Sky Bet League 2 briefing

  • Last Updated: February 7 2014, 16:20 GMT

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

Alan Knill's Torquay host Bury
Alan Knill's Torquay host Bury

Saturday, February 1

AFC Wimbledon v Rochdale

Aaron Morris (groin) and Will Antwi (hamstring) are expected to be fit for AFC Wimbledon. Callum Kennedy (ankle), Andy Frampton (dislocated shoulder) and Peter Sweeney (foot) are all out.

Latest signing George Porter hopes to make his first appearance for Rochdale after he was an unused substitute in the home defeat to Dagenham. Peter Cavanagh and Olly Lancashire (both hamstring) remain doubtful but manager Keith Hill has no other fresh injury or suspension problems.

Last season: Rochdale 0 AFC Wimbledon 1, AFC Wimbledon 1 Rochdale 2

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

Top scorers: Charlie Strutton (AFC Wimbledon) 6; Scott Hogan (Rochdale) 12

Referee: Oliver Langford (W Midlands)

Our verdict: AFC Wimbledon 3 Rochdale 1

Bristol Rovers v Oxford

Bristol Rovers will assess the fitness of new signing Steven Gillespie. Seanan Clucas (knee) is set for a return to the squad after making his comeback in a reserve game on Tuesday but Rovers are without striker Ryan Brunt (knee) who is unlikely to play again this season.

Oxford's Michael Raynes has responded well to treatment on a side injury and could return along with Fulham loanee Ryan Williams (calf). Sean Rigg (calf) misses out along with Jake Wright (knee).

Last season: Oxford Utd 0 Bristol Rovers 2, Bristol Rovers 0 Oxford Utd 2

Last five league matches: Bristol Rovers W D W L L; Oxford Utd W W D W D

Top scorers: John-Joe O'Toole (Bristol Rovers) 11; James Constable (Oxford Utd) 9

Referee: Lee Collins (Surrey)

Our verdict: Bristol Rovers 2 Oxford 2

Dagenham & Redbridge v Hartlepool

Dagenham boss Wayne Burnett may keep faith with an unchanged side for a third successive match after watching his side beat high-flying Rochdale last weekend. Luke Howell (ankle) remains the only absentee and is expected to face a further few weeks on the sidelines.

Hartlepool defender Neil Austin faces a late fitness test after he sustained a badly-bruised toe in last week's goalless draw with Scunthorpe, but Jordan Richards returns to contention after completing a three-game ban. James Poole (hamstring) and Michael Duckworth (double hernia) are still out.

Last season: No Corresponding fixture

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

Top scorers: Rhys Murphy (Dag & Red) 13; Luke James (Hartlepool) 12

Referee: Steven Rushton (Staffordshire)

Our verdict: Dagenham & Redbridge 1 Hartlepool 0

Exeter v Portsmouth

Exeter are waiting on the fitness of midfielder Matt Gill as the former Norwich man struggles with a bruised ankle which saw him miss the Grecians' 1-1 draw at Burton last week. Tom Nichols looks likely to come back into the reckoning while Matt Oakley is back in full training after his ankle problem but looks unlikely to start.

Portsmouth have no new injury worries but boss Richie Barker is still without defenders Danny East, Yassin Moutaouakil (both ankle) and Dan Butler (knee), midfielder Simon Ferry (back) and striker Tom Craddock (both knee). Wes Fogden and Andy Barcham could return in midfield after dropping to the bench for last weekend's 1-0 home defeat by Torquay.

Last season: No Corresponding fixture

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

Top scorers: Alan Gow (Exeter) 7; Patrick Agyemang (Portsmouth) 5

Referee: Gary Sutton (Lincolnshire)

Our verdict: Exeter 1 Portsmouth 2

Mansfield v Southend

Lee Beevers looks likely to miss out for Mansfield as he awaits the results of a scan on a dislocated shoulder suffered during the 1-1 draw at Plymouth last weekend. Ben Hutchinson made a scoring return from a hamstring injury for the reserve team this week and is expected to be included in manager Paul Cox's squad.

Southend's Barry Corr is in contention despite being forced off at half-time in last Friday's goalless draw at home to Newport suffering with double vision. Defender Luke Prosser should be cleared to play wearing a protective face mask after fracturing an eye socket but Luke O'Neill continues to miss out with his thigh problem, as does long-term absentee Julian Bennett (knee)

Last season: No Corresponding fixture

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

Top scorers: Sam Clucas (Mansfield) 11; Kevan Hurst (Southend) 11

Referee: Simon Hooper (Wiltshire)

Our verdict: Mansfield 2 Southend 2

Morecambe v Burton

Morecambe will be without midfielder Alex Kenyon, who begins a three-game ban. Andy Fleming is expected to miss out with a knee injury but Ryan Williams (hamstring) and Andy Parrish (illness) could return. Marcus Marshall (hamstring) is definitely out while captain Mark Hughes is struggling with a similar problem.

Burton boss Gary Rowett has a full squad to choose from, with the exception of striker Michael Symes (knee). Goalkeeper Benji Siegrist has returned to Aston Villa following the end of his loan spell.

Last season: Burton Albion 3 Morecambe 2, Morecambe 0 Burton Albion 0

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

Top scorers: Kevin Ellison & Padraig Amond (Morecambe) 7; Adam McGurk & Billy Kee (Burton Albion) 9

Referee: Ross Joyce (Cleveland)

Our verdict: Morecambe 3 Burton 1

Northampton v Plymouth

Chris Hackett returns to contention for Northampton after missing the last three matches with a hamstring injury. Gregor Robertson is available to make his debut but on-loan duo Matty Blair and Sean McGinty have returned to their parent clubs.

Plymouth goalkeeper Luke McCormick faces a lengthy lay-off after dislocating and fracturing a finger on his left hand. Jake Cole should be handed a start in his place.

Last season: Northampton 1 Plymouth 0, Plymouth 3 Northampton 2

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

Top scorers: Emile Sinclair & Matty Blair (Northampton) 4; Reuben Reid (Plymouth) 13

Referee: Nigel Miller (Durham)

Our verdict: Northampton 0 Plymouth 0

Scunthorpe v Chesterfield

Scunthorpe's Marcus Williams faces a late fitness test after he took a whack on his hip last week at Hartlepool, while fellow defender Luke Waterfall (ankle) is still a doubt. Striker Deon Burton remains sidelined with a long-term calf injury, so Paul Hayes and Sam Winnall are expected to continue up front.

Leaders Chesterfield will be at full strength. Nathan Smith and Armand Gnanduillet were left out by manager Paul Cook last time out and will be hoping for recalls.

Last season: No Corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Scunthorpe W D D D D; Chesterfield L D W W W

Top scorers: Connor Jennings (Scunthorpe) 17; Dan Gardner, Gary Roberts & Marc Richards (Chesterfield) 9

Referee: Lee Mason (Lancashire)

Our verdict: Scunthorpe 2 Chesterfield 1

Torquay v Bury

Torquay boss Chris Hargreaves could name an unchanged line-up as his side look to build on their 1-0 win over Portsmouth. Lee Mansell (back) missed the win against Pompey and may have to make do with a place on the bench.

Midfielder Danny Mayor is available again for Bury after serving a three-match suspension. Daniel Nardiello (hamstring) could also return after playing 40 minutes in the midweek draw with Oxford while Frederic Veseli dislocated a finger but had it popped back into place and should be fine.

Last season: No Corresponding fixture

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

Top scorers: Jordan Chapell, Aiden O'Brien & Ashley Yeoman (Torquay) 5; Daniel Nardiello (Bury) 10

Referee: David Phillips (West Sussex)

Our verdict: Torquay 0 Bury 2

Wycombe v Accrington Stanley

Wycombe top scorer Dean Morgan (hamstring) is back in training along with Jon-Paul Pittman (knee). Steven Craig returns from a three-match suspension to leave boss Gareth Ainsworth with plenty of options as he looks to get his side firing again.

James Beattie has no new concerns among his Accrington ranks. Goalkeeper Andrew Dawber is back in training following a thigh problem but youngster Marcus Carver will next week undergo surgery in a bid to cure a shin problem.

Last season: Wycombe 0 Accrington Stanley 1, Accrington Stanley 0 Wycombe 2

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

Top scorers: Dean Morgan & Matt McClure (Wycombe) 6; Peter Murphy (Accrington Stanley) 8

Referee: Steve Bratt (W Midlands)

Our verdict: Wycombe 2 Accrington Stanley 1

York v Cheltenham

York midfielder Lewis Montrose returns after a two-game ban, but striker Ryan Jarvis remains doubtful due to an ankle injury and defender David McGurk is hoping to shake off a back strain. If McGurk is ruled out again John McCombe will continue at the heart of defence alongside Keith Lowe, who will face his former club, as will midfielder Russell Penn.

Cheltenham will be without midfielder David Noble (hamstring) once more after he suffered an injury setback. Kemar Roofe has returned to West Brom at the end of his two-month loan stay.

Last season: Cheltenham 1 York 1, York 0 Cheltenham 0

Last five league matches: York W D L L W; Cheltenham L L L D D

Top scorers: Wes Fletcher (York) 12; Byron Harrison (Cheltenham) 10

Referee: Darren Handley (Lancashire)

Our verdict: York 3 Cheltenham 1


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