Sky Bet League 1 briefing

  • Last Updated: December 31 2013, 13:32 GMT

Team news, statistics and our verdict for the New Year's Day action in Sky Bet League 1.

Scott Golbourne: Could return to Wolves' starting line-up
Scott Golbourne: Could return to Wolves' starting line-up

Wednesday, January 1

Crewe (22) v Carlisle (15)

Crewe midfielder George Evans serves a one-game ban, which could mean a reunion for Bradden Inman and Anthony Grant. Mathias Pogba is in line for his season bow but Max Clayton (ankle), Steve Phillips (shoulder) and Ollie Turton (knee) remain sidelined.

Carlisle boss Graham Kavanagh has no new injury or suspension problems so could be tempted to name an unchanged side. Danny Livesey and Dave Symington remain doubtful with calf and thigh injuries respectively.

Last season: Crewe 1 Carlisle 0, Carlisle 0 Crewe 0

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

Top scorers: Chuks Aneke (Crewe) 5; David Amoo (Carlisle) 10

Referee: Darren Drysdale (Lincolnshire).

Our verdict: Crewe 1 Carlisle 3

MK Dons (11) V Colchester (14)

Stephen Gleeson is set to return from suspension to bolster the MK Dons midfield. Dele Alli made his comeback from injury as a substitute on Sunday and could start, while Tom Flanagan and Antony Kay are also in contention.

Colchester boss Joe Dunne could shuffle his pack, with Sanchez Watt, Clinton Morrison and Alex Gilbey among his options. Gavin Massey (hamstring) and Drey Wright (knee) remain sidelined, while Josh Thompson (ankle) is also out.

Last season: Colchester 0 Milton Keynes Dons 2, Milton Keynes Dons 5 Colchester 1

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

Top scorers: Patrick Bamford (Milton Keynes Dons) 16; Jabo Ibehre (Colchester) 6

Referee: Charles Breakspear (Surrey).

Our verdict: MK Dons 3 Colchester 1

Notts County (24) v Bradford (10)

Notts County will be without Alan Sheehan as he serves a one-match ban for his red card against Crawley. Callum Ball could return after missing the last two games with a head injury, while Joss Labadie (ankle) is closing in on his comeback.

Bradford are expected to be without Nahki Wells, who is struggling with a hamstring problem. James Hanson (calf) is fit but Andy Gray (dead leg) and Ricky Ravenhill (knee) are doubts.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

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

Top scorers: Callum McGregor (Notts County) 11; Nahki Wells (Bradford) 15

Referee: Richard Clark (Northumberland).

Our verdict: Notts County 0 Bradford 1

Oldham (18) v Shrewsbury (19)

Oldham will have to do without Matteo Lanzoni, who is out of contract and also struggling with a hamstring injury. Charlie MacDonald (thigh), James Wesolowski (head) and James Dayton (ankle) are expected to be absent.

Nicky Wroe is available for Shrewsbury after missing out against parent club Preston under the terms of his loan deal. Aaron Wildig made his comeback from a knee injury as a late substitute on Sunday and is set to feature.

Last season: Shrewsbury 1 Oldham 0, Oldham 1 Shrewsbury 0

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

Top scorers: Danny Philliskirk (Oldham) 10; Tom Bradshaw (Shrewsbury) 5

Referee: Scott Duncan (Tyne & Wear).

Our verdict: Oldham 3 Shrewsbury 1

Peterborough (5) v Brentford (1)

Peterborough will be without suspended pair Hogan Ephraim and Lee Tomlin. Senior players Gaby Zakuani, Tyrone Barnett, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing and Kane Ferdinand are bidding for returns after they were all left out of the squad for Carlisle.

Brentford midfielder George Saville serves a one-match ban, while Kadeem Harris and Will Grigg remain sidelined with hamstring problems. Bees manager Mark Warburton has no fresh injury concerns as his side look to consolidate top spot.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

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

Top scorers: Britt Assombalonga (Peterborough) 17; Clayton Donaldson (Brentford) 12

Referee: Andrew Madley (West Yorkshire).

Our verdict: Peterborough 1 Brentford 2

Preston (4) v Port Vale (7)

Preston defender Paul Huntington will miss out as he serves a one-match suspension. Boss Simon Grayson could recall Lee Holmes, Paul Gallagher and Iain Hume after they impressed as substitutes in the 1-0 win at Shrewsbury.

Chris Robertson is back from suspension for Port Vale but manager Micky Adams is sweating on the fitness of one or two players nursing minor knocks. Chris Birchall, Lee Hughes and Jordan Hugill are among those vying for recalls.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

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

Top scorers: Joe Garner (Preston) 8; Tom Pope (Port Vale) 10

Referee: Kevin Wright (Cambridgeshire).

Our verdict: Preston 1 Port Vale 0

Rotherham (6) v Coventry (12)

Rotherham defender Claude Davis serves a three-match ban after his straight red in Sunday's 2-0 defeat at Port Vale. Midfielder Lee Frecklington could return from illness, while Mark Bradley and Rob Milsom are available after serving one-game suspensions.

Coventry are sweating over the availability of centre-backs Jordan Clarke and Danny Seaborne (both ankle). Midfielder John Fleck is expected to play despite being forced off against Oldham with a minor hamstring problem.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

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

Top scorers: Kieran Agard (Rotherham) 12; Leon Clarke (Coventry) 17

Referee: Gary Sutton (Lincolnshire).

Our verdict: Rotherham 2 Coventry 3

Stevenage (23) v Gillingham (16)

James Dunne and Peter Hartley are pushing for returns to the Stevenage starting line-up after recovering from injuries. Boss Graham Westley could ring the changes after successive heavy defeats to Colchester and Bristol City.

Gillingham boss Peter Taylor will assess a host of players, including Danny Kedwell, Adebayo Akinfenwa and Chris Whelpdale. Midfielders Amine Linganzi (hamstring) and Danny Hollands (knee) could miss out again, along with Myles Weston (hamstring).

Last season: No corresponding fixture

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

Top scorers: Francois Zoko (Stevenage) 11; Danny Kedwell (Gillingham) 10

Referee: Andy D'Urso (Essex).

Our verdict: Stevenage 1 Gillingham 2

Swindon (8) v Crawley (13)

Swindon are waiting on the fitness of Grant Hall (ankle) and Jay McEveley (knee). Nile Ranger looks set to miss out again for disciplinary reasons, while the game comes too soon for Troy Archibald-Henville and Tijane Reis.

Dannie Bulman (fractured cheekbone) and Billy Clarke (suspended) are Crawley's only absentees. Reds skipper Josh Simpson returned after a month out with a hamstring problem in Sunday's 1-0 win over Notts County and should play some part.

Last season: Crawley Town 1 Swindon 1, Swindon 3 Crawley Town 0

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

Top scorers: Nick Ajose (Swindon) 10; Gary Alexander, Billy Clarke & Joe Walsh (Crawley Town) 5

Referee: Steven Rushton (Staffordshire).

Our verdict: Swindon 3 Crawley 0

Tranmere (20) v Wolves (3)

Tranmere manager Ronnie Moore is likely to be without Liam Ridehalgh, Danny Holmes and Jon Otsemobor. Jim McNulty missed Sunday's 3-1 defeat at Sheffield United due to illness, while Ian Goodison (thigh) remains sidelined.

Wolves midfielder Jack Price will not feature after he was ruled out for four weeks with a knee injury. A dead leg restricted Scott Golbourne to a place on the bench at the weekend but he could return to the starting line-up.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

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

Top scorers: Ryan Lowe (Tranmere) 14; Leigh Griffiths (Wolverhampton) 13

Referee: Darren Deadman (Cambridgeshire).

Our verdict: Tranmere 0 Wolves 3

Walsall (9) v Sheffield United (17)

Walsall striker Milan Lalkovic is expected to return from the foot injury which saw him miss the Gillingham game. The likes of Troy Hewitt and Nicky Featherstone are also among those pushing for recalls.

Sheffield United boss Nigel Clough has no new injury or suspension concerns and is expected to name an unchanged side. Striker Shaun Miller is still struggling to overcome a knock, while loanee Aidy White is receiving treatment on his sprained ankle.

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

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

Top scorers: Craig Westcarr (Walsall) 10; Jose Baxter (Sheff Utd) 7

Referee: Lee Collins (Surrey).

Our verdict: Walsall 2 Sheffield United 2

New Sky Bet customers: Free £30 matched bet