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Match Previews

Sky Bet League 1 weekend preview

21 November 2014

We look ahead to the weekend action in Sky Bet League 1.

Saturday 22nd November 2014

Bradford City v Gillingham

The Bantams (13th – 22 points): Impressively overcame Preston 2-1 last weekend to end their run of five winless matches, four of which were defeats. Phil Parkinson's men have only won twice in eight on home turf, most recently at the start of October.

The Gills (19th – 17 points): Also won last time out, against Leyton Orient, for their first victory in nine outings. They are yet to taste success on the road, with two draws and six defeats, scoring a league-worst five goals, but they've only lost to Bradford once in their last seven meetings.

Four: The Bantams' last four matches have all ended 2-1.

Bristol City v Preston North End

The Robins (1st – 36 points): Suffered a 1-0 reverse at Swindon last time out – their first defeat of the season – in a heated affair. Captain Wade Elliot was sent off in the match at the County Ground and will serve a three-match ban, starting this weekend.

The Lilywhites (3rd – 31 points): Also lost last weekend, to Bradford, which was their third defeat in as many matches. Striker Jermaine Beckford has been brought in on loan from Bolton and could make his debut. Scott Wiseman and Alan Browne are available after international duty but Bailey Wright and Jordan Hugill are sidelined.

A happy home: Bristol City remain unbeaten at home this term and haven't lost at Ashton Gate against Preston in five games, going back to May 2000.

Chesterfield v Barnsley

The Spireites (14th – 21 points): Are now winless in seven and that form has seen them slip to mid-table. They've drawn their last two 0-0 and haven't found the net for four matches, but striker Eoin Doyle remains the division's top scorer with 14 goals.

The Tykes (11th – 22 points): Look to have turned a corner after back-to-back wins, most recently overcoming Colchester 3-2. Forward Sam Winnall is on fire in front of goal with eight in his last eight appearances.

Colchester United v Coventry City

The U's (18th – 17 points): A 3-2 loss last time out means it's now two defeats on the spin for Colchester, ahead of their match against fellow strugglers Coventry. QPR defender Cole Kpekawa has joined the club on a one-month loan deal.

The Sky Blues (20th – 17 points): Lost 1-0 at home to Notts County last Saturday meaning they've won just once in 10 league outings. They've struggled on the road so far, with no win in eight trips, but they've fared well against Colchester over recent years, going undefeated against the U's in seven before their 2-1 loss to them in the last encounter between the two.

Crawley Town v Scunthorpe United

The Reds (15th – 20 points): Drew with Oldham last weekend, which was their third successive 1-1 result. They've only shared the points on one occasion at home, though, and overcame the Iron when they last paid a visit to West Sussex, winning 3-0 in August 2012.

The Iron (22nd – 15 points): Have improved since the appointment of Mark Robins, losing just once in five after a 2-1 triumph against Peterborough last time out in the league, on 1st November. Defender Liam O'Neil has signed on loan from West Brom and could make his debut.

Fleetwood Town v Walsall

The Cod Army (10th – 25 points): Have bounced back from successive defeats to notch two 1-0 victories in as many games, against Gillingham and Yeovil. They've won four and drawn four on home soil, conceding only six goals.

The Saddlers (16th – 19 points): Have only won once in eight on the road this term, meaning form certainly favours hosts Fleetwood. But Walsall have been improving of late having won two on the spin before their goalless draw with Peterborough last time out in League 1. They did suffer a 1-0 FA Cup defeat to Shrewsbury in midweek, though.

A League first: Walsall and Fleetwood met in the 2010/11 FA Cup when the latter was a non-league side, and the Saddlers prevailed 2-0 in a replay after an initial 1-1 draw. This will be the first ever meeting between the two in The League.

Leyton Orient v Crewe Alexandra

The O's (21st – 16 points): Have lost four of their last three, conceding two or more goals on each occasion, meaning their struggles have continued under Mauro Milanese. They overcame Northampton 2-0 in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy in their last home outing, but are yet to record a league victory on their own turf this season.

The Railwaymen (23rd – 15 points): Are a point behind Orient but are on better form, with three wins and two draws over their past six. Their 32 goals conceded remains a league-worst but they kept a clean sheet in a 0-0 draw against Chesterfield last time out.

Double trouble: Orient did the double over Crewe last term, winning 2-0 at home in August before a 2-1 away success in January – those results stretched the O's run without suffering a loss against Crewe to six matches.

Milton Keynes Dons v Port Vale

The Dons (6th – 27 points): Have alternated between wins and draws over their past five games, with a 2-1 success against Swindon their most recent result. Karl Robinson's side have impressed on home soil, winning five times, drawing once and only losing once at stadiummk this term.

The Valiants (12th – 22 points): Continue to improve under Rob Page's guidance, with three wins on the spin in Sky Bet League 1 lifting them up to 12th. Their only defeat at Vale Park in their last six home outings in all competition was a 4-3 FA Cup loss to the Dons.

Home, sweet home: Prior to that cup victory for Robinson's men, the home side had not lost in an encounter between Port Vale and MK Dons, since their first meeting in 2004.

Notts County v Yeovil Town

The Magpies (4th – 29 points): Got back to winning ways last Saturday by seeing off Coventry 1-0, after losing their previous game to Walsall. Their 14 goals conceded is a league-best defensive record but 10 of those have been let in at Meadow Lane. Zeli Ismail is sidelined but striker Jake Cassidy may return to the starting line-up after regaining fitness.

The Glovers (24th – 14 points): Remain winless since 20th September, eight games ago. Over that period they've scored just two goals, and have only found the net a league-worst 12 times overall. Gary Johnson's men may take confidence from the fact they were victorious on their last visit to County, in April 2013.

Peterborough United v Swindon Town

The Posh (7th – 27 points): Are now without a win in four games, losing three of those. Their most recent match saw them play out a goalless draw with Walsall. Marcus Maddison, who remains sidelined, was named The Football League's Young Player of the Month for October. Striker Aaron McLean has re-joined the club, on loan from Bradford City.

The Robins (2nd – 32 points): Moved up to second by beating leaders Bristol City last weekend – their second straight win. They've picked up the majority of their points at home but they've only lost twice in eight on the road, and their 33 goals scored is a joint-best in Sky Bet League 1.

Reunion: McLean isn't the only familiar face returning to London Road this weekend, with Swindon boss Mark Cooper also going back to his former employers.

Rochdale v Doncaster Rovers

Dale (8th – 26 points): Were on the rise in the division after three wins in succession before suffering a 1-0 reverse to Port Vale last weekend. They bounced back by overcoming Northampton 2-1 in an FA Cup replay in midweek, and defender Jack O'Connell returns after Blackburn refused permission for him to play in the cup.

Rovers (17th – 18 points): Dean Furman is a player returning for Doncaster, after coming back from international duty with South Africa. Rovers have struggled of late with only one win in five. They lost 1-0 to Sheffield United most recently but four of their five wins to date have come on the road.

It's been a while: Doncaster haven't lost to Rochdale since March 1998, winning four of the five meetings since, with the other ending 1-1.

Sheffield United v Oldham Athletic

The Blades (5th – 29 points): That win against Doncaster moved Sheffield United up to fifth, and was their fourth triumph in five games. They failed in an attempt to sign front man Dexter Blackstock on loan. One area they certainly don't need to improve on is at the back – they've only let in one goal in their last five matches.

The Latics (9th – 26 points): Drew with Crawley last weekend after seeing their long unbeaten run come to an end against Bristol City in the match prior to that. Lee Johnson's side have only managed to register one win away from home, drawing five of their eight trips on the road, but they haven't lost at Bramall Lane since February 1996.

All games are 3pm kick-offs unless stated.

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