Sky Bet League 1 briefing

  • Last Updated: December 27 2013, 17:28 GMT

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

Steven Pressley's Coventry host Oldham on Sunday
Steven Pressley's Coventry host Oldham on Sunday

Sunday, December 29

Bradford (11) v Swindon (7)

Bradford will be boosted by the return of defender Rory McArdle from suspension. Teenager Ollie McBurnie made his first start for the club on Boxing Day and could resume in the continued absence of senior strikers James Hanson (calf) and Andy Gray (dead leg).

Swindon are set to welcome back Jay McEveley (dead leg), Dany N'Guessan and Ryan Harley (both illness). The Robins go into the clash striving for consistency having won two and lost two of their previous four league games.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Bradford D D D L L; Swindon D W L W L

Top scorers: Nahki Wells (Bradford) 15; Nick Ajose (Swindon) 10

Referee: Oliver Langford (W Midlands)

Our verdict: Bradford 2 Swindon 1

Brentford (3) v MK Dons (10)

Brentford's Will Grigg is set to miss out due to a hamstring injury and joins winger Kadeem Harris (hamstring) on the sidelines. George Saville (illness) will be checked on after he missed out against the Robins, but fellow midfielders Toumani Diagouraga and Sam Saunders, who have also been struggling with the bug, should be involved again.

MK Dons will be without the suspended Stephen Gleeson. Leading scorer Patrick Bamford and defender Shaun Williams both came off with injuries against Crawley, but boss Karl Robinson is hopeful the duo will be fit in time.

Last season: Milton Keynes Dons 2 Brentford 0, Brentford 3 Milton Keynes Dons 2

Last five league matches: Brentford W W W W W; Milton Keynes Dons L L W W W

Top scorers: Clayton Donaldson (Brentford) 11; Patrick Bamford (Milton Keynes Dons) 16

Referee: Andy D'Urso (Essex)

Our verdict: Brentford 1 MK Dons 0

Bristol City (21) v Stevenage (22)

Bobby Reid is a major doubt for City after hobbling off in the first half of the Boxing Day victory over Walsall with a calf injury. Marlon Pack is suspended but Brendan Moloney is back in contention after his one-match ban.

Stevenage boss Graham Westley is weighing up changes after his side were thumped 4-0 at Colchester on Boxing Day. Peter Hartley will return at left-back if he can shake off a knock in time.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

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

Top scorers: Jay Emmanuel-Thomas (Bristol City) 15; Francois Zoko (Stevenage) 10

Referee: Jeremy Simpson (Lancashire)

Our verdict: Bristol City 1 Stevenage 1

Carlisle (16) v Peterborough (5)

Carlisle boss Graham Kavanagh could recall Matty Robson after he was rested for the Boxing Day defeat to Preston due to long-standing back problem. Pascal Chimbonda and Danny Livesey (both calf), plus Dave Symington (thigh) all remain doubtful, while centre-half Courtney Meppen-Walter sits out the second game of a three-match ban.

Peterborough boss Darren Ferguson will make "four or five" changes following the Boxing Day defeat to Coventry. Joe Newell (illness) will be assessed.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

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

Top scorers: David Amoo (Carlisle) 8; Britt Assombalonga (Peterborough) 17

Referee: Seb Stockbridge (Tyne & Wear)

Our verdict: Carlisle 1 Peterborough 2

Colchester (13) v Crewe (24)

Colchester should be unchanged after thumping Stevenage 4-0. Fit-again striker Freddie Sears (hamstring) will hope to make the bench as he looks to get minutes under his belt, although the game comes too soon for forwards Gavin Massey and Drey Wright as they look to make their long-awaited comebacks.

Crewe defender Adam Dugdale is still out after suffering concussion in last Saturday's draw with Shrewsbury but Mathias Pogba (knee) and Ryan Colclough (stomach) are nearing full fitness.

Last season: Colchester 1 Crewe 2, Crewe 3 Colchester 2

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

Top scorers: Jabo Ibehre (Colchester) 6; Chuks Aneke (Crewe) 4

Referee: Lee Collins (Surrey)

Our verdict: Colchester 2 Crewe 1

Coventry (12) v Oldham (18)

Coventry will be without defender Jordan Clarke, who has a minor ankle problem. Sky Blues boss Steven Pressley could therefore stick with the side which beat Peterborough 4-2.

Oldham's Danny Philliskirk (knee) hopes to be fit but fellow striker Charlie MacDonald (thigh) is not expected to play any part. James Dayton (ankle), James Wesolowski (head) and Edijs Joksts (back) are still out with their respective injuries.

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

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

Top scorers: Leon Clarke (Coventry) 17; Danny Philliskirk (Oldham) 10

Referee: Dean Whitestone (Northamptonshire)

Our verdict: Coventry 1 Oldham 0

Crawley (14) v Notts County (23)

Billy Clarke is suspended for Crawley and Dannie Bulman (cheekbone) is injured. But fellow midfielders Josh Simpson (hamstring) and Nicky Adams (back) hope to be fit and Kyle McFadzean is back from a ban.

Notts County hope to have Callum Ball available after a head injury kept him out of the 2-1 defeat at Port Vale on Boxing Day. Joss Labadie is fighting to overcome an ankle injury but Gary Liddle (ankle) is a long-term absentee.

Last season: Crawley Town 0 Notts County 0, Notts County 1 Crawley Town 1

Last five league matches: Crawley Town D L D W L; Notts County L W W D L

Top scorers: Joe Walsh, Billy Clarke & Gary Alexander (Crawley Town) 5; Callum McGregor (Notts County) 11

Referee: Mark Brown (East Yorkshire)

Our verdict: Crawley 0 Notts County 0

Gillingham (15) v Walsall (8)

Gillingham winger Myles Weston (hamstring) is doubtful but Chris Whelpdale (foot) and Amine Linganzi (hamstring) could return. Leading scorer Danny Kedwell may be involved again despite needing a hernia operation.

Adam Chambers returns for Walsall after the midfielder missed the Boxing Day defeat at Bristol City due to suspension. Boss Dean Smith has no new injury worries.

Last season: No Corresponding fixture

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

Top scorers: Danny Kedwell (Gillingham) 10; Craig Westcarr (Walsall) 10

Referee: Trevor Kettle (Rutland)

Our verdict: Gillingham 0 Walsall 2

Port Vale (9) v Rotherham (6)

Chris Lines returns from suspension for Port Vale but Chris Robertson will serve a one-match ban. Captain Doug Loft completed 90 minutes on Boxing Day on his return to the side after five weeks out with a calf strain.

Rotherham will be without suspended duo Mark Bradley and Rob Milsom. Haris Vuckic and Claude Davis are doubts with knocks while Matt Tubbs will hope to have shaken off a virus.

Last season: No Corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Port Vale L W D L W; Rotherham W W W D W

Top scorers: Tom Pope (Port Vale) 10; Kieran Agard (Rotherham) 12

Referee: Rob Lewis (Shropshire)

Our verdict: Port Vale 2 Rotherham 3< /a>

Sheffield United (20) v Tranmere (19)

Sheffield United will be without on-loan Leeds midfielder Aidy White (ankle) who has returned to his parent club for treatment. Jamie Murphy is expected to return to the starting line-up.

Tranmere will welcome back defender Jim McNulty, who missed his side's last outing through suspension. James Wallace was replaced in the 72nd minute on Boxing Day after taking a knock to the head and it remains to be seen if the captain will recover in time.

Last season: Tranmere 0 Sheff Utd 1, Sheff Utd 0 Tranmere 0

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

Top scorers: Jose Baxter (Sheff Utd) 6; Ryan Lowe (Tranmere) 14

Referee: David Webb (County Durham)

Our verdict: Sheffield United 1 Tranmere 1

Shrewsbury (17) v Preston (4)

Shrewsbury boss Graham Turner is expected to make changes. Fit-again Paul Parry, Cameron Gayle, Tom Bradshaw, David McAllister, Darren Jones, and John Marsden are all in contention for starting berths but Aaron Wildig (knee) and Jermaine Grandison (match fitness) remain unavailable.

Preston will welcome back attacking duo Kevin Davies and Joe Garner from suspension. On-loan forward Paul Gallagher returned from his own ban to start at Brunton Park and will be hoping to keep his place in the starting XI.

Last season: Preston 1 Shrewsbury 2, Shrewsbury 1 Preston 0

Last five league matches: Shrewsbury LWLDL; Preston WWDLW

Top scorers: Tom Bradshaw (Shrewsbury) 5; Joe Garner (Preston) 8

Referee: Mark Haywood (W Yorkshire)

Our verdict: Shrewsbury 2 Preston 1

Wolves (2) v Leyton Orient (1)

Scott Golbourne (dead leg) is a doubt for Wolves. Head coach Kenny Jackett must decide whether to recall Leigh Griffiths, Kevin Doyle, Bakary Sako and Bjorn Sigurdarson in attack.

Lloyd James and David Mooney return from suspension for Leyton Orient. James should reclaim his spot in midfield while Mooney will replace Shaun Batt in attack after he limped off during the first half of the Boxing Day win at Gillingham. Orient have been dealt another injury blow after goalkeeper Jamie Jones (back) was ruled out for up to three months.

Last season: No cCorresponding fixture

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

Top scorers: Leigh Griffiths (Wolverhampton) 13; David Mooney (Leyton Orient) 15

Referee: David Coote (Nottinghamshire)

Our verdict: Wolves Leyton 1 Orient 1

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