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Match Previews

Sky Bet League 2 weekend preview

14 November 2014

We look ahead to the weekend action in Sky Bet League 2.

Friday 14th November 2014

Cambridge United v Northampton Town – 7.45pm kick-off

The U’s (14th – 21 points): Kwesi Appiah grabbed a late winner last weekend when they knocked League 1 side Fleetwood out of the FA Cup. They have scored 26 league goals this term, the joint-highest in the division. Adam Cunnington has been recalled from his Bristol Rovers loan spell, and could join up with the squad.

The Cobblers (15th – 21 points): Failed to score in both cup games played this week. A 0-0 draw with 10-man Rochdale was followed by a 2-0 reverse in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy at Leyton Orient. The latter game did see the return of top scorer Marc Richards and winger Chris Hackett, who both come into contention for this evening’s fixture.

Perfect 10: It’s been 10 seasons since Northampton last made the short journey to Cambridge, and they will be glad to return if history is anything to go by, having only ever lost one league match at the Abbey Stadium. The Cobblers have recorded back-to-back 1-0 wins there, one of which coming on a Friday night, and their only defeat came way back in 1972.

Saturday 15th November 2014

AFC Wimbledon v Dagenham & Redbridge

The Dons (17th – 20 points): Pushed Bristol City all the way in midweek, before eventually succumbing to a 2-1 Trophy defeat. That followed a 1-1 draw with York in the FA Cup, leaving them without a win in six. Alan Bennett will continue in place of Andy Frampton, who suffered a recurrence of an ankle injury in the cup tie.

The Daggers (21st – 15 points): Have failed to pick up three points in their last four league games, and their winless run continued as they shared a goalless draw with Conference outfit Southport in the FA Cup last weekend. Andre Boucaud is unavailable, as the midfielder has joined up with Trinidad & Tobago for the Caribbean Cup.

Carlisle United v Accrington Stanley

The Cumbrians (22nd – 15 points): Despite hovering just above the League 2 relegation zone, they nearly earned a replay against League 1 Peterborough in the cup last weekend, before suffering a stoppage-time defeat. Keith Curle could have Paul Thirlwell, Sean Rigg and Alex Marrow all back from injury for this weekend.

Stanley (12th – 23 points): A goalless stalemate against Notts County in last weekend’s FA Cup means they've only suffered two defeats in their last nine. Michael Liddle returned to the side after three months out and should continue at left-back, while loanee Jack Rose will make his league debut, after keeping a clean sheet in the draw against the Magpies.

It’s a knockout: This is the first time the pair have met in a league fixture for a decade, since Carlisle did the double over Accrington in the Conference. However, four cup ties have taken place since, the most recent of which was just two months ago, when the Cumbrians knocked Stanley out of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.

Luton Town v Tranmere Rovers

The Hatters (2nd – 31 points): Carried their good form into the FA Cup last weekend, advancing to the second round with a 4-2 defeat of Newport. John Still and Mark Cullen picked up the Manager and Player of the Month awards for October, and are looking to climb back to the division’s summit with a win, until Monday night at least.

Rovers (23rd – 12 points): Micky Adams recorded his first victory since taking charge with a 1-0 win over Bristol Rovers in last week’s FA Cup. George Donnelly was sent off in that match, so missed the 2-1 Trophy victory against Bury in midweek, and he will miss two more games including this weekend’s clash.

Away day struggles: Tranmere have only come away from Luton with victory on two occasions in their history. Their only three-point haul was in 1993, but they also tasted success in the 2004 FA Cup, when they advanced thanks to a 1-0 win at Kenilworth Road.

Morecambe v Bury – 2.30pm kick-off

The Shrimps (10th – 23 points): Lost 1-0 to Conference outfit Dover in an FA Cup upset at the weekend, with Jim Bentley labelling it the lowest point of his managerial career. Scott Davies is expected to return in between the sticks after missing the 1-0 defeat, due to parent club Fleetwood refusing the goalkeeper permission to play.

The Shakers (4th – 30 points): Came back from a goal down to overcome Hemel Hempstead in the FA Cup, but couldn’t repeat the feat in midweek as they lost 2-1 to Tranmere in the Trophy. Goalkeeper Scott Loach will make his league debut, after joining on loan from Rotherham earlier this week, but defender Hayden White is suspended.

Plymouth Argyle v Portsmouth – 12.05pm kick-off

The Pilgrims (6th – 27 points): Defeated AFC Fylde 2-0 in the FA Cup last Saturday, but lost by the same scoreline on Wednesday night against Coventry in the Trophy. Jason Banton may be available after a knee injury.

Pompey (9th – 23 points): Danny Hollands’ late goal salvaged a replay against Aldershot, as the Hampshire sides fought out a 2-2 draw in the FA Cup. Paul Robinson was sent off in that game and will sit this one out as a result. They face the best defence in The Football League in Plymouth, and Pompey have only scored three league goals on their travels this term.

Goals galore: The last eight games between the pair have produced 33 goals, a ratio of over four per game. The sides shared eight goals last year, with Home Park witnessing a 1-1 draw before a six-goal thriller at Fratton Park on the final day of the season.

Shrewsbury Town v Mansfield Town

The Shrews (3rd – 30 points): Earned a replay against Walsall in the FA Cup last Saturday. Mark Halstead replaced injured goalkeeper Jayson Leutwiler during the 2-2 draw, and may make his full debut this weekend. Jermaine Grandison is available after suspension, but Mark Ellis hopes to keep his place after scoring against the Saddlers. Ryan Woods serves a one-match ban.

The Stags (18th – 19 points): Have failed to win in any of their last seven league games, and only have one win on the road all season. QPR defender Jamie Sendles-White has extended his loan - the defender will remain at Mansfield until early in the New Year.

Stag party: The sides haven’t met since the 2007/08 season, when Mansfield took four points out of the available six, although it wasn’t enough to prevent their relegation from The Football League. However, the good run stretches back further, with Shrewsbury’s last win over the Stags coming back in 2002.

Southend United v Hartlepool United

The Blues (7th – 25 points): Were dumped out of the cup by Conference side Chester last week, so it’s now just one win in seven for Phil Brown’s side. Jakub Sokolik and Jerome Binnom-Williams picked up their fifth yellow cards of the season during the 2-1 reverse, and will serve their one-game suspensions this weekend.

Pools (24th – 12 points): Paul Murray recorded his first win since taking the reins, as a Jonathan Franks brace saw them advance past East Thurrock in the cup. He will now look for his first three points in Sky Bet League 2, and has no fresh injury concerns as they look to clamber off the bottom of the table.

Keep your distance: Hartlepool make the 550-mile round journey to Southend this weekend, looking to change their fortunes at Roots Hall, having only won there twice. They earned a rare point at Southend last season, after suffering defeats on the previous four occasions, and their most recent victory on the Essex coastline was in 2002.

Stevenage v Cheltenham Town

Boro (16th – 21 points): Couldn’t break down a resilient Maidstone side in Sunday’s FA Cup encounter, and will go again in front of the BT Sport cameras on Thursday. Graham Westley has a full squad to choose from, including striker Adam Marriott, who returned to training this week.

The Robins (13th – 22 points): A fantastic display saw them thump Swindon 5-0 in the cup last weekend, and they'll now look to bring that form into the league, where they have lost their previous two games without scoring. Craig Braham-Barrett will serve a one-match suspension after picking up five yellow cards, so Paul Black will line up in his place.

York City v Oxford United

The Minstermen (20th – 15 points): Drew 1-1 with Wimbledon last Saturday, extending their unbeaten run to four games in all competitions, but they have failed to score more than one goal in any of those matches. That won’t be helped by the injury that Deon Burton picked up in the FA Cup tie, which has forced the experienced marksman to return to parent club Scunthorpe.

The U’s (19th – 16 points): Advanced in the cup with a comfortable 3-1 win over Grimsby at the weekend, and did so without top scorer Danny Hylton. However, he should come straight back into the team after serving a one-match suspension, despite teenager James Roberts netting his first senior goals in Hylton’s absence.

A league above: These two sides have met four times since returning to The Football League, with Oxford failing to get the better of York as of yet. It was a different story in the Conference though, where the U’s only lost one of eight league meetings, as well as coming out victorious in the 2010 Play-Off final, which saw them earn promotion.

Sunday 16th November 2014

Newport County v Exeter City

The Exiles (8th – 24 points): Were knocked out of the cup by Luton at the weekend, losing 4-2, but have only been beaten once in the league since August. Versatile Yan Klukowski is hoping to keep his place in the team, despite Ryan Jackson being back in contention after coming off the bench in the defeat at Kenilworth Road.

The Grecians (11th – 23 points): Exeter were humbled by Warrington Town last Friday in front of the BBC cameras, so will look to bounce back in the league and they have lost just one of their last 10 matches. No injuries were picked up in the hard-fought cup clash, so Paul Tisdale will keep faith with his players despite the loss.

Third time lucky? Last season was the first time the two sides had met, with Exeter failing to take victory on either occasion. The Welsh side were victorious down in Devon, recording a 2-0 win, before battling out a 1-1 draw with the Grecians back at Rodney Parade.

Monday 17th November 2014

Wycombe Wanderers v Burton Albion– 7.45pm kick-off

The Chairboys (1st – 32 points): The Sky Bet League 2 leaders overcame Conference outfit Barnet last weekend, earning a 3-1 win at The Hive. They've now only lost one game in their last 10. Aaron Pierre and Joshua Scowen both serve one-match bans after reaching their yellow card limit.

The Brewers (5th – 29 points): Were put to the sword by Barnsley in the cup, losing 5-0 to the League 1 side. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink is the new man in charge, and he will have to call on Jon McLaughlin to go in goal, after Dean Lyness suffered a suspected broken leg in the Dutchman’s first training session.

Make it a double: Burton have won the last three encounters between the pair, including taking maximum points last season. The Brewers recorded a 2-1 victory at Adams Park, before Adam McGurk’s goal sealed a 1-0 win at the Pirelli.

All games are 3pm kick-offs unless stated.

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