Sky Bet League 2 briefing

  • Last Updated: January 17 2014, 13:44 GMT

Team news, statistics and our verdict for this weekend's action in Sky Bet League 2.

Sam Hird: Returns from suspension for Chesterfield
Sam Hird: Returns from suspension for Chesterfield

Saturday, January 18

Bury v Burton

Bury will be without Danny Mayor as the on-loan Sheffield Wednesday midfielder begins a three-match suspension. Club captain Craig Jones could return, though, after a specialist gave the Welshman the all-clear following his groin problem.

Burton have no new problems but Zeli Ismail should return having been ineligible for the FA Cup in midweek. Boss Gary Rowett's only absentees will be striker Michael Symes (knee) and centre-half Shane Cansdell-Sherriff (fractured cheekbone).

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Bury L D W W L; Burton Albion D W W D W

Top scorers: Daniel Nardiello (Bury) 10; Billy Kee (Burton Albion) 9

Referee: Oliver Langford (W Midlands).

Our verdict: Bury 1 Burton 2

Cheltenham v Accrington

Cheltenham look set to be without David Noble due to a knee injury he picked up at Burton last weekend. Ashley Vincent will hope his two goals in a midweek friendly will help his chances of making his second appearance since September.

Accrington will be without Lee Naylor after the full-back left the club by mutual consent. Stanley could be forced into a defensive reshuffle with Rob Atkinson now fit while midfielder Craig Roddan, on loan from Liverpool, is awaiting his debut.

Last season: Accrington Stanley 2 Cheltenham 2, Cheltenham 0 Accrington Stanley 3

Last five league matches: Cheltenham D W W L L; Accrington Stanley W D D L D

Top scorers: Byron Harrison (Cheltenham) 9; Peter Murphy & Kal Naismith (Accrington Stanley) 7

Referee: Tim Robinson (West Sussex).

Our verdict: Cheltenham 2 Accrington 1

Exeter v Morecambe

Matt Gill is set to make his return from injury for Exeter, having been sidelined with a hamstring injury. Defender Danny Coles played for an hour in the 2-1 loss to Bristol Rovers as he continued his return to match fitness and should start once more.

Morecambe's Robbie Threlfall (head), Mark Hughes (shin), Marcus Marshall (hamstring), Andy Parrish (ankle) and Ryan Williams (hamstring) could all be missing while there is also a doubt over midfielder Andy Wright (groin).

Last season: Morecambe 0 Exeter 3, Exeter 0 Morecambe 3

Last five league matches: Exeter L L W L L; Morecambe W L L D D

Top scorers: Alan Gow (Exeter) 7; Kevin Ellison & Padraig Amond (Morecambe) 7

Referee: Andy D'Urso (Essex).

Our verdict: Exeter 0 Morecambe 2

Fleetwood v Hartlepool

Midfielder Alex Marrow could feature for Fleetwood after joining on loan from Blackburn. Stephen Jordan, long troubled by a groin problem, returned last time out and the full-back would give boss Graham Alexander another option with Shaun Beeley (hamstring) still out.

Hartlepool's new signing Marlon Harewood could make his debut, but fellow forward James Poole is doubtful (hamstring). Boss Colin Cooper will be without defender Michael Duckworth, sidelined for a month following a double hernia operation, so Jordan Richards will resume at full-back.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Fleetwood Town W L L W W; Hartlepool D D W L L

Top scorers: David Ball (Fleetwood Town) 9; Luke James (Hartlepool) 10

Referee: James Adcock (Nottinghamshire).

Our verdict: Fleetwood 2 Hartlepool 0

Newport County v Dagenham & Redbridge

Newport may decide to rest goalkeeper Lenny Pidgeley (broken finger) with Jamie Stephens available again. One player who will not feature is left-back Billy Jones who left the club last week after his short-term contract with the Exiles expired.

Dagenham will be without Dominic Samuel after the on-loan striker picked up a knee injury on his debut in last weekend's defeat to Fleetwood. Billy Bingham (knee), Matt Saunders and Jordan Seabright (both ankle) are set to miss out once more, while striker Josh Scott this week left the club by mutual consent.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Newport County W W L L D; Dag & Red L D W L L

Top scorers: Chris Zebroski & Conor Washington (Newport County) 7; Rhys Murphy (Dag & Red) 12

Referee: Charles Breakspear (Surrey).

Our verdict: Newport County 3 Dagenham & Redbridge 1

Portsmouth v Mansfield

Wes Fogden is in line to make his Portsmouth debut after moving to Fratton Park from Bournemouth. Wingers Andy Barcham (thigh) and Ricky Holmes (concussion) are in contention to return but Danny East (ankle) is a doubt.

Martin Riley (leg) and Jamie McGuire (groin) are both expected to return to the Mansfield squad. Leading scorer Sam Clucas is also closing in on a return after a month out with ankle ligament damage.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Portsmouth L W D L D; Mansfield L W D W L

Top scorers: David Connolly & Patrick Agyemang (Portsmouth) 5; Sam Clucas (Mansfield) 11

Referee: Darren Sheldrake (Surrey).

Our verdict: Portsmouth 3 Mansfield 2

Rochdale v Plymouth

Rochdale midfielder Matty Lund is hoping to shake off a knock in time after being forced off midway through the first half in last week's win at Hartlepool. Manager Keith Hill has no other new injury or suspension problems.

Plymouth will be without defender Durrell Berry due to a groin injury so Maxime Blanchard looks set to replace him at right-back. Boss John Sheridan is also set to recall Luke McCormick in place of goalkeeper Jake Cole.

Last season: Rochdale 1 Plymouth 0, Plymouth 3 Rochdale 1

Last five league matches: Rochdale D W W L W; Plymouth W W D W D

Top scorers: Scott Hogan (Rochdale) 12; Reuben Reid (Plymouth) 13

Referee: Mark Brown (East Yorkshire).

Our verdict: Rochdale 1 Plymouth 3

Scunthorpe v AFC Wimbledon

Scunthorpe's latest signing Gary McSheffrey could make his first appearance for the club. Paddy Madden, stepped off the substitutes' bench for his first appearance last week and is hoping to make his full debut, while Deon Burton (calf) is a doubt.

Harry Pell returns to the AFC Wimbledon squad after the midfielder missed last weekend's 2-0 home defeat by Torquay through illness. Boss Neal Ardley could make further changes with Alan Bennett and Luke Moore sweating on their places after they were hauled off at half-time.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Scunthorpe W D W W W; AFC Wimbledon L D L W L

Top scorers: Connor Jennings (Scunthorpe) 17; Michael Smith (AFC Wimbledon) 10

Referee: Paul Tierney (Lancashire).

Our verdict: Scunthorpe 0 AFC Wimbledon 2

Southend v Chesterfield

Skipper John White (shoulder) continues to miss out for Southend and is likely to remain sidelined for at least another couple of weeks. Boss Phil Brown is not expected to have any fresh concerns as his side look for a victory which would see them leapfrog the third-placed Spireites.

Sam Hird and Ian Evatt return from suspension to give Chesterfield boss Paul Cook a full squad to choose from. Striker Marc Richards, midfielders Sam Morsy and Jimmy Ryan and winger Gary Roberts all started against Bury after recovering from injuries.

Last season: Chesterfield 0 Southend 1, Southend 3 Chesterfield 0

Last five league matches: Southend D W D W D; Chesterfield W W D D W

Top scorers: Kevan Hurst (Southend) 9; Marc Richards & Dan Gardner (Chesterfield) 8

Referee: Robert Madley (West Yorkshire).

Our verdict: Southend 3 Chesterfield 0

Torquay v Northampton

Torquay have no fresh injury worries in Chris Hargreaves' first home game in charge of the Gulls. Ben Harding will be unavailable to face his former club but he is nearing a return having been sidelined for three months with a tendon foot injury.

Joe Widdowson returns to contention for Northampton after missing the last two matches with a shoulder injury. Striker Roy O'Donovan is back from Dubai having rejected a proposed move overseas but must prove his fitness ahead of the clash.

Last season: Northampton 1 Torquay 0, Torquay 1 Northampton 1

Last five league matches: Torquay D L L D W; Northampton L L D W L

Top scorers: Jordan Chapell & Ashley Yeoman (Torquay) 5; Luke Norris (Northampton) 6

Referee: Michael Naylor (Sheffield).

Our verdict: Torquay 2 Northampton 2

Wycombe v Oxford

Wycombe striker Dean Morgan could return to action after being sidelined with a hamstring injury he picked up on Boxing Day. Boss Gareth Ainsworth will have to find a replacement for Sunderland midfielder Billy Knott who returned to his parent club earlier this week.

Oxford will be boosted by the return of Nicky Wroe after the on-loan Preston midfielder was cup-tied for the clash with Charlton. Experienced striker Dave Kitson started on the bench at The Valley after returning from suspension and is pushing for a start at Adams Park.

Last season: Oxford Utd 0 Wycombe 1, Wycombe 1 Oxford Utd 3

Last five league matches: Wycombe D W L L D; Oxford Utd W D L L D

Top scorers: Dean Morgan & Matt McClure (Wycombe) 6; James Constable (Oxford Utd) 9

Referee: Brendan Malone (Wiltshire).

Our verdict: Wycombe 1 Oxford 2

York v Bristol Rovers

York's new signings Nick Pope and John McCombe will go straight into the squad. Striker Ryan Jarvis is likely to miss out after taking a bang on the knee in last week's win at Northampton.

Bristol Rovers midfielder Tom Lockyer could return to the starting line-up after dropping to the bench for the 3-0 midweek FA Cup defeat at Birmingham. John Ward could ring the changes with Chris Beardsley and David Clarkson hoping to be handed starts.

Last season: Bristol Rovers 0 York 0, York 4 Bristol Rovers 1

Last five league matches: York D L W W W; Bristol Rovers L W D L W

Top scorers: Wes Fletcher (York) 11; John-Joe O'Toole (Bristol Rovers) 10

Referee: David Webb (County Durham).

Our verdict: York 2 Bristol Rovers 1


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