Sky Bet Championship briefing

  • Last Updated: April 4 2014, 15:10 BST

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

Marco Cassetti: Back in action for Watford
Marco Cassetti: Back in action for Watford

Saturday, April 5

Wigan v Leeds (1215 BST)

Wigan full-back Jean Beausejour will complete a two-match suspension but boss Uwe Rosler will have Martyn Waghorn available again after the striker, on loan from Leicester, was unable to feature against his parent club. Long-term absentees Ben Watson (broken leg), Chris McCann (knee) and Roger Espinoza (hernia) remain sidelined.

Leeds midfielder Rudy Austin will play no part at the DW Stadium as he is struggling with the ankle injury that kept him out of the midweek home defeat to Charlton. Goalkeeper Paddy Kenny, now recovered from an ankle injury, is hoping to overcome a minor knee problem and return to contention, while winger Jimmy Kebe (hamstring) remains sidelined.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Wigan D W L D D; Leeds L W L L L

Top scorers (all competitions): Nick Powell (Wigan) 12; Ross McCormack (Leeds) 28

Referee: Neil Swarbrick (Lancashire)

Our verdict: Wigan 4 Leeds 2

Barnsley v Brighton (1500)

Barnsley striker Marcus Pedersen is out due to a hamstring problem so Reuben Noble-Lazarus could return to the starting line-up although Nick Proschwitz is also in contention. Manager Danny Wilson has no other new selection issues but defenders Peter Ramage, Martin Cranie (both hamstring) and Jack Hunt (ankle) are still out.

Craig Mackail-Smith and Will Hoskins are in contention for the trip to Oakwell after more than a year on the sidelines. Mackail-Smith has been out since rupturing an Achilles last March and Hoskins has undergone two knee operations in 12 months but the strike duo are in the frame. Rohan Ince is a doubt with a dead leg and Bruno is suspended while wingers Will Buckley (hamstring) and Andrea Orlandi (thigh) miiss out.

Last season: Barnsley 2 Brighton 1, Brighton 5 Barnsley 1

Last five league matches: Barnsley L L L W W; Brighton W L L L D

Top scorers (all competitions): Chris O'Grady (Barnsley) 13; Leonardo Ulloa (Brighton) 12

Referee: Tony Harrington (Cleveland)

Our verdict: Barnsley 1 Brighton 1

Blackburn v Ipswich (1500)

Blackburn are hopeful Corry Evans will be available despite struggling with a dead leg but Jason Lowe misses out with an ankle problem while fellow midfielder Lee Williamson has a slight knock which will be monitored closer to kick-off. Club captain Grant Hanley can play again after his two-match suspension was overturned but ankle injury victims Ben Marshall and Adam Henley remain on the sidelines.

Mick McCarthy has no fresh injury concerns but on-loan Manchester City winger Alex Henshall, who has yet to make his debut for the club, is an option for McCarthy should he wish to shuffle his pack. David McGoldrick is out for the rest of the season with a knee ligament injury.

Last season: Blackburn 1 Ipswich 0, Ipswich 1 Blackburn 1

Last five league matches: Blackburn W D D D D; Ipswich W L W W D

Top scorers (all competitions): Jordan Rhodes (Blackburn) 22; David McGoldrick (Ipswich) 16

Referee: Keith Stroud (Hampshire)

Our verdict: Blackburn 1 Ipswich 2

Blackpool v Yeovil (1500)

Ricardo Fuller and Kirk Broadfoot will both miss out again due to knee injuries which could open the door for either Robert Earnshaw or Apostolos Vellios to make their home debuts. Fellow striker Steve Davies (groin) is unlikely to play again this term while full-back Kevin Foley will play no part after caretaker manager Barry Ferguson elected not to renew his loan stay from Wolves.

Yeovil could have midfielder Ruben Palazuelos available after his recovery from a hamstring strain while striker Kieffer Moore looks set to be involved despite having suffered a cut to his head in last Saturday's 4-1 thumping by Barnsley.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Blackpool W L W L D; Yeovil L D D D L

Top scorers (all competitions): Ricardo Fuller (Blackpool) 6; Ishmael Miller (Yeovil) 10

Referee: Oliver Langford (West Midlands)

Our verdict: Blackpool 1 Yeovil 2

Bournemouth v QPR (1500)

Bournemouth are boosted by the return of Andrew Surman to full fitness having suffered from a glute injury and he is pushing for a return to the starting line-up. Striker Tokelo Rantie is likely to be involved despite having flown to South Africa following the birth of his son on Tuesday but Donal McDermott will not be involved after leaving the club on Thursday by mutual consent.

Charlie Austin has been passed fit for QPR after he returned to training following two months on the sidelines with a shoulder injury. Jermaine Jenas is also set to travel after recovering from a hamstring injury but fellow midfielder Joey Barton is still out with a thigh problem. Aaron Hughes (hamstring),

Nedum Onuoha (calf), Andy Johnson, Matty Phillips (both ankle) and Alejandro Faurlin (knee) all miss out.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Bournemouth D L W W W; QPR W L W W D

Top scorers (all competitions): Lewis Grabban (Bournemouth) 19; Charlie Austin (QPR) 15

Referee: Jon Moss (West Yorkshire)

Our verdict: Bournemouth 0 QPR 1

Charlton v Reading (1500)

Leon Cort and Chris Solly are Charlton's only absentees after centre-half Cort recently recovered from the knee injury which has sidelined him all season only to suffer a hamstring strain during his comeback for the reserves. Right-back Solly is making good progress in his recovery from the knee problem which has kept him out since Christmas, but he will not be involved against the Royals.

Danny Guthrie returns to the Reading squad after missing the last two games due to suspension. Fellow midfielder Mikele Leigertwood is back in training after almost a year on the sidelines with an ankle injury but he will build up his fitness with the under-21 side while Wayne Bridge is also close to returning.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Charlton W L W L W; Reading W D W L D

Top scorers (all competitions): Simon Church (Charlton) 7; Adam Le Fondre (Reading) 13

Referee: Andrew Madley (West Yorkshire)

Our verdict: Charlton 2 Reading 1

Doncaster v Birmingham (1500)

Richie Wellens should be fit for Doncaster after recovering from a foot injury while Gabriel Tamas has resumed training following surgery on his fractured cheekbone. Goalkeeper Sam Johnstone will play the final game of his loan spell and James Coppinger, if selected, will make his 400th appearance for the club - becoming only the fourth Rovers player to reach the landmark.

Emyr Huws is an injury doubt for Birmingham with a hip problem and will be assessed before kick-off. Young centre-back Tom Thorpe could make his second debut after rejoining the club on a short-term deal from Manchester United last week while Tom Adeyemi (hamstring) is expected to return.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Doncaster W D W L W; Birmingham D L L W L

Top scorers (all competitions): Chris Brown (Doncaster) 8; Lee Novak (Birmingham) 10

Referee: David Webb (County Durham)

Our verdict: Doncaster 3 Birmingham 0

Huddersfield v Bolton (1500)

Huddersfield defender Joel Lynch is hoping to return after being sidelined since mid-February due to a hip problem but striker James Vaughan, recently back from a calf injury, has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a cyst on his knee which requires surgery to remove.

Alan Hutton can keep his place in Bolton's starting line-up after extending his loan and he bolsters a defence which also has Matt Mills fit following a knee injury. The Trotters remain without Marc Tierney (broken leg), Joe Riley (knee), Darren Pratley (shoulder) and Stuart Holden (knee).

Last season: Bolton 1 Huddersfield 0, Huddersfield 2 Bolton 2

Last five league matches: Huddersfield D L L D D; Bolton D L D W D

Top scorers (all competitions): James Vaughan (Huddersfield) 12; Jermaine Beckford (Bolton) 8

Referee: Jeremy Simpson (Lancashire)

Our verdict: Huddersfield 1 Bolton 1

Middlesbrough v Derby (1500)

Dean Whitehead will miss out for Middlesbrough after picking up his 10th booking of the season. Aitor Karanka has no fresh injury problems but Jonathan Woodgate (calf), Daniel Ayala (ankle), Seb Hines (thigh), Rhys Williams (Achilles) and Stuart Parnaby (knee) are still out, while Muzzy Carayol (cruciate) will not play again this season.

Will Hughes could return for Derby after a hip flexor problem but forwards Jamie Ward and Simon Dawkins remain on the sidelines. Ward has a hamstring injury and Dawkins a groin problem with both players still two or three weeks away from a return.

Last season: Derby 3 Middlesbrough 1, Middlesbrough 2 Derby 2

Last five league matches: Middlesbrough D D L D W; Derby D D W L W

Top scorers (all competitions): Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough) 12; Chris Martin (Derby) 19

Referee: Andy Haines (Tyne & Wear)

Our verdict: Middlesbrough 0 Derby 1

Nottingham Forest v Millwall (1500)

Defender Kelvin Wilson and midfielders Andy Reid, Henri Lansbury and David Vaughan have all been back in training this week for Forest and interim manager Gary Brazil is hopeful that at least two of the quartet could be in contention on Saturday. Jamaal Lascelles will complete a two-match suspension so Greg Halford may again partner Danny Collins in the centre of defence.

Nicky Bailey, Lee Martin and Jermaine Easter could all be added to the Millwall squad after spells out injured. Bailey has been sidelined since January with a back injury, fellow midfielder Martin has missed the last four matches due to a knee knock and striker Easter has been sidelined for a month with a thigh problem.

Last season: Millwall 0 Nottm Forest 1, Nottm Forest 1 Millwall 4

Last five league matches: Nottm Forest D D L L D; Millwall L D L L D

Top scorers (all competitions): Jamie Paterson & Andy Reid (Nottm Forest) 10; Steve Morison & Martyn Woolford (Millwall) 7

Referee: Mark Brown (East Yorkshire)

Our verdict: Nottingham Forest 2 Millwall 2

Watford v Burnley (1500)

Marco Cassetti will return from injury for Watford but fellow defender Lloyd Doyley (ankle) looks set to miss out. Cassetti has recovered from the foot injury which saw him miss last weekend's 4-1 victory over Sheffield Wednesday but Doyley twisted his ankle in that game. Fernando Forestieri, Park Chu-young (both toe) and Fitz Hall (Achilles) remain sidelined.

Burnley striker Sam Vokes has been ruled out for the season after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in the loss to Leicester while midfielder Dean Marney serves the second match of a two-game ban and neither top scorer Danny Ings (ankle) nor right-back Kieran Trippier (hamstring) are ready to return just yet.

Last season: Watford 3 Burnley 3, Burnley 1 Watford 1

Last five league matches: Watford L W L D W; Burnley D W W W L

Top scorers (all competitions): Troy Deeney (Watford) 20; Danny Ings (Burnley) 25

Referee: Stuart Attwell (Warwickshire)

Our verdict: Watford 1 Burnley 0


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