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Match Previews

Sky Bet League 2 weekend preview

21 November 2014

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

Saturday 22nd November 2014

Accrington Stanley v Cambridge United

Stanley (17th – 23 points): Bounced back from a disappointing 1-0 defeat at Carlisle last weekend, by coming back from a goal down to knock League 1 Notts County out of the FA Cup in Tuesday night’s replay. John O’Sullivan and Sean Maguire were denied permission to play in the cup game by their parent clubs, but both are expected to return this weekend.

The U’s (10th – 24 points): Came from behind to beat Northampton 2-1 last Friday night. Currently going through an inconsistent spell, alternating between winning and losing in their previous four fixtures. Fleetwood winger Matty Blair has joined the club on loan until January and is set to make his debut.

All square: The pair have only met twice competitively, back in the Conference during the 2005/06 season. The home side were victorious on each occasion, Cambridge running out 3-1 winners at the Abbey Stadium, while Accrington won by a solitary goal on their own turf.

Burton Albion v Luton Town

The Brewers (17th – 32 points): Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink guided his new team to a 3-1 victory at Wycombe on Monday, and now faces the new league leaders in his first home game. The game is due to be the last of Darragh Lenihan’s loan spell, but that may be extended after the Blackburn midfielder impressed in his first start in the win at Adams Park.

The Hatters (1st – 34 points): Returned to the top of Sky Bet League 2 after a hard-fought victory over lowly Tranmere last weekend, which extended their unbeaten run to 11 games. Ricky Miller came off of the bench to score the winner in the 1-0 success, with his second goal in as many games, and he'll be hoping for a start.

Nice to meet you: These two have never faced each other competitively, with the two sides swapping divisions during the 2008/09 season. Burton won the Conference title that year, while Luton were relegated after finishing rock bottom of The Football League.

Bury v Newport County

The Shakers (6th – 30 points): Lost to Morecambe last week, but remain in the Play-Off positions despite an inconsistent couple of months. They are without a win in five away games, so will be glad to get back to Gigg Lane where they have won their last seven in the league. On-loan striker Hallam Hope remains sidelined.

The Exiles (9th – 25 points): Came back from two goals down to earn a point against Exeter last Sunday afternoon, extending their unbeaten run to six games, although the result was their third draw on the spin. Swansea duo Scott Tancock and James Loveridge returned to their parent club this week.

Stalemate: Last season was the first time Bury and Newport had met competitively, and the games won’t live long in the memory as both finished goalless.

Cheltenham Town v Wycombe Wanderers

The Robins (16th – 22 points): Suffered a third consecutive league defeat last weekend, as they were thumped 5-1 by Stevenage. Striker John Marquis is set to return to parent club Millwall after this game, but Chairman Paul Baker has given Mark Yates the green light to make reinforcements ahead of the loan deadline next week.

The Chairboys (3rd – 32 points): Were knocked off the top of Sky Bet League 2 last weekend following their defeat to Burton on Monday night. Alfie Mawson is a doubt after picking up a concussion during the 3-1 reverse, but Aaron Pierre and Josh Scowen come back into contention after serving suspensions.

Dagenham & Redbridge v Carlisle United

The Daggers (22nd – 15 points): Haven’t won in their last five league games, and the bad form was compounded by a midweek defeat to Southport in their FA Cup replay. Luke Howell was dismissed in the 2-0 loss, so begins a three-match suspension, and he’ll be joined on the sidelines this week by Matt Partridge, who picked up his fifth booking of the season.

The Cumbrians (20th – 18 points): Claimed a 1-0 win at home to Accrington last weekend, courtesy of Derek Asamoah’s fourth goal in five games. Despite a recent surge in form at Brunton Park, they are yet to improve on their travels – four points from their eight games on the road is the worst record in League 2.

Keep it clean: The winning side has yet to concede a goal in the four meetings between these two clubs, with Carlisle edging out Dagenham 1-0 back in 2004, while the Daggers have been victorious in the three games since, by one, two and then three goals without reply.

Exeter City v Shrewsbury Town

The Grecians (12th – 24 points): Let a half-time lead slip against Newport last Sunday, throwing away a two-goal cushion to only end up with a point. It did, however, extend their unbeaten run to five league games. Scot Bennett was carried off in last weekend’s match, and is unlikely to feature this time around.

The Shrews (2nd – 33 points): Made it six wins on the spin with a 2-0 victory over 10-man Mansfield last weekend, and continued their fine form by knocking League 1 side Walsall out of the FA Cup on Tuesday night, courtesy of a goal from skipper Liam Lawrence.

The big 50: This will be the 50th competitive match between these two sides, with the Shrews leading the head-to-head with 18 wins to Exeter's 17. In league encounters however, the clubs can’t be separated, with 16 victories apiece, alongside 14 draws.

Hartlepool United v York City

Pools (24th – 12 points): The basement side are now five games without a victory, after suffering a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Southend last Saturday. Hartlepool possess the poorest home form in the division, picking up just six points from their eight games in the North East. Matt Crooks has returned to parent club Huddersfield this week.

The Minstermen (21st – 15 points): Are still without a home win this term after a 1-0 reverse against Oxford last weekend, and were knocked out of the cup in midweek, losing 3-1 to AFC Wimbledon. Wes Fletcher gave York the lead in that game as he impressed on his return to full fitness, but Russ Wilcox is still eager to strengthen his squad.

Familiar territory: Hartlepool and York have met 109 times competitively, dating back to 1930. The Minstermen have the edge, with 43 wins to Pools' 37, but the away side in this fixture have failed to score in the past six encounters.

Mansfield Town v Plymouth Argyle

The Stags (19th – 19 points): Lost 2-0 to high-flying Shrewsbury last weekend. Jamie McGuire was sent off in the defeat, but served his suspension in their midweek FA Cup draw with non-league outfit Concord Rangers. They've gone eight league games without a victory, and Paul Cox has called for togetherness as they bid to return to winning ways.

The Pilgrims (5th – 30 points): Are seven games undefeated in the league, following an impressive win in front of the Sky Sports cameras on Saturday lunchtime. Reuben Reid netted his eighth and ninth goals during a 3-0 triumph against Pompey, as he moved up to second in the League 2 goalscoring charts. Andy Kellett has extended his loan spell for another month.

Northampton Town v Stevenage

The Cobblers (17th – 21 points): Threw away leads against Cambridge and Rochdale in the last week, losing both games 2-1. Left-back Tom Newey picked up an injury in the first of those two matches and now faces a spell on the sidelines, as does centre-back Ryan Cresswell, who limped off in the midweek FA Cup defeat.

Boro (11th – 24 points): Also crashed out of the FA Cup at the second attempt this week, losing to non-league Maidstone United on Thursday night. However, they have gone three games unbeaten in League 2. Graham Westley has no new injury concerns, but may rotate to keep his players fresh, due to having two games in less than 48 hours.

A first for everything: Stevenage are seeking a first win in what will be the fifth meeting between these two sides. Boro, when in the Conference, took Northampton to an FA Cup replay in 2005, but were defeated 2-0 in the return fixture, and the Cobblers took all six points when they met in League 2 in 2010/11.

Oxford United v AFC Wimbledon

The U’s (18th – 19 points): Teenager James Roberts scored his third goal in two games, when he grabbed the winner in last weekend’s visit to York, and is likely to continue up front alongside the division’s top scorer Danny Hylton. Defender Chey Dunkley has joined the club this week from Kidderminster Harriers.

The Dons (14th – 23 points): Moved into the second round of the FA Cup after coming from behind to beat York 3-1 on Tuesday, which followed up a 1-0 win over Dagenham last weekend. Matt Tubbs grabbed a brace in the midweek win, taking him into double figures in all competitions. Sean Rigg serves a one-match suspension.

Perfect record: Eight meetings between the pair have resulted in eight Oxford wins, but the three goals that AFC Wimbledon have scored against the U’s have all come at the Kassam Stadium.

Portsmouth v Morecambe

Pompey (13th – 23 points): Lost 3-0 to Plymouth last Saturday, and suffered another defeat in front of the TV cameras on Wednesday, when they were on the receiving end of a cup shock at Aldershot. Have alternated results over the past five games, and Andy Awford is seeking new recruits after the defeat to their Hampshire rivals.

The Shrimps (8th – 26 points): A run of three defeats was halted with a win over Bury last weekend. Top scorer Kevin Ellison grabbed the only goal of the game - his seventh of the campaign. Tom Barkhuizen made his last appearance in that victory, with the striker since returning to parent club Blackpool.

Third time lucky: These two sides met for the first time last season, with Morecambe unable to get the better of Portsmouth. Pompey recorded a comfortable 3-0 win at Fratton Park, and earned a point in the reverse fixture after the two teams drew 2-2.

Tranmere Rovers v Southend United

Rovers (23rd – 12 points): A narrow 1-0 defeat at Luton stretched their run of winless games in the league to 12, dating back to the last weekend of August. Striker Armand Gnanduillet has been recalled by Chesterfield, so Micky Adams has moved quickly to tie Guy Madjo to a two-month contract.

The Blues (7th – 28 points): A 1-0 success over Hartlepool last weekend was their second successive league win, following a run of five games without victory. Jakub Sokolik and Jerome Williams are back from suspension, while Myles Weston has returned from international duty for Antigua & Barbuda.

All games are 3pm kick-offs unless stated.

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