with the club for a second spell, started in the midweek 5-0 friendly win over Bournemouth and looks set to be involved at Hillsborough.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

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

Top scorers (all competitions): Michail Antonio, Jeremy Helan, Reda Johnson, Rhys McCabe, Atdhe Nuhiu, David Prutton & Kamil Zayatte (Sheff Wed) 1; Edward Upson (Yeovil) 2

Referee: Geoff Eltringham (Tyne & Wear)

Our verdict: Sheffield Wednesday 1 Yeovil 2

Watford v Charlton

Almen Abdi has been passed fit for Watford as they prepare to entertain Charlton.

The talismanic midfielder was struggling with a slight foot injury in midweek but has recovered sufficiently to take his place against the Addicks.

Each member of the Hornets' international contingent, including Scotland debutant Ikechi Anya, have returned to Vicarage Road unscathed and are in contention.

However, defensive duo Nyron Nosworthy (Achilles) and Tommie Hoban (ankle), who are both yet to feature this season, remain absent for Gianfranco Zola's side.

Charlton can add Cameron Stewart, Ben Alnwick and fit-again Chris Solly to their squad.

Winger Stewart joined the Addicks on transfer deadline day on loan from Hull and goalkeeper Alnwick was snapped up on a free to provide competition for number one Ben Hamer.

Right-back Solly has missed the past two matches with a knee injury but is now available.

Solly could come in for Lawrie Wilson but otherwise boss Chris Powell is unlikely to make too many changes to the side which beat Leicester 2-1 at The Valley on their last outing before the international break.

Last season: Watford 3 Charlton 4, Charlton 1 Watford 2

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

Top scorers (all competitions): Troy Deeney (Watford) 5; Simon Church (Charlton) 3

Referee: Andy Woolmer (Northamptonshire)

Our verdict: Watford 4 Charlton 2

Sunday, September 15

Reading v Brighton

Reading boss Nigel Adkins will decide on whether to risk Wayne Bridge (knee) for the visit of brighton on Sunday.

Bridge returned to training in midweek but with three games in a week Adkins hinted the full-back could be held back.

Midfielder as Mikele Leigertwood also returned to light work during the week but is not available while striker Jason Roberts remains a long-term absentee.

Brighton could welcome back Bruno (hamstring) and Ashley Barnes (hip) as they lok to clear their early-season injury problems.

Albion boss Oscar Garcia has responded by agreeing a loan move for Cardiff's Craig Conway on Friday and the Scotland international could go straight into the squad.

Winger Andrea Orlandi (knee) Liam Bridcutt (hernia), Craig Mackail-Smith (Achilles) and Will Hoskins (knee) are all sidelined.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

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

Top scorers (all competitions): Adam Le Fondre (Reading) 3; Jose Ulloa (Brighton) 4

Referee: Graham Scott (Oxfordshire)

Our verdict: Reading 1 Brighton 2