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Match Previews

Sky Bet League 2 weekend preview

27 December 2013

Accrington Stanley v Southend United

Southend Untied have collected 19 points from their 11 away matches and this Sunday they are on the road at Accrington Stanley.

Those points have come from six victories and a draw for the Blues and that's the third best away record in Sky Bet League 2.

The sixth-placed side won 1-0 at AFC Wimbledon last time out and meet a Stanley side who sit 18th after drawing 1-1 with York City on Boxing Day.

AFC Wimbledon v Plymouth Argyle

That defeat to Southend was AFC Wimbledon's fifth successive game without a victory and, next up, they welcome an improving Plymouth Argyle.

The Wombles have slid down the table after those winless matches but they still posses the seventh best home record. Plymouth have won two on the bounce, against Bury and high-flying Oxford United, and they are 13th.

This will be just the fifth meeting between these two teams; AFC Wimbledon have two wins compared to Plymouth's one, while the other encounter ended 1-1.

Burton Albion v Newport County

Burton Albion and Newport County are two of Sky Bet League 2's in-form teams and they come together at the Pirelli Stadium.

The pair sit side-by-side in the table - Burton fourth, Newport fifth - and are separated by a single point, although the Exiles have played a game fewer. Both have four wins and two draws in their last six.

The two clubs haven't locked horns since their Southern League days in the early 2000s, with three of their four meetings ending level. Burton won the most recent clash, with County yet to beat the Brewers.

Bury v York City

Two of Sky Bet League 2's strugglers come together, with Bury hosting York City.

The Shakers are the lower of the two, in the relegation zone on 21 points, while York are 20th but only one point better off.

Seven of York's last eight have been draws. Five of Bury's last seven have ended level. They were both involved in draws on Boxing Day, against Accrington and Scunthorpe respectively, and last time they met, in 2004, the game ended 1-1.

Cheltenham Town v Mansfield Town

Mansfield Town's torrid run continued on Boxing Day and next up for them is a visit to in-form Cheltenham Town.

The Stags lost 3-0 to Rochdale to extend their winless run to 13 games, and that result dragged them closer to the bottom two - they are now just one point above the relegation zone.

Things couldn't be much different for 10th-placed Cheltenham, with Mark Yates' side now unbeaten in 11 Sky Bet League 2 games after a 1-0 triumph against Exeter City on Boxing Day.

Chesterfield v Dagenham and Redbridge

Sky Bet League 2 leaders Chesterfield host an out-of-sorts Dagenham and Redbridge side.

The Spireites have won two and drawn once in their last three, topping the table on 40 points - two ahead of nearest-challengers Oxford United.

Dagenham have slipped to 11th after three defeats in a row, most recently against Portsmouth. They've lost six of their 12 matches on the road.

Morecambe v Hartlepool United

Morecambe and Hartlepool go head-to-head for the first time in the league when they meet at the Globe Arena.

The pair have only clashed once before and that was in the Football League Trophy in 2007. The game ended 1-1, with Morecambe triumphing 4-2 on penalties.

Jim Bentley's men sit ninth - two points adrift of the Play-Offs - having won three and drawn two of their last five. Hartlepool are 14th, with four draws coming in their last four outings.

Oxford United v Scunthorpe United

It's second against third at the Kassam Stadium, where Oxford entertain Scunthorpe.

The two promotion-chasers are level on 38 points in the upper echelons of the Sky Bet League 2 table, but it's the Iron who possess the better form after four victories in six, compared to Oxford's one victory in five.

The two sides haven't met since the 2004/05 season, during which both encounters ended 1-1. Oxford have five wins in the overall head-to-head record, compared to Scunthorpe's seven. Six matches have produced draws.

Portsmouth v Northampton Town

Sunday's fixture list sees Portsmouth and Northampton Town clash for the first time in league competition since 1980, at Fratton Park.

Pompey triumphed 2-0 in the most recent league clash, and won 6-1 in the reverse fixture during that campaign.

They will be tipped to win this one, too, with managerless Northampton rooted to the bottom of the division after back-to-back defeats. Portsmouth are 17th and overcame Dagenham last time out for their first three-pointer in eight outings.

A vital three points: Portsmouth players celebrate the only goal of the game against Dagenham last time out

Rochdale v Bristol Rovers

Rochdale and Bristol Rovers have both collected eight points from their last six games and lock horns at Spotland.

The pair have won twice, lost twice and drew twice over recent weeks. Rovers gained a point from a 1-1 stalemate with Torquay on Boxing Day, while Rochdale overcame Mansfield 3-0.

The home side has prevailed in this fixture on the last four occasions, with two wins apiece. Dale have the best home record in the division. Rovers have the third worst away form.

Torquay United v Exeter City

A tasty match at Plainmoor sees Torquay United entertain local rivals Exeter City.

The away side have the upper hand in the overall head-to-head record with 42 victories compared to Torquay's 37, but it was the Gulls who took the bragging rights in the last meeting, in January.

Torquay picked up a point last time out to extend their undefeated streak to three games, remaining one place outside the drop zone. Exeter fell to 12th after losing for the second game on the bounce, against Cheltenham.

Wycombe Wanderers v Fleetwood Town

Fleetwood Town have also lost back-to-back games and visit mid-table Wycombe Wanderers.

The Cod Army haven't scored in those two defeats, the most recent of which came against Lancashire neighbours Morecambe, and they now find themselves down in eighth, after previously sitting in the automatic promotion places.

Wycombe are 15th. Only one of their last 10 outings has ended with a victory but they've won the last two meetings with Fleetwood, both 1-0.

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