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Match Previews

Sky Bet League 1 midweek preview

19 August 2014

We look ahead to the midweek action in Sky Bet League 1

Tuesday 19th August 2014

Bristol City v Leyton Orient

The Robins: Steve Cotterill’s men were touted as title contenders before the 2014/15 season started and two wins in two has left them fulfilling that billing at the top of the table. They’ve seen off both Sheffield United and Colchester United with 2-1 wins. Striker Aaron Wilbraham has scored three goals in two Sky Bet League 1 games.

The O’s: Recovered from an opening-day loss at home to Chesterfield to pick up a solid 3-1 win at Oldham Athletic on Saturday. Darius Henderson has two league goals in as many games.

Second-half strength: Bristol City are yet to hold a half-time lead in their two Sky Bet League 1 games this season, but have six points on the board.

Chesterfield v Milton Keynes Dons

The Spireites: Enjoying a magnificent start to life in Sky Bet League 1 having won both of their fixtures – against Leyton Orient and Rochdale – 2-1. Dublin-born striker Eoin Doyle already has four goals this term in League and Cup.

The Dons: Beat Gillingham and AFC Wimbledon in their opening two games of the campaign across League and Cup but suffered a 3-2 defeat at Peterborough United on Saturday. They are the top scorers in the division with six goals.

Happy hunting ground: MK have visited Chesterfield four times previously, winning two and drawing two.

Coventry City v Barnsley

The Sky Blues: Two defeats in two saw Coventry knocked out of the Capital One Cup and on zero points, but an impressive 1-0 success over Sheffield United on Saturday lifted the side’s spirits heading into this midweek encounter. New signing Simeon Jackson could be involved.

The Tykes: Also have a win and a defeat from their opening two games, and sit directly below Coventry in the table, in 14th. Their victory over Crewe on Saturday avenged their loss to the same opposition in the Capital One Cup.

Bad travellers: Barnsley haven’t won away against Coventry in 91 years, last triumphing back in August 1923. In the 22 games since, the Sky Blues have picked up 16 victories, alongside six draws.

Crawley Town v Bradford City

The Reds: Fifth-placed Crawley’s 100 per cent start to the season has come without conceding a goal across two Sky Bet League 1 games and one Capital One Cup match. They haven’t won their first three league matches of a campaign since the 2006/07 season – eight years ago.

The Bantams: Phil Parkinson’s men are also unbeaten after their first three matches – winning on the opening day and in the Cup before a 0-0 draw with Walsall last time out. Alan Sheehan missed that game against the Saddlers but could return for the trip to West Sussex.

Deja vu: Crawley’s games so far have all produced 1-0 wins, with Izale McLeod netting all three goals.

Crewe Alexandra v Rochdale

The Railwaymen: Crewe may have progressed to the Capital One Cup Round 2 but defeats in Sky Bet League 1 either side of that success, to Fleetwood Town and Barnsley, has left them point-less.

Dale: Having lost star striker Scott Hogan during pre-season, Keith Hill’s Dale have struggled at the start of the 2014/15 campaign, suffering three successive defeats. They’re yet to score from open play; Ian Henderson’s penalty at Chesterfield at the weekend being their only breakthrough.

Bad omen: When Rochdale last competed in League 1 two years ago, they also went winless across their first three league games. They’ll be looking to avoid a repeat of that scenario with victory at Gresty Road.

Doncaster Rovers v Preston North End

Rovers: Convincingly beat Yeovil 3-0 in their first game and then secured their passage into the Second Round of the Capital One Cup, but came crashing down to earth with a 3-1 home defeat by Port Vale at the weekend.

The Lilywhites: A 4-0 demolition of Scunthorpe on Saturday showed why Preston are much-fancied to improve on their Play-Off Semi-Final defeat back in May. They’re in sixth position on four points and have the division's best goal difference.

Home blues: When these two teams clash, recent history favours the away team. Over their past seven meetings, the visiting team has won four times, with three draws.

Gillingham v Swindon Town

The Gills: Goalkeeper Stephen Bywater is set to keep his place in goal for the visit of Swindon, having impressed and being named in the Sky Bet Football League Team of the Week. His penalty save helped the Gills beat Yeovil Town at the weekend, countering their opening-day defeat.

The Robins: Like Gillingham, Swindon are also on three points. They beat Scunthorpe 3-1 on the inaugural weekend of the campaign, before losing 1-0 to Crawley last time out.

Expect goals: This will be the 93rd meeting between these two sides. Their last 0-0 stalemate was in the 1980/81 season, 17 matches ago.

Notts County v Colchester United

The Magpies: Their only point so far came after drawing with Preston on the opening day, having lost 1-0 to Fleetwood Town last weekend. That was their first defeat at Meadow Lane in six, having won their final five at home in 2013/14.

The U’s: Sit above County courtesy of goals scored, with a draw against Oldham their sole point to date. They let a 1-0 lead at Bristol City slip last weekend, losing 2-1.

Winning habit: The Magpies have won each of their past five home clashes with Colchester, at an aggregate scoreline of 14-2. The U’s haven’t picked up three points at Meadow Lane since November 2002.

Oldham Athletic v Port Vale

The Latics: Oldham are the third and final Sky Bet League 1 team on one point, sitting below County in the table. Their 2-2 stalemate with Colchester was followed by a 3-1 defeat by Leyton Orient at the weekend.

The Valiants: Have netted 10 goals in their opening three fixtures of the season. A 1-1 draw with Walsall was followed by a solid 3-1 win at Doncaster on Saturday, sandwiched between that was a 6-2 success over Sky Bet League 2 side Hartlepool United in the Cup.

Hotshots: After only three games, Tom Pope and Ben Williamson already have four goals each this season, making them the hottest strike partnership in The Football League. It took the latter 36 matches to reach that tally last season.

Peterborough United v Sheffield United - 7:30pm kick-off

Posh: On of five teams enjoying a 100 per cent start to the 2014/15 Sky Bet League 1 campaign following a 1-0 victory at Rochdale and a 3-2 success over Milton Keynes Dons. However, Peterborough were humbled by Portsmouth in the Capital One Cup, losing 1-0.

The Blades: Despite their pre-season tag of promotion candidates, Nigel Clough’s men have lost both league fixtures, to Bristol City and Coventry. The club hasn’t lost their opening three league games since suffering five straight defeats at the beginning of the 1995/96 campaign.

On your own: Peterborough have faced the Blades nine times in their history but have only one win to their name; a 1-0 success in the 2009/10 Championship season. Sheffield United have six victories, alongside two draws.

Scunthorpe United v Fleetwood Town

The Iron: After promotion last season, they’ve lost their first two matches, 3-1 at Swindon and 4-0 at home to Preston. That defeat to the Lilywhites was their first league loss at Glanford Park since November, and Russ Wilcox has reacted by bringing in striker Billy Kee from Burton Albion.

The Cod Army: Fellow promotion winners Fleetwood are adapting much better to life in Sky Bet League 1. They’re fourth on six points, having beaten Crewe Alexandra and Notts County.

Give us a goal: Fleetwood have never scored against Scunthorpe. Admittedly they’ve only met twice, both last season, when they played out a 0-0 draw after a 1-0 Iron win.

Walsall v Yeovil Town

The Saddlers: The only team in Sky Bet League 1 to have drawn both of their opening fixtures, after stalemates with Port Vale and Bradford City. Sky Bet League 2 side York City are the only other Football League side to have two points from two games.

The Glovers: Gary Johnson’s men sit second bottom of the division after consecutive defeats, to Doncaster Rovers and Gillingham. Between that, they won their Capital One Cup Round 1 tie.

Goal-shy: Yeovil are the only team in Sky Bet League 1 yet to score this season.

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