Sky Bet League 2 briefing

  • Last Updated: August 17 2013, 15:25 BST

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

Burton's Zander Diamond is facing three weeks on the sidelines
Burton's Zander Diamond is facing three weeks on the sidelines

Saturday, August 17

Bury v Accrington

Bury hope to kick-start their season, but will need to do so without the suspended Nathan Cameron.

The 21-year-old defender was shown a second yellow card last week for dissent and was duly fined two weeks wages by Shakers boss Kevin Blackwell.

Danny Webber looks set to continue up front for Accrington.

With no fresh injury concerns manager James Beattie may opt to keep the same starting XI that held Portsmouth last weekend.

Last season: No Corresponding fixture

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

Top scorers: Richard Hinds, Shaun Harrad, Shaun Beeley & Tom Soares (Bury) 1; Peter Murphy (Accrington Stanley) 2

Referee: Darren Bond (Lancashire)

Our verdict: 2-0 - Good day for the Shakers.

Team Versus Team
Bury v Accrington
Cheltenham v Plymouth
Exeter v AFC W'don
Fleetwood v Burton Alb
Newport v Bristol R
Portsmouth v Morecambe
Rochdale v Chesterfld
Scunthorpe v Dag + Red
Southend v Northamptn
Torquay v Oxford Utd
Wycombe v Mansfield
York City v Hartlepool

Cheltenham v Plymouth

Cheltenham striker Steven Gillespie could go straight into the starting line-up due to a lack of forwards.

With the exception of Jamie Cureton and Terry Gornell manager Mark Yates has no other injury worries.

Plymouth will be boosted by the return to contention of defender Guy Branston.

The former Rotherham and Torquay centre-back came through a midweek friendly unscathed following a calf injury and boosts Argyle's defensive options.

Last season: Plymouth 2 Cheltenham 0, Cheltenham 2 Plymouth 1

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

Top scorers: Byron Harrison (Cheltenham) 3; Lewis Alessandra (Plymouth) 2

Referee: Charles Breakspear (Surrey)

Our verdict: 0-0 - No Jamie Cureton and no goals.

Position Player Score
1 Oxford Utd 6
2 Fleetwood 6
3 Chesterfld 6
4 Southend 6
5 Scunthorpe 4
6 Burton Alb 4
7 AFC W'don 4
8 Exeter 4
9 Rochdale 3
10 Newport 3
11 Northamptn 3
12 Dag + Red 3
13 Wycombe 3
14 York City 3
15 Torquay 2
16 Bristol R 1
17 Morecambe 1
18 Cheltenham 1
19 Mansfield 1
20 Accrington 1
21 Portsmouth 1
22 Bury 0
23 Plymouth 0
24 Hartlepool 0

Exeter v AFC Wimbledon

Exeter could be without five first-team players as their injury problems continue to mount.

Scot Bennett and Jordan Moore-Taylor, who have started the Grecians' first three games, both sustained knee injuries in Saturday's goalless draw with Mansfield.

AFC Wimbledon boss Neal Ardley has a virtually full-strength squad.

Will Antwi is the only absentee as he recovers from a hernia operation. The centre-half is expected back in contention within the next couple of weeks.

Last season: AFC Wimbledon 2 Exeter 2, Exeter 2 AFC Wimbledon 0

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

Top scorers: Danny Coles & Sam Parkin (Exeter) 1; Luke Moore (AFC Wimbledon) 2

Referee: Graham Horwood (Bedfordshire)

Our verdict: 1-0 - Narrow home win.

Fleetwood v Burton

Fleetwood manager Graham Alexander will assess the fitness of Jon Parkin.

Despite signing a contract extension at the end of last season, the former Hull striker has not featured this season.

Burton will have an unchanged squad with the only absentee expected to be defender Zander Diamond, who is out for the next three weeks.

Gary Rowett is considering recalls for Michael Symes and Alex MacDonald.

Last season: Fleetwood Town 0 Burton Albion 4, Burton Albion 0 Fleetwood Town 1

Last five league matches: Fleetwood Town L L L W W; Burton Albion W L W D W

Top scorers: David Ball (Fleetwood Town) 3; Chris Hussey (Burton Albion) 2

Referee: Steve Bratt (W Midlands)

Our verdict: 3-1 - The Cod Army march on.

Newport County v Bristol Rovers

Newport look set to hand new signing Tom Naylor a start after he joined on loan from Derby.

Defenders Byron Anthony and Tony James are both sidelined, while centre-back Ismail Yakubu is doubtful due to a calf strain.

Bristol Rovers boss John Ward looks set to name defender Garry Kenneth in his squad.

The 25-year-old has been sidelined since January after rupturing an anterior cruciate ligament.

Last season: No Corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Newport County W D L W L; Bristol Rovers D L D L D

Top scorers: Conor Washington, Danny Crow & Chris Zebroski (Newport County) 2; Eliot Richards (Bristol Rovers) 2

Referee: Lee Collins (Surrey)

Our verdict: 1-1 - A point each.

Portsmouth v Morecambe

Marcos Painter is set to make his Portsmouth debut after joining the club as a free agent this week.

Skipper Johnny Ertl is still absent as he completes a three-match ban following his opening-day red card.

Morecambe could see the return of three players from injury.

Chris McGready and Marcus Marshall just missed out on last week's home draw with Torquay, while Kevin Ellison was a little behind in his expected recovery time.

Last season: No Corresponding fixture

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

Top scorers: David Connolly (Portsmouth) 2; Ryan Williams (Morecambe) 2

Referee: Darren Drysdale (Lincolnshire)

Our verdict: 2-0 - First win of the season for Pompey.

Rochdale v Chesterfield

Rochdale will be without suspended skipper Peter Cavanagh after they lost their appeal against his straight red card in last week's defeat at Burton.

Bastien Hery, Andrew Tutte and teenager Jamie Allen will all be vying to start in Cavanagh's absence.

Chesterfield have named an unchanged squad with centre-half Ian Evatt and winger Jamie Devitt the only two players unavailable.

Evatt, Cook's captain in waiting, is nearing match fitness following a lengthy lay-off after knee surgery.

Last season: Rochdale 1 Chesterfield 1, Chesterfield 1 Rochdale 1

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

Top scorers: Ian Henderson, George Donnelly, Scott Hogan (Rochdale) 1; Eoin Doyle (Chesterfield) 2

Referee: Andy Haines (Tyne & Wear)

Our verdict: 1-1 - A close contest.

Scunthorpe v Dagenham

Scunthorpe defender Andy Dawson is expected to return to the starting line-up.

Summer signing Etienne Esajas is still working on his match fitness and seems unlikely to start.

Dagenham boss Wayne Burnett is set to keep faith with the same starting XI that beat York last weekend.

Midfielder Matt Saunders (foot) and defender Luke Wilkinson (groin) are back in full training, but this clash looks to have come too soon for the duo.

Last season: No Corresponding fixture

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

Top scorers: Matt Sparrow & Sam Winnall (Scunthorpe) 1; Rhys Murphy (Dag & Red) 2

Referee: Darren Deadman (Cambridgeshire)

Our verdict: 3-0 - The Iron to stand firm.

Southend v Northampton

Striker Barry Corr is available for Southend having won his appeal against last weekend's red card.

Mark Phillips will be assessed, but Julian Bennett is out for around six months having ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament.

Clive Platt and Chris Hackett are both back in contention for Northampton after injury.

Defender Matt Heath will have a late fitness test having sustained a calf strain.

Last season: Southend 1 Northampton 2, Northampton 3 Southend 3

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

Top scorers: Barry Corr & Freddy Eastwood (Southend) 1; Roy O'Donovan (Northampton) 2

Referee: Andy Davies (Hampshire)

Our verdict: 2-2 - Should be a decent game.

Torquay v Oxford

Torquay will be without Elliot Benyon (concussion) and Dale Tonge (suspension).

Goalkeeper Michael Poke has resumed training after his thigh injury, but was not risked in Tuesday's friendly at Cheltenham so Martin Rice will continue in goal.

Oxford will check on the fitness of Dave Kitson, who left the pitch last Saturday with a shoulder injury.

Jonathan Meades remains sidelined with a leg injury but manager Chris Wilder has no fresh injury worries.

Last season: Torquay 1 Oxford Utd 3, Oxford Utd 0 Torquay 0

Last five league matches: Torquay W W D D D; Oxford Utd W W W W W

Top scorers: Aaron Downes & Karl Hawley (Torquay) 1; Deane Smalley & Alfie Potter (Oxford Utd)

Referee: Phil Gibbs (West Midlands)

Our verdict: 1-2 - Oxford have the edge.

Wycombe v Mansfield

Wycombe will be without captain Stuart Lewis, who serves the first of a three-game ban.

Gary Doherty and Matt McClure are both in contention after coming through 90 minutes in a behind-closed-doors friendly in midweek.

Mansfield manager Paul Cox hopes to add goalkeeper Liam Mitchell to his squad after Ian Deakin suffered a dislocated shoulder during the warm-up last weekend.

Keiran Murtagh is still out with a knee injury.

Last season: No Corresponding fixture

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

Top scorers: Jo Kuffour & Paris Cowan-Hall (Wycombe) 1

Match odds: H 5-4 A 15-8 D 23-10

Referee: Keith Hill (Hertfordshire)

Our verdict: 1-1 - Both sides leave with a point.

York v Hartlepool

Strikers Wes Fletcher and Ryan Bowman are both pushing for their league debuts in York's first meeting with Hartlepool in over 10 years.

Nigel Worthington is still without Sander Puri, who will be sidelined for a further five weeks due to a hamstring injury.

Hartlepool skipper Antony Sweeney will miss out due to a calf injury.

Striker Steve Howard is pushing for his start of the season.

Last season: No Corresponding fixture

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

Top scorers: Ryan Jarvis (York) 1; Neil Austin (Hartlepool) 1

Referee: David Phillips (West Sussex)

Our verdict: 2-0 - Bad start continues for Hartlepool.


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