Sky Bet League 1 briefing

  • Last Updated: January 17 2014, 13:35 GMT

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

Wes Thomas: Could make his Rotherham debut
Wes Thomas: Could make his Rotherham debut

Saturday, January 18

Bristol City v MK Dons

Bristol City boss Steve Cotterill looks set to shuffle his pack with loanee Tyrone Barnett pushing for a start. Derrick Williams (hamstring) was not risked midweek but should come in to contention while Scott Wagstaff and Greg Cunningham are set to return.

MK Dons could have Dele Alli back on the bench after the 17-year-old missed the FA Cup defeat to Wigan on Tuesday night. Dean Bowditch featured for just over an hour against Wigan but the winger, along with Luke Chadwick and Daniel Powell, is still some distance away from starting a game.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Bristol City L D W W D; Milton Keynes Dons W W L D W

Top scorers: Jay Emmanuel-Thomas (Bristol City) 18; Shaun Williams (Milton Keynes Dons) 9

Referee: David Phillips (West Sussex).

Our verdict: Bristol City 1 MK Dons 1

Carlisle v Colchester

Carlisle will be without Conor Townsend (foot) and fellow defender Chris Chantler (ankle) is a major doubt. Matty Robson is expected to continue at left-back although Courtney Meppen-Walter could return after overcoming a groin/hip problem.

Colchester boss Joe Dunne will be hard pushed to make any changes following last weekend's 3-0 victory over Gillingham. Jabo Ibehre and Ryan Dickson both missed out due to injury and will be assessed, as will midfielder Alex Gilbey having been sidelined due to illness.

Last season: Carlisle 0 Colchester 2, Colchester 2 Carlisle 0

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

Top scorers: David Amoo (Carlisle) 10; Jabo Ibehre (Colchester) 6

Referee: Christopher Sarginson (Staffordshire).

Our verdict: Carlisle 2 Colchester 1

Crawley v Wolves

Billy Clarke returns for Crawley after finally completed the three-match ban he received for his red card against MK Dons on Boxing Day. Striker Matt Tubbs, who extended his loan deal from Bournemouth, will make his first home appearance since returning to the club.

Goalkeeper Aaron McCarey is a doubt (back) while Nouha Dicko eyes his second debut for Wolves. Ethan Ebanks-Landell has shrugged off an ankle problem and returns to the frame but Matt Doherty (hamstring) and Jack Price (knee) will miss out.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

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

Top scorers: Joe Walsh, Billy Clarke & Gary Alexander (Crawley Town) 5; Leigh Griffiths (Wolverhampton) 13

Referee: Carl Berry (Surrey).

Our verdict: Crawley 0 Wolves 1

Crewe v Leyton Orient

Teenager Uche Ikpeazu may make his Crewe bow after joining Alex on loan for the rest of the season. Ollie Turton is available following a knee problem while fellow defender Adam Dugdale, still yet to feature following a head injury before Christmas, is considered fine.

Romain Vincelot may return to the Leyton Orient squad after missing the last three matches with a knee injury and could replace fellow midfielder Marvin Bartley, who has been struggling with a back injury recently.

Last season: Leyton Orient 1 Crewe 1, Crewe 1 Leyton Orient 1

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

Top scorers: Chuks Aneke (Crewe) 6; David Mooney (Leyton Orient) 15 Referee: Andy Woolmer (Northamptonshire).

Our verdict: Crewe 1 Leyton Orient 3

Gillingham v Swindon

Chris Whelpdale (ankle) and Charlie Lee (knock) both remain sidelined for Gillingham. Loan signings Connor Smith and Jack Marriott are still waiting to make their full debuts as Gillingham aim to move further clear of the relegation zone.

Swindon look set to involve Jay McEveley in their squad after the former Blackburn defender made a swift recovery from a knee injury. Ryan Harley is another option for Mark Cooper after the playmaker recovered from tonsillitis.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

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

Top scorers: Danny Kedwell (Gillingham) 10; Dany N'Guessan (Swindon) 8 Referee: Andrew Madley (West Yorkshire).

Our verdict: Gillingham 2 Swindon 1

Peterborough v Tranmere

Tommy Rowe is a concern for Peterborough due to the thigh problem he picked up in the home FA Cup defeat to Kidderminster. Striker Nicky Ajose comes back into the reckoning after being ineligible for Tuesday night's third-round replay but Lee Tomlin will complete his two-match suspension.

Defender Danny Holmes' (back) remains a doubt for Tranmere. Captain James Wallace (suspended) will miss out again while the London Road clash could come too soon for experienced defender Ian Goodison, who is back in full training following a thigh strain.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

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

Top scorers: Britt Assombalonga (Peterborough) 18; Ryan Lowe (Tranmere) 15 Referee: Gavin Ward (Surrey).

Our verdict: Peterborough 2 Tranmere 2

Port Vale v Oldham

Chris Lines is suspended for Port Vale after he was sent off for two yellow card offences late on in the FA Cup win at Plymouth. Boss Micky Adams is expected to recall Joe Davis and Fulham loanee Jack Grimmer after the pair were ineligible at Home Park.

On-loan midfielder David Worrall could finally make his first appearance for Oldham after recovering from a groin problem. Defender Cliff Byrne could also feature despite training with Ross County ahead of a possible move there earlier this week.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

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

Top scorers: Tom Pope (Port Vale) 11; Danny Philliskirk (Oldham) 10

Referee: Gary Sutton (Lincolnshire).

Our verdict: Port Vale 2 Oldham 0

Preston v Coventry

Preston boss Simon Grayson could hand a full debut to Scott Wiseman following the right-back's move from Barnsley. Captain John Welsh and midfielder Neil Kilkenny, both rested in the FA Cup midweek, are among those likely to come back in.

Wantaway Coventry striker Leon Clarke is in contention despite handing in a formal transfer request on Monday. Fellow frontman Callum Wilson (shoulder), who has netted 15 times this term, remains sidelined.

Last season: Preston 2 Coventry 2, Coventry 1 Preston 1

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

Top scorers: Joe Garner (Preston) 13; Leon Clarke (Coventry) 18

Referee: Kevin Wright (Cambridgeshire).

Our verdict: Preston 1 Coventry 1

Sheffield United v Bradford

Billy Paynter is hoping to make his full debut for Sheffield United. Manager Nigel Clough, who has no new injury or suspension problems, may keep faith with the same formation and so retain Chris Porter up front alongside Jose Baxter.

Bradford's new signing Aaron McLean is expected to make his bow for the club after signing a two-and-half year deal from Hull. Teenager Ollie McBurnie is struggling with a hamstring strain and Andy Gray is only just returning to fitness following a severe dead-leg injury.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

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

Top scorers: Jose Baxter (Sheff Utd) 7; James Hanson (Bradford) 7

Referee: Roger East (Wiltshire).

Our verdict: Sheffield United 2 Bradford 1

Shrewsbury v Rotherham

Dave McAllister (mild concussion) and Connor Goldson (nose) have been passed fit for Shrewsbury while Aaron Wildig (thigh) also hopes to be available. However, Luke Summerfield (thigh), Darren Jones (ankle) and Jermaine Grandison (hip) continue to sit out.

Rotherham could hand a debut to striker Wes Thomas after the 26-year-old joined from Bournemouth until the end of the season. Miles Addison has a bruised foot but will play a full part, but Craig Morgan (foot) and Claude Davis (suspension) will not be involved.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

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

Top scorers: Tom Bradshaw (Shrewsbury) 5; Kieran Agard (Rotherham) 13 Referee: Jeremy Simpson (Lancashire).

Our verdict: Shrewsbury 1 Rotherham 1

Stevenage v Notts County

Stevenage could be unchanged after they got back to winning ways in midweek. Defender Ben Chorley serves the second game of his three-match ban following his red card against Oldham last weekend.

Notts County will visit Broadhall Way with no new injury or suspension problems. Magpies manager Shaun Derry hopes a deal can be struck with Aston Villa to extend Jack Grealish's loan spell but, if not, David Bell is expected to come in.

Last season: Stevenage 2 Notts County 0, Notts County 1 Stevenage 2

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

Top scorers: Francois Zoko (Stevenage) 12; Callum McGregor (Notts County) 12

Referee: Mark Haywood (W Yorkshire).

Our verdict: Stevenage 0 Notts County 1

Walsall v Brentford

Walsall boss Dean Smith could well name an unchanged starting line-up. Smith made one switch for Tuesday night's 1-0 home win over Oldham, handing a start to forward Febian Brandy upon his loan return to the Banks's Stadium.

Defender Harlee Dean and midfielder Adam Forshaw (both calf) are injury doubts for leaders Brentford. Winger Kadeem Harris is set to miss out again with a hamstring problem but Jonathan Douglas should be available after recovering from his hamstring injury.

Last season: Brentford 0 Walsall 0, Walsall 2 Brentford 2

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

Top scorers: Craig Westcarr (Walsall) 11; Clayton Donaldson (Brentford) 13 Referee: Scott Duncan (Tyne & Wear).

Our verdict: Walsall 1 Brentford 1

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