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Johnstone's Paint Trophy Area Quarter-Final preview

11 November 2014

We look ahead to the matches in Area Quarter-Finals of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy.

Northern Section

Walsall and Sheffield United will meet at the Banks's Stadium on Wednesday at 7.45pm in the pick of the games in the Area Quarter-Finals of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy.

The Blades have impressed in the Capital One Cup this season, reaching the last eight of the competition, and will hope to carry that form into the Trophy against the Saddlers, who they will play in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

While Sheffield United overcame Hartlepool 2-1 away from home in Round 2 of the Trophy, Walsall beat Rochdale 1-0 on the road, and Dean Smith's side also won the most recent clash against Nigel Clough's men, triumphing 2-1 at home on New Year's Day.

Prior to that, on Tuesday, Bury host Tranmere Rovers in the only all-Sky Bet League 2 encounter of the Area Quarter-Finals.

The Shakers sit fourth in League 2 and beat Morecambe 3-1 in Round 2, while Tranmere are struggling in the relegation zone and needed penalties to get past Carlisle in the previous round, after a 1-1 draw.

The two sides clashed in the league at the start of October, when Bury ran out 2-0 winners at the JD Stadium, courtesy of goals from Kelvin Etuhu and Daniel Nardiello.

On Tuesday 25th November, Preston North End visit Oldham Athletic.

The two teams have performed well so far this term in the league, sitting in the top half of League 1, but Preston took all three points when they met in late August, winning 1-0 at Deepdale.

That was their fourth league victory on the spin against Oldham, but the Latics triumphed 2-0 when they clashed in Lancashire in last season’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.

On Tuesday 9th December, Doncaster Rovers welcome Notts County to the Keepmoat Stadium in the last Area Quarter-Final tie.

Doncaster are 17th in League 1 and produced an impressive display in Round 2, beating Burton Albion 3-0 at the Pirelli Stadium. County, meanwhile, sit in the League 1 Play-Off positions, and have lost only once since their Round 1 Trophy success against Mansfield in early September. They overcame Scunthorpe in the last round to set up the tie with Doncaster.

Southern Section

Sky Bet League 1 leaders Bristol City welcome AFC Wimbledon to Ashton Gate on Tuesday in the Southern Section.

The Robins are five points clear at the summit of League 1 and beat Cheltenham 3-1 in the previous round of the Trophy to set up an Area Quarter-Final tie with Wimbledon, who have won just once since their 3-2 Trophy victory at Milton Keynes Dons in early October.

Northampton Town were the last team to beat Wimbledon in Sky Bet League 2 - 2-0 at Sixfields prior to the weekend's FA Cup schedule - and they face a trip to Leyton Orient in Tuesday's Trophy action.

That victory ended the Cobblers' run of four successive defeats and they drew 0-0 with Rochdale in the cup on Saturday. Orient lost 1-0 to Oldham at the weekend and remain without a home victory all season.

The only all-League 1 clash in the Southern Section sees Crawley Town and Gillingham go head-to-head.

The Reds are unbeaten in three league outings, drawing their most recent two, but fell to an FA Cup first round defeat at the hands of Yeovil last time out. Gillingham's only victory in their last 10 games in all competitions was their 4-2 penalty success at Colchester United in Round 2 of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy, which followed a thrilling 3-3 draw.

On Wednesday, Coventry City host Plymouth Argyle at the Ricoh Arena, where they lost to Worcester City in the FA Cup on Sunday.

That shock 2-1 defeat to the non-league side came after they had previously collected four points from two league games. The Pilgrims travel to the Ricoh having got the better of League 1 high-flyers Swindon 3-2 in Round 2 of the Trophy and, since then, they've won four of six, drawing the other two.

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