Sky Bet League 2 briefing

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

Last Updated: 14/03/14 at 14:45 Post Comment

Paul Tisdale: Exeter boss could ring the changes

Paul Tisdale: Exeter boss could ring the changes

Saturday, March 15

Burton v AFC Wimbledon (1500 GMT)

Ian Sharps (calf) is Burton's only injury concern. Marcus Holness, who was outstanding against Portsmouth in midweek, is set to continue alongside Shane Cansdell-Sherriff at the heart of the defence should Sharps be ruled out again.

AFC Wimbledon have an almost fully-fit squad. The Dons' recent spate of injuries have cleared up leaving only long-term casualties Charlie Strutton (broken leg) and Rhys Weston (knee) in the treatment room.

Last season: AFC Wimbledon 1 Burton Albion 1, Burton Albion 6 AFC Wimbledon 2

Last five league matches: Burton Albion L D W W D; AFC Wimbledon L W D L D

Top scorers: Billy Kee (Burton Albion) 12; Charlie Strutton (AFC Wimbledon) 6

Referee: Dean Whitestone (Northamptonshire).

Our verdict: Burton 2 AFC Wimbledon 0

Cheltenham v Torquay (1500)

Cheltenham's Jamie Cureton will hope to have earned himself a start after stepping off the bench to net the equaliser at Oxford. Manager Mark Yates could also be tempted into handing David Noble (hamstring) a start following his recovery from injury.

Torquay midfielder Joss Labadie can feature despite a 10-game ban for an alleged biting incident hanging over his head. The Gulls have until Monday to decide whether to appeal his suspension, which means he is available against the Robins.

Last season: Cheltenham 2 Torquay 1, Torquay 2 Cheltenham 2

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

Top scorers: Byron Harrison (Cheltenham) 12; Jordan Chapell & Aiden O'Brien (Torquay) 5

Referee: Mark Haywood (W Yorkshire).

Our verdict: Cheltenham 1 Torquay 2

Chesterfield v Oxford (1500)

Mason Bennett will be in the Chesterfield squad after joining on loan from Derby. Dan Gardner's ankle injury is not as bad as the club initially feared and he may be back in action in just two or three weeks, while Drew Talbot is recovering from surgery to cure an abductor problem.

Oxford will be without experienced striker Dave Kitson (hamstring) after he limped off 30 minutes into Saturday's 2-1 home defeat to Burton. Midfielder Jon Meades, yet to feature since his summer arrival due to injury, could be involved but is unlikely to start.

Last season: Oxford Utd 0 Chesterfield 1, Chesterfield 2 Oxford Utd 1

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

Top scorers: Dan Gardner (Chesterfield) 10; James Constable (Oxford Utd) 11

Referee: Paul Tierney (Lancashire).

Our verdict: Chesterfield 3 Torquay 0

Dagenham v Morecambe (1500)

Influential pair Rhys Murphy (groin) and Zavon Hines (knee) are set to miss out once more for Dagenham.

Jack Connors could return to the starting line-up following illness, while Afolabi Obafemi (ankle) is closing in on his comeback after two months out.

Full-back Shaun Beeley looks set to miss Morecambe's trip with a hamstring injury. Shrimps boss Jim Bentley will also be without midfielder Andy Fleming for the next two fixtures after he picked up his 10th yellow card of the season.

Last season: Dag & Red 1 Morecambe 2, Morecambe 2 Dag & Red 1

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

Top scorers: Rhys Murphy (Dag & Red) 13; Kevin Ellison (Morecambe) 9

Referee: Tim Robinson (West Sussex).

Our verdict: Dagenham 1 Morecambe 2

Fleetwood v Portsmouth (1500)

David Ball (ankle) and Bobby Grant (knee) are still not ready to return to Fleetwood's attack. Town boss Graham Alexander is without midfielder Jeff Hughes for the remainder of the season because of a broken leg.

Portsmouth skipper Ben Chorley had to come off during Tuesday night's goalless draw with Burton with an Achilles problem and is an injury doubt. Full-back Daniel Alfei (hamstring) and winger Andy Barcham (thigh) were absent in midweek and will also be assessed, while Simon Ferry (back) continues to miss out.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Fleetwood Town L D D W D; Portsmouth L W D D D

Top scorers: David Ball (Fleetwood Town) 11; Patrick Agyemang (Portsmouth) 5

Referee: Iain Williamson (Berkshire).

Our verdict: Fleetwood 0 Portsmouth 0

Hartlepool v Bristol Rovers (1500)

Hartlepool boss Colin Cooper must decide whether to recall striker Marlon Harewood. Michael Duckworth remains sidelined with a leg injury and fellow defender Neil Austin remains out with a toe problem.

Bristol Rovers boss John Ward looks set to shuffle his pack. A 2-1 home defeat to Dagenham saw the Pirates' six-game unbeaten run come to an end and Ward hinted at making changes as his side get ready for their third game in a week.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

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

Top scorers: Luke James (Hartlepool) 14; John-Joe O'Toole (Bristol Rovers) 15

Referee: Seb Stockbridge (Tyne & Wear).

Our verdict: Hartlepool 1 Bristol Rovers 2

Northampton v Mansfield (1500)

Northampton welcome back Ricky Ravenhill from suspension but will be without John Marquis after his loan from Millwall was cut short. Defender Joe Widdowson is set to return after missing the last four games with an ankle problem but captain Lee Collins (foot) is out for the rest of the season.

Mansfield will monitor Darryl Westlake (hamstring) who limped off just before the half-hour mark during Tuesday night's home defeat to York. Ritchie Sutton (hamstring) is likely to be out of action for around three weeks.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

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

Top scorers: Emile Sinclair (Northampton) 6; Sam Clucas (Mansfield) 13

Referee: Andy Haines (Tyne & Wear).

Our verdict: Northampton 3 Mansfield 0

Plymouth v Scunthorpe (1500)

Plymouth will have Jason Banton available following his recovery from a groin injury. Goalkeeper Luke McCormick and striker Matt Lecointe are the only Argyle absentees.Scunthorpe midfielder Sean McAllister is hoping to return to contention after a calf injury. Striker Deon Burton (calf) remains sidelined as the Iron, who have drawn nine of their last 11 league games, chase their first win in five.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

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

Top scorers: Reuben Reid (Plymouth) 16; Sam Winnall (Scunthorpe) 19

Referee: Darren Drysdale (Lincolnshire).

Our verdict: Plymouth 2 Scunthorpe 1

Rochdale v Accrington (1500)

Rochdale will be without suspended defender Ollie Lancashire but striker Ian Henderson returns from his ban. Striker Scott Hogan remains doubtful after missing out on Tuesday night due to a knee injury sustained against Bury.

Accrington will receive a double boost in their defence with Nicky Hunt and Peter Murphy both back from suspension. Defender Michael Liddle will definitely miss out with a minor hamstring complaint but Dean Winnard is expected to play despite receiving a blow to the head against Hartlepool. Young striker Marcus Carver (shin) is also out.

Last season: Rochdale 0 Accrington Stanley 3, Accrington Stanley 2 Rochdale 3

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

Top scorers: Scott Hogan (Rochdale) 19; Peter Murphy (Accrington Stanley) 9

Referee: Andy D'Urso (Essex).

Our verdict: Rochdale 1 Accrington 1

Southend v Bury (1500)

On-loan Liverpool defender Jakub Sokolik is in line to make his Southend debut. Luke Prosser is closing in on his return from a calf strain but Adam Thompson is set to be sidelined for another week with his calf injury.

Bury are likely to be without striker Anton Forrester (knee). Chris Hussey joined the club on loan on Thursday and will come straight into the squad, while captain Craig Jones (hamstring) remains absent.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

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

Top scorers: Kevan Hurst (Southend) 11; Daniel Nardiello (Bury) 14

Referee: Lee Collins (Surrey).

Our verdict: Southend 1 Bury 2

York v Wycombe (1500)

York boss Nigel Worthington is expected to name an unchanged starting line-up for the fifth straight game. Worthington has no new injury or suspension problems, although striker Wes Fletcher has yet to regain full match fitness following his recent hamstring problem.

Wycombe boss Gareth Ainsworth hopes to call on captain Stuart Lewis (hamstring) to boost his midfield options. Josh Scowen is suspended and he is joined on the sidelines by Paris Cowan-Hall (ankle).

Last season: Wycombe 4 York 0, York 1 Wycombe 3

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

Top scorers: Wes Fletcher (York) 13; Dean Morgan & Matt McClure (Wycombe) 7

Referee: Steven Rushton (Staffordshire).

Our verdict: York 2 Wycome 0

Sunday, March 16

Newport v Exeter (1500)

Newport will be without suspended defender Tom Naylor. The match will also see a Rodney Parade debut for MK Dons loanee Ian McLoughlin with goalkeepers Jamie Stephens and Lenny Pidgeley still not match fit.

Exeter boss Paul Tisdale could ring the changes as his side look for a vital three points. Irish duo Jimmy Keohane and John O'Flynn could come into contention while the likes of Pat Baldwin, Jamie Reid and Eliot Richards will hope to start.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Newport County L D D L L; Exeter L L L D L

Top scorers: Chris Zebroski (Newport County) 9; Eliot Richards (Exeter) 7

Referee: Carl Boyeson (E Yorkshire).

Our verdict: Newport 2 Exeter 1


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