Sky Bet League 2 briefing

  • Last Updated: February 28 2014, 17:43 GMT

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

Wes Fletcher: Fitness race for York striker
Wes Fletcher: Fitness race for York striker

Saturday, March 1

Burton v Accrington

Burton are expected to have an unchanged squad. Michael Symes remains sidelined due to a knee injury, but midfielders Lee Bell, Alex MacDonald and Jimmy Phillips, forwards Billy Kee and Dominic Knowles and defender Marcus Holness are all hoping for recalls.

Laurence Wilson will complete a three-game suspension for Accrington as they look to get back to winning ways so Michael Liddle is likely to slot in at the back again. Striker Danny Webber has missed each of Stanley's last two games due to illness but could return to contention.

Last season: Accrington Stanley 3 Burton Albion 3, Burton Albion 1 Accrington Stanley 0

Last five league matches: Burton Albion W D D L D; Accrington Stanley D L D W L

Top scorers: Billy Kee (Burton Albion) 10; Peter Murphy (Accrington Stanley) 9

Referee: Andy Haines (Tyne & Wear).

Our verdict: Burton 1 Accrington 1

Cheltenham v Bury

Cheltenham boss Mark Yates looks set to shuffle his pack. Midfielder Jason Taylor, striker Jamie Cureton and right-back Sido Jombati are all pushing for recalls as the Robins look to extend the seven-point gap between themselves and the relegation zone.

Bury's on-loan Tranmere forward Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro has pulled a hamstring muscle and faces a couple of weeks on the sidelines. A similar ailment is keeping out Ashley Grimes while Navid Nasseri has a thigh strain and missed the trip to Mansfield on Tuesday night.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

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

Top scorers: Byron Harrison (Cheltenham) 11; Daniel Nardiello (Bury) 12

Referee: Andy Woolmer (Northamptonshire).

Our verdict: Cheltenham 1 Bury 3

Dagenham v Mansfield

Dagenham's Jack Connors returns from suspension, fellow defender Femi Ilesanmi has shrugged off an ankle injury and midfielder Luke Howell has overcome a similar problem, but Matt Saunders (toe) and Afolabi Obafemi (ankle) are not ready to return.

Louis Briscoe could come back into the reckoning for Mansfield after a back problem and his inclusion aside, manager Paul Cox will select from the same group of players. James Jennings (quad), Martin Riley (calf) and Jake Speight (knee) remain sidelined.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

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

Top scorers: Rhys Murphy (Dag & Red) 13; Sam Clucas (Mansfield) 13

Referee: Gavin Ward (Surrey).

Our verdict: Dagenham 1 Mansfield 2

Fleetwood v AFC Wimbledon

Midfielder Steven Schumacher will be a major doubt for Fleetwood due to the recurrence of an ankle injury. Alan Goodall did not feature in midweek because of an illness bug which has swept through the Cod Army's camp, while David Ball (ankle) and midfielder Jeff Hughes (broken leg) are definitely out.

George Francomb is set to miss out for AFC Wimbledon due to a groin problem and although defender Aaron Morris will be added to the squad after he was rested in midweek, midfielder Peter Sweeney will not be risked yet following two months out with a fractured metatarsal.

Last season: AFC Wimbledon 2 Fleetwood Town 1, Fleetwood Town 1 AFC Wimbledon 1

Last five league matches: Fleetwood Town L D W L L; AFC Wimbledon L L L L W

Top scorers: David Ball (Fleetwood Town) 11; Charlie Strutton (AFC Wimbledon) 6

Referee: Nigel Miller (Durham).

Our verdict: Fleetwood 2 AFC Wimbledon 1

Hartlepool v Torquay

Hartlepool will be without on-loan forward Luke Williams after he returned to parent club Middlesbrough. Michael Duckworth will play no part after sustaining a leg injury in his comeback match last week while fellow defender Neil Austin (toe) remains doubtful.

Torquay hope to have captain Lee Mansell (knee) available after the 31-year-old had an anti-inflammatory injection, but his regular midfield partner Joss Labadie will miss out again as he completes a two-match suspension for accumulating 10 yellow cards this season.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

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

Top scorers: Luke James (Hartlepool) 13; Jordan Chapell & Aiden O'Brien (Torquay) 5

Referee: Fred Graham (Essex).

Our verdict: Hartlepool 1 Torquay 2

Newport v Scunthorpe

Newport boss Justin Edinburgh looks set to freshen up his side. Captain David Pipe was an unused substitute in midweek and could start while Rene Howe, Shaun Jeffers and Lee Minshull all hope to feature as County look to cut the seven-point gap between themselves and the play-off places.

Scunthorpe manager Russ Wilcox is expected to name his side from an unchanged squad following the midweek draw against Bristol Rovers. Andy Dawson was among the substitutes again on Tuesday night following a hip problem, but striker Deon Burton remains sidelined with a calf injury.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Newport County D L W L L; Scunthorpe D D W W D

Top scorers: Chris Zebroski (Newport County) 8; Sam Winnall (Scunthorpe) 18

Referee: Carl Berry (Surrey).

Our verdict: Newport 0 Scunthorpe 2

Northampton v Bristol Rovers

Northampton will again check on Joe Widdowson due to an ankle injury sustained last weekend in the win against Hartlepool. Skipper Lee Collins (foot) has been ruled out for the rest of the season, while long-term absentees Kelvin Langmead, Alex Nicholls and Lewis Hornby remain sidelined.

Bristol Rovers' Alan Gow is set for a few weeks out with the ankle ligament injury he sustained in Tuesday's draw with Scunthorpe. Matt Harrold will return to the squad after recovering from a minor knee problem, but the Pirates will assess Tom Lockyer (broken nose).

Last season: Northampton 1 Bristol Rovers 0, Bristol Rovers 3 Northampton 1

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

Top scorers: Emile Sinclair (Northampton) 6; John-Joe O'Toole (Bristol Rovers) 14

Referee: Mick Russell (Hertfordshire).

Our verdict: Northampton 1 Bristol Rovers 1

Plymouth v Morecambe

Plymouth will assess winger Jason Banton's groin injury. Manager John Sheridan is unlikely to shuffle his pack as his side look to close the four-point gap on the play-offs with their third successive win which means Neal Trotman should keep his place having returned from suspension.

Striker Jack Redshaw will be back to bolster Morecambe's attacking options after illness, but some other members of the squad are now struggling with a virus. Forward Padraig Amond (hamstring) is a major doubt and on-loan Jamie Devitt is suspended.

Last season: Plymouth 2 Morecambe 1, Morecambe 2 Plymouth 3

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

Top scorers: Reuben Reid (Plymouth) 16; Padraig Amond (Morecambe) 8

Referee: Graham Horwood (Bedfordshire).

Our verdict: Plymouth 2 Morecambe 1

Rochdale v Oxford

Rochdale manager Keith Hill could select his starting XI from an unchanged squad as his side bid to extend their unbeaten league run to five matches. Peter Cavanagh and Olly Lancashire are hoping to retain their places after making returns in last week's win at Exeter following respective hamstring injuries.

Oxford hope to have strikers Deane Smalley and Dave Kitson available after respective hamstring injuries but Tom Newey serves the final match of his two-game suspension and captain Jake Wright's knee injury rules him out.

Last season: Oxford Utd 3 Rochdale 0, Rochdale 2 Oxford Utd 0

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

Top scorers: Scott Hogan (Rochdale) 16; James Constable (Oxford Utd) 11

Referee: Eddie Ilderton (Tyne & Wear).

Our verdict: Rochdale 2 Oxford 0

Southend v Wycombe

Loan signing John Egan is in line to make his debut for Southend after arriving on loan from Sunderland on Thursday, but Adam Thompson and Luke Prosser (both calf) are unlikely to return in time and fellow defender Julian Bennett is a long-term absentee with his knee problem.

Wycombe have no fresh injury worries as they look to end a successful week on a high. Manager Gareth Ainsworth was full of praise for his new-look back four in the absence of the experienced Gary Doherty, sidelined after dislocating his elbow, and they are set to line up again at Roots Hall.

Last season: Wycombe 1 Southend 2, Southend 1 Wycombe 0

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

Top scorers: Kevan Hurst (Southend) 11; Dean Morgan & Matt McClure (Wycombe) 6

Referee: Mark Heywood (Cheshire).

Our verdict: Southend 1 Wycombe 0

York v Exeter

York's Wes Fletcher is in a race to be fit after missing out last week with a hamstring problem. Manager Nigel Worthington could opt to start with winger Will Hayhurst again in his last game before returning to parent club Preston.

Exeter boss Paul Tisdale is set to shuffle his pack as the Grecians look to get back to winning ways. Matt Grimes saw a head injury stitched up at half-time against Wycombe on Tuesday but looks set to keep his place in the Grecians XI.

Last season: York 1 Exeter 2, Exeter 1 York 1

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

Top scorers: Wes Fletcher (York) 13; Eliot Richards (Exeter) 6

Referee: Richard Clark (Northumberland).

Our verdict: York 0 Exeter 0


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