Sky Bet League 1 briefing

  • Last Updated: May 2 2014, 14:13 BST

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

Champions Wolves host strugglers Carlisle on the last day
Champions Wolves host strugglers Carlisle on the last day

Saturday, May 3

Brentford v Stevenage

Kevin O'Connor is set to make his 500th appearance for Brentford despite only playing 11 times so far this season. Jake Bidwell needs a check after missing last weekend's 4-1 defeat at Colchester with a groin strain, while Harlee Dean (abdominal) and Adam Forshaw (ankle) will miss out.

Filipe Morais is back in contention for Stevenage after a three-match ban. Jon Ashton (ankle) and strikers Darius Charles (ankle) and Francois Zoko (groin) are all doubts, but midfielder Roarie Deacon is fit again after recovering from an ankle problem.

Last season: Stevenage 1 Brentford 0, Brentford 2 Stevenage 0

Last five league matches: Brentford W L W D L; Stevenage L L L L W Top scorers: Clayton Donaldson (Brentford) 18; Francois Zoko (Stevenage) 16 Match odds: H 4-9 A 5-1 D 11-4

Referee: David Phillips (West Sussex)

Our verdict: Brentford 1 Stevenage 1

Crawley v Bristol City

Crawley will check on Josh Simpson and Mike Jones who are suffering with hamstring and groin injuries respectively. Paul Connolly may miss out due to a hernia problem after recently returning from a ban, while Billy Clarke remains sidelined with a broken hand.

Bristol City will be without Bobby Reid, who returned to action last Saturday having been sidelined since early March only to sustain a hip problem. Goalkeeper Frank Fielding remains sidelined with a bicep injury, so Cardiff loanee Simon Moore will deputise again.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Crawley Town W W L L D; Bristol City D W W W D Top scorers: Matt Tubbs (Crawley Town) 9; Sam Baldock (Bristol City) 26 Match odds: H 5-4 A 8-5 D 12-5

Referee: Michael Bull (Essex)

Our verdict: Crawley 1 Bristol City 2

Crewe v Preston

Crewe welcome back top-scorer Chuks Aneke from a three-match ban in time for the crunch clash, which the Railwaymen may need to win to stay up. Fellow striker Max Clayton (ankle) could also return, but Ryan Colclough (stomach) and Harry Davis (knee) are both out.

Preston's Scott Wiseman (knee) could return after missing the previous six fixtures. Boss Simon Grayson is unlikely to make widespread changes with Tom Clarke rated 50-50 due to a calf problem, but the former Orient loanee should be available for the start of the play-offs.

Last season: Crewe 1 Preston 0, Preston 1 Crewe 3

Last five league matches: Crewe W L W D D; Preston D W L W W Top scorers: Chuks Aneke (Crewe) 17; Joe Garner (Preston) 23 Match odds: H 6-4 A 7-5 D 9-4

Referee: Andy Haines (Tyne & Wear).

Our verdict: Crewe 2 Preston 2

Gillingham v Shrewsbury

Striker Danny Kedwell is set to be involved for Gillingham despite only featuring once since mid-January. Boss Peter Taylor could hand starts to striker Adebayo Akinfenwa and Myles Weston in the Gills' first match since they secured their safety.

Shrewsbury boss Mike Jackson is set to give youth a chance after last weekend's 4-2 home defeat to Peterborough confirmed their relegation. Jackson has named Josh Ginnelly, Dom Smith and Niall Flint as three possible inclusions in his squad, but David McAllister (ankle) is definitely out.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Gillingham L L W D L; Shrewsbury W L L L L Top scorers: Cody McDonald (Gillingham) 17; Jon Taylor (Shrewsbury) 9 Match odds: H 10-11 A 9-4 D 12-5

Referee: Darren Drysdale (Lincolnshire)

Our verdict: Gillingham 1 Shrewsbury 2

MK Dons v Leyton Orient

MK Dons will be without George Baldock after he was forced off with a head injury during the 2-2 draw at Rotherham last weekend. Anthony Kay (thigh) could return after missing the last four games, but Lee Hodson (hip), Darren Potter (Achilles), Dean Bowditch (hamstring), Ben Reeves (ankle) and Sanmi Odelusi (knee) are all still out.

Leyton Orient will check on defenders Mathieu Baudry (knee) and Elliot Omozusi (hip), who both missed Saturday's 2-0 win over Tranmere. Marvin Bartley is set to miss out again with a hamstring problem, but fellow midfielder John Lundstram is available after extending his loan spell from Everton.

Last season: Leyton Orient 2 Milton Keynes Dons 0, Milton Keynes Dons 1 Leyton Orient 0

Last five league matches: Milton Keynes Dons W L L D D; Leyton Orient D W L L W Top scorers: Izale McLeod & Ben Reeves (Milton Keynes Dons) 11; David Mooney (Leyton Orient) 20 Match odds: H 7-5 A 6-4 D 9-4

Referee: Stephen Martin (Staffordshire)

Our verdict: MK Dons 0 Leyton Orient 2

Oldham v Notts County

Oldham will run the rule over both Jonathan Grounds and James Wesolowski, who both missed the midweek draw with Sheffield United because of knocks, as they look to extend their unbeaten run to 10 matches. Genseric Kusunga (hamstring) and Anton Rodgers (groin) miss out again.

Notts County must try to preserve their League One status without Hayden Mullins. The Birmingham defender has been recalled by his parent club following a spate of injuries at St Andrew's. A draw would be enough to keep Notts up given their vastly-superior goal difference over Tranmere.

Last season: Notts County 1 Oldham 0, Oldham 2 Notts County 2

Last five league matches: Oldham W W D W D; Notts County L W L W W Top scorers: Danny Philliskirk (Oldham) 12; Callum McGregor (Notts County) 14 Match odds: H 7-5 A 6-4 D 9-4

Referee: Fred Graham (Essex)

Our verdict: Oldham 4 Notts County 2

Peterborough v Port Vale

Peterborough's leading-scorer Britt Assombalonga is expected to be be given the afternoon off, while the likes of Bobby Olejnik, Mark Little and Tommy Rowe could also be rested. Recently-signed Ricardo Santos and teenagers Tom Conlon and Jermaine Anderson could be included in the squad.

Vale have no new injury problems, but there will be changes to the squad that travels to London Road. Doug Loft (broken cheekbone), Joe Davis (hamstring) and Tom Pope (ankle) all missed the home defeat to Sheffield United last weekend and will probably not feature on Saturday. Chris Shuker has retired.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Peterborough W W L W W; Port Vale W L W L L Top scorers: Britt Assombalonga (Peterborough) 32; Tom Pope (Port Vale) 16 Match odds: H 4-6 A 3-1 D 13-5

Referee: Jeremy Simpson (Lancashire).

Our verdict: Peterborough 1 Port Vale 1

Sheffield United v Coventry

Sheffield United defenders Neill Collins and Matt Hill are both injury doubts. Centre-half Collins missed Tuesday night's draw at Oldham due to an ankle injury and the versatile Hill is struggling with a calf problem. Bob Harris remains sidelined after missing the last three games with a groin injury.

Franck Moussa (back) is unlikely to feature for Coventry, meaning the midfielder would miss out on a farewell appearance if he leaves in the summer as expected. Carl Baker is available after he was given the all-clear following a scan on his ankle, but Anton Robinson is still struggling with a knee injury.

Last season: Sheff Utd 1 Coventry 2, Coventry 1 Sheff Utd 1

Last five league matches: Sheff Utd W W D W D; Coventry L L L D D Top scorers: Chris Porter (Sheff Utd) 11; Callum Wilson (Coventry) 22 Match odds: H 5-6 A 11-4 D 11-5

Referee: Darren Bond (Lancashire)

Our verdict: Sheffield United 3 Coventry 2

Swindon v Rotherham

Swindon's Alex Pritchard will be unavailable under the terms of his youth-loan deal, while Troy Archibald-Henville and Nathan Thompson are suspended after being sent off in last Saturday's defeat to Notts County. Ryan Mason, Grant Hall, Yaser Kasim, Ryan Harley and Nile Ranger all miss out through injury.

Rotherham's on-loan midfielder Richie Smallwood serves the second game of his three-match ban, while Miles Addison is doubtful with a twisted ankle. The Millers, currently fifth, must win and hope both Preston and Leyton Orient do not to ensure a home game in the second leg of the play-offs.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Swindon L W W W L; Rotherham L D L W D Top scorers: Michael Smith (Swindon) 17; Kieran Agard (Rotherham) 25 Match odds: H 6-4 A 7-5 D 9-4

Referee: Dean Whitestone (Northamptonshire)

Our verdict: Swindon 2 Rotherham 1

Tranmere v Bradford

Tranmere are likely to be without first-choice goalkeeper Owain Fon Williams for their crunch fixture. A groin injury is almost certainly going to stop the Welshman playing his 50th game of the season, meaning Jason Mooney may deputise. Captain James Wallace will not return from a groin problem.

Bradford striker James Hanson (back) will play no part, but boss Phil Parkinson is hoping defender Rory McArdle can shake off an ankle injury sustained in last week's win against Crawley. Midfielder Nathan Doyle is expected to be in contention despite a niggling groin problem.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Tranmere W L L D L; Bradford L D W L W Top scorers: Ryan Lowe (Tranmere) 20; James Hanson (Bradford) 12 Match odds: H 5-6 A 5-2 D 12-5

Referee: Graham Scott (Oxfordshire).

Our verdict: Tranmere 2 Bradford 2

Walsall v Colchester

Walsall manager Dean Smith will check on Dean Holden (hamstring) and Ben Purkiss (eye), who are both in danger of missing the season finale. Smith will be desperate to end on a high after a run of five games without a win, which has seen them drop from the brink of the play-offs to mid-table.

Colchester player-coach Karl Duguid could be given a farewell appearance despite not featuring since October 2012. U's boss Joe Dunne could grant Duguid his wish and make other changes with Craig Eastmond itching for his first start since the beginning of April.

Last season: Colchester 2 Walsall 0, Walsall 1 Colchester 0

Last five league matches: Walsall L L D D L; Colchester L W L D W Top scorers: Craig Westcarr (Walsall) 17; Freddie Sears (Colchester) 12 Match odds: H 19-20 A 23-10 D 11-5

Referee: David Webb (County Durham)

Our verdict: Walsall 0 Colchester 0

Wolves v Carlisle

Wolves boss Kenny Jackett expects to have Leon Clarke available after a groin injury kept him out last week. George Elokobi, who has been told he will not be offered a new contract in the summer, will be denied a farewell appearance because of a hamstring problem.

Carlisle are expected to be without Lee Miller after the striker was left out of the squad in midweek for disciplinary reasons. Gary Madine will return to contention after missing the trip to Crawley because of curfew restrictions associated with his early prison release, but strike partner Nacho Novo (hamstring) remains doubtful.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Wolverhampton W W W W D; Carlisle L D L L D Top scorers: Leon Clarke (Wolverhampton) 19; David Amoo (Carlisle) 11 Match odds: H 4-9 A 9-2 D 3-1

Referee: Andy D'Urso (Essex)

Our verdict: Wolves 3 Carlisle 1

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