Sky Bet League 1 briefing

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

Last Updated: 02/08/13 at 14:00 Post Comment    Bet with SkyBet  Sky Bet League 1. Click here to bet.

Sam Ricketts: Set for his Wolves debut in League 1 against Preston

Sam Ricketts: Set for his Wolves debut in League 1 against Preston

Bristol City v Bradford

New Bristol City goalkeeper Frank Fielding is expected to make his debut, likely to get the nod ahead of fellow new signing Elliot Parish.

Bradford summer signings Jason Kennedy and Mark Yeates are both poised to make their competitive debuts. Another new recruit, ex-Swindon winger Raffaele De Vita, is struggling with a thigh strain after signing this week.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Bristol City L L D L L; Bradford W D L W D

Referee: Stephen Martin (Staffordshire)

Our verdict: Bristol City 2 Bradford 3 - Expect goals and a good day for the away side.

Carlisle v Leyton Orient

Carlisle will be without defender Sean O'Hanlon (knee), but Matty Robson is expected to shake off a back injury. David Amoo, Reece James, Lewis Guy and Josh Gillies could get debuts.

Northern Ireland international Johnny Gorman could feature for Leyton Orient alongside fellow new arrivals Yohann Lasimant and Marvin Bartley. Goalkeeper Jake Larkins may have to settle for a place on the bench.

Last season: Leyton Orient 4 Carlisle 1, Carlisle 1 Leyton Orient 4 Last five league matches: Carlisle W W D L L; Leyton Orient W L W W D

Referee: Jeremy Simpson (Lancashire)

Our verdict: Carlisle 0 Leyton Orient 1 - The away side will have the better of this match.

Crawley v Coventry

New signings Andy Drury and James Hurst could both feature for Crawley. Mustapha Dumbuya, Matt Sparrow and David Hunt all left for pastures new at the end of last season.

Coventry, who remain under a transfer emabrgo, will be without the services of midfielder David Bell and striker Cody McDonald after the duo's contracts were cancelled during pre-season.

Last season: Crawley Town 2 Coventry 0, Coventry 3 Crawley Town 1 Last five league matches: Crawley Town W W L W D; Coventry L D L L D

Referee: Lee Collins (Surrey)

Our verdict: Crawley 3 Coventry 0 - The Red Devils can add to Coventry's woes.

Crewe v Rotherham

Crewe are hopeful both Vadaine Oliver (groin) and Billy Waters (knee) can return to action. Forward Mathias Pogba, who was the club's top scorer last season, is struggling with a knee injury.

Rotherham are expecting striker Daniel Nardiello, their only injury concern to be fit. Nardiello sustained a hamstring injury in the pre-season clash with Huddersfield and only returned to training this week.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Crewe L L L W W; Rotherham W W W W W Referee: Scott Duncan (Tyne & Wear)

Our verdict: Crewe 0 Rotherham 1 - The Millers can net a narrow win.

Gillingham v Colchester

Gillingham boss Martin Allen could hand debuts to four new players. Strikers Cody McDonald, Adebayo Akinfenwa, Antonion German and midfielder Amine Linganzi are all hoping to get the nod.

Colchester boss Joe Dunne could also hand debuts to four new recruits. Chelsea loanee Daniel Pappoe is expected to line up in defence while Ryan Dickson should also feature at the back along with former Craig Eastmond and teenage full-back Mason Spence.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Gillingham W W L D L; Colchester W L L D W Referee: Keith Hill (Hertfordshire)

Our verdict: Gillingham 1 Colchester 0 - The Gills can build on the success of last season's League 1 title.

Peterborough v Swindon

Lee Tomlin is expected to be fit for Peterborough after knee and ankle knocks. Darren Ferguson has added to his ranks, including breaking the club's transfer record this week to sign striker Britt Assombalonga from Watford.

Swindon caretaker boss Mark Cooper will be without suspended defender Nathan Byrne. Midfield trio Alex Pritchard, Ryan Mason and Massimo Luongo, all on season-long loans from Tottenham, will be hoping to make their debuts.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Peterborough W D L W L; Swindon L L W W L Referee: James Linington (Isle of Wight)

Our verdict: Peterborough 4 Swindon 1 - The Robins have no manager and no points from this contest.

Port Vale v Brentford

Port Vale's pre-season injury problems appear to have eased with manager Micky Adams missing only Rob Taylor (thigh) and Joe Davis (knee). Doug Loft (Achilles), Richard Duffy (knee), Adam Yates (knee) and Daniel Jones (thigh) are fit.

Brentford could kick off their season with as many as eight new faces on the pitch. Uwe Rosler has been busy shaping his squad with the likes of Will Grigg and Alan McCormack arriving at Griffin Park along with Spaniard Javi Venta.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Port Vale W D D D D; Brentford W W D D L

Referee: Steve Bratt (W Midlands)

Our verdict: Port Vale 1 Brentford 1 - A close contest to start the season.

Preston v Wolves

Preston boss Simon Grayson will start his bid to get a fourth team promoted to the second tier, with only Stuart Beavon (knee) doubtful. Kevin Davies should lead the line.

Sam Ricketts could make his Wolves debut. The former Bolton and Hull defender is Kenny Jackett's only signing since taking over during the summer.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Preston W D W L D; Wolverhampton L W L L L Referee: Andy Haines (Tyne & Wear)

Our verdict: Preston 0 Wolves 0 - A match that promises much but delivers no goals.

Shrewsbury v MK Dons

Shrewsbury Graham Turner could hand debuts to as many as five new players when they host MK Dons on the opening day, with Tamika Mkandawire set to lead the side.

Dean Bowditch will be missing for MK Dons as he is still regaining full fitness following groin surgery, while striker Patrick Bamford and right-back Jon Otsemobor are also injury concerns.Last season: Milton Keynes Dons 2 Shrewsbury 3, Shrewsbury 2 Milton Keynes Dons 2 Last five league matches: Shrewsbury L L D W W; Milton Keynes Dons W L W L W

Referee: Gary Sutton (Lincolnshire)

Our verdict: Shrewsbury 1 MK Dons 2 - The Shrews will find it tough against a decent away side.

Stevenage v Oldham

Stevenage manager Graham Westley could call upon as many as five debutants, with Sam Wedgbury, Luke Jones, Simon Heslop, Jimmy Smith and Oumare Tounkara in contention.

Summer signing James Dayton may have to wait for his Oldham debut as he struggles with a thigh problem. The only other missing player is Carl Winchester after the defender suffered a knee injury in pre-season.

Last season: Stevenage 1 Oldham 2, Oldham 0 Stevenage 1 Last five league matches: Stevenage W D L L L; Oldham W W W L D

Referee: Darren Sheldrake (Surrey)

Our verdict: Stevenage 1 Oldham 3 - Latics manager Lee Johnson has boosted his squad and they can start in style.

Walsall v Tranmere

Walsall boss Dean Smith could hand debuts to as many as five new players. Chelsea loanee Milan Lalkovic is expected to start in attack alongside former QPR forward Troy Hewitt.

Tranmere expect goalkeeper Owain Fon Williams to make their trip, despite a knee injury. Jason Koumas is not expected to be involved despite signing on Thursday.

Last season: Walsall 2 Tranmere 0, Tranmere 0 Walsall 0 Last five league matches: Walsall W D D D L; Tranmere L L L L D

Referee: Brendan Malone (Wiltshire)

Our verdict: Walsall 1 Tranmere 0 - The hosts have lost key players but still have enough to win this match.


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