Sky Bet League 1 briefing

  • Last Updated: February 7 2014, 19:46 GMT

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

Darren Ferguson's Peterborough travel to Leyton Orient
Darren Ferguson's Peterborough travel to Leyton Orient

Saturday, February 1

Bradford v Crewe

Bradford will be without suspended midfielder Nathan Doyle after he was sent off in last week's defeat at Wolves, but Kyle Bennett returns following suspension. James Hanson hopes to overcome a hamstring injury, but James Meredith (foot) and Raffaele De Vita (thigh) remain sidelined, while Kyel Reid (knee) is out for the rest of the season.

Ollie Turton (knee) returns to contention for Crewe after he played for the club's under-21 side on Monday with no adverse reaction. Defender George Ray (ankle), forward Ryan Colclough (stomach) and striker Max Clayton (ankle) are all still absent.

Last season: No Corresponding fixture

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

Top scorers: James Hanson (Bradford) 8; Chuks Aneke (Crewe) 9

Referee: Graham Horwood (Bedfordshire)

Our verdict: Bradford 1 Crewe 0

Brentford v Crawley Town

Brentford will check on the fitness of Nico Yennaris after the full-back was forced off early in the second half of last week's game against Shrewsbury with a dead leg. Winger Sam Saunders is still missing with a knee injury but boss Mark Warburton has an otherwise fully-fit squad after Harlee Dean and Adam Forshaw returned last weekend.

Crawley midfielder Dannie Bulman (fractured cheekbone) could make his return on the bench. Andy Drury has shaken off a groin niggle and recent signing Gary Dicker could make his full debut, while goalkeeper Ross Atkins will be on the bench after joining on loan from Derby because Johnny Maddison is suffering from suspected appendicitis.

Last season: Crawley Town 1 Brentford 2, Brentford 2 Crawley Town 1

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

Top scorers: Clayton Donaldson (Brentford) 14; Joe Walsh & Billy Clarke (Crawley Town) 5

Referee: Stephen Martin (Staffordshire)

Our verdict: Brentford 2 Crawley Town 1

Carlisle v Gillingham

Carlisle captain Paul Thirlwell (calf) has an outside chance of returning. Manchester United loanee Sam Byrne is hoping to make his first start while Conor Townsend (foot) and Chris Chantler (ankle) remain sidelined.

Elliott Hewitt is suspended for Gillingham after the on-loan defender saw red in Tuesday's 3-1 defeat at Stevenage. Amine Linganzi (tendonitis) and Chris Whelpdale (ankle) will be assessed but striker Danny Kedwell (hernia) remains sidelined.

Last season: No Corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Carlisle L L L W L; Gillingham L W L W L

Top scorers: David Amoo (Carlisle) 11; Cody McDonald (Gillingham) 12

Our verdict: Carlisle 1 Gillingham 2

Colchester v Rotherham

Colchester forward Gavin Massey could return to the bench having overcome his hamstring injury, while fellow long-term absentee Drey Wright is also back in light training after a knee operation.

Rotherham will be able to call on skipper Craig Morgan after he missed the last five games due to a broken bone in his foot, although boss Steve Evans has yet to decide whether to include him in the matchday squad. Nicky Adams could also feature after he joined from Crawley on transfer deadline day but did not sign in time to make his debut in the 2-1 win over Leyton Orient.

Last season: No Corresponding fixture

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

Top scorers: Jabo Ibehre (Colchester) 6; Kieran Agard (Rotherham) 15

Our verdict: Colchester 1 Rotherham 1

Leyton Orient v Peterborough

Kevin Lisbie should return to the Leyton Orient squad after missing last Saturday's 2-1 defeat at Rotherham due to a groin problem while fellow striker David Mooney is pushing for a start having made two substitute appearances following a month out with a foot injury. Shaun Batt (hamstring) is still out while youngster Shaquile Coulthirst has returned to Tottenham at the end of his month-long loan spell.

Peterborough hope leading scorer Britt Assombalonga will be available after he was forced off with a facial injury against Swindon in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy on Wednesday night while fellow strikers Nicky Ajose and Conor Washington, who were both cup-tied in midweek, come back into the reckoning. Centre-back Jack Baldwin, a deadline-day signing from Hartlepool, is suspended and will have to wait for his debut.

Last season: No Corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Leyton Orient W W W W L; Peterborough L L W W L

Top scorers: David Mooney (Leyton Orient) 16; Britt Assombalonga (Peterborough) 22

Referee: Lee Probert (Wiltshire)

Our verdict: Leyton Orient 3 Peterborough 1

Notts County v Coventry

Notts County will be without on-loan Derby striker Callum Ball, who will miss the next six weeks with ankle ligament damage. Fellow forward Ronan Murray completes a three-match suspension but new signing James Spencer is available to make his debut. Goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski (illness) is expected to return.

On-loan Celtic midfielder Dylan McGeouch (illness) will hope to finally make his debut for Coventry. Long-term absentee Callum Wilson remains sidelined with his shoulder injury.

Last season: Notts County 2 Coventry 2, Coventry 1 Notts County 2

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

Top scorers: Callum McGregor (Notts County) 13; Callum Wilson (Coventry) 15

Referee: Carl Berry (Surrey)

Our verdict: Notts County 2 Coventry 2

Oldham v Bristol City

James Tarkowski will be back in Oldham's squad after returning on loan from new club Brentford. Rhys Turner is unlikely to feature following a hamstring tear while midfielder David Worrall could drop out again after only recently returning from a long-term groin problem.

Bristol City will be without Scott Wagstaff for six weeks with a shoulder injury. Karleigh Osborne (hamstring) is rated as 50/50 to make the trip.

Last season: No Corresponding fixture

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

Top scorers: Danny Philliskirk (Oldham) 10; Jay Emmanuel-Thomas (Bristol City) 18

Referee: Darren Deadman (Cambridgeshire)

Our verdict: Oldham 1 Bristol City 3

Port Vale v Swindon

Port Vale defender Carl Dickinson is available after serving a two-match ban. Rob Taylor has suffered a recurrence of his thigh injury while defenders Liam Chilvers (groin) and Richard Duffy (ankle) remain out.

Swindon will be without suspended duo Jay McEveley and Yaser Kasim but Alex Pritchard and Troy Archibald-Henville return from bans.

Last season: No Corresponding fixture

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

Top scorers: Tom Pope (Port Vale) 11; Michael Smith (Swindon) 13

Referee: Seb Stockbridge (Tyne & Wear)

Our verdict: Port Vale 1 Swindon 2

Sheffield United v Shrewsbury

Sheffield United trio Chris Porter, Stefan Scougall (both hamstring) and Bob Harris (calf) are all hoping to prove their fitness. Skipper Michael Doyle serves the last game of his three-match ban, but forward Billy Paynter and Elliott Whitehouse return after being cup-tied.

Shrewsbury caretaker manager Mike Jackson will run the rule over Aaron Wildig (thigh). Nathaniel Mendez-Laing and Joseph Mills are among those pushing to start, along with Asa Hall, Dave Winfield and fit-again midfielder Luke Summerfield.

Last season: Shrewsbury 1 Sheff Utd 2, Sheff Utd 1 Shrewsbury 0

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

Top scorers: Jose Baxter (Sheff Utd) 7; Tom Bradshaw (Shrewsbury) 5

Referee: Andy Haines (Tyne & Wear)

Our verdict: Sheffield United 2 Shrewsbury 0

Tranmere v Preston

Tranmere boss Ronnie Moore has a fully-fit squad. The club have extended the loans of both Fulham centre-back Stephen Arthurworrey and Everton full-back Matthew Pennington by another month.

On-loan Bolton striker Craig Davies will return for Preston after being cup-tied in midweek. Teenage midfielder Josh Brownhill needs a check on a groin injury.

Last season: Preston 1 Tranmere 0, Tranmere 1 Preston 1

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

Top scorers: Ryan Lowe (Tranmere) 16; Joe Garner (Preston) 14

Referee: David Coote (Nottinghamshire)

Our verdict: Tranmere 1 Preston 0

Walsall v MK Dons

Walsall's James Chambers (hamstring) and Andy Taylor (knee) have both returned to training. Striker Michael Ngoo, a deadline-day loan signing from Liverpool, will again hope to make his debut having been denied by the weather last weekend.

MK Dons manager Karl Robinson has confirmed that new signing Ryan Hall will go straight into his squad. Striker Chris Long will not be involved as he has returned to Everton after picking up a thigh strain.

Last season: Milton Keynes Dons 2 Walsall 4, Walsall 1 Milton Keynes Dons 0

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

Top scorers: Craig Westcarr (Walsall) 13; Ben Reeves (Milton Keynes Dons) 8

Referee: James Linington (Isle of Wight)

Our verdict: Walsall 2 MK Dons 2

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