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Match Previews

Sky Bet League 1 weekend preview

3 October 2014

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

Saturday 4th October 2014

Bradford City v Crewe Alexandra

The Bantams (9th – 15 points): Have drawn their last two, after three wins and three defeats prior to that. They are without three points at home since the opening day, losing three of their four games at Valley Parade since.

The Railwaymen (24th – 4 points): Rock-bottom Crewe have lost their last three, most recently against Notts County. They've conceded 12 goals in that period and 27 in total – the division's worst defensive record.

Level pegging: The two clashes between these teams last season both ended as draws. A goalless stalemate in November was followed by a 3-3 thriller in February.

Chesterfield v Sheffield United  – 1pm

The Spireites (8th – 15 points): Are now winless in three but they made a positive start to the campaign. Eoin Doyle remains the league's top scorer with 11 but he failed to find the net last time out, having scored in their four matches prior to that.

The Blades (7th – 16 points): Bounced back from a 5-2 loss to Swindon by beating Gillingham 2-1 last time out – their third win in four. Nigel Clough remains without the services of Jose Baxter, who has been nursing a hamstring injury.

It's been a while: Sheffield United have won all three of their games against Chesterfield since March 1989.

Coventry City v Crawley Town

The Sky Blues (15th – 12 points): Have lost their last three, scoring just one, but they've been defeated at home only once so far. That loss was against Preston last time out and manager Steven Pressley wants significant improvements.

The Reds (13th – 13 points): Overcame Yeovil 2-0 in their most recent match for their fourth win of the season, but the first in which the division's lowest scorers have found the net more than once. They've netted in all four of their previous meetings with Coventry, though, including five over their two clashes last term.

Away day struggles: Crawley have failed to score in four of their five away games so far.

Fleetwood Town v Port Vale

The Cod Army (12th – 13 points): Were defeated 1-0 at Peterborough last weekend meaning they are now without a victory in seven outings. Manager Graham Alexander signed striker Liam McAlinden on loan from Wolves in midweek.

The Valiants (22nd – 9 points): Rob Page remains unbeaten as interim manager after a victory and a draw in his first two games. The boss has brought in defenders Stephane Zubar and Reiss Greenidge, and both are available for the trip to Lancashire

Stale: Fleetwood are unbeaten at home so far but they've drawn four of their five matches at Highbury this term.

Leyton Orient v Swindon Town

The O's (19th – 10 points): Lost 3-2 to Rochdale last time out and are still without a permanent boss following Russell Slade's departure. Kevin Nugent remains in caretaker charge of the side who possess the division's worst home record this term, with one draw and three defeats.

The Robins (3rd – 18 points): Are flying under Mark Cooper, unbeaten in seven, stretching back to the second weekend of the season. They've won their most recent two, scoring eight goals, but they haven't got the better of Orient in eight meetings.

Notts County v Gillingham

The Magpies (10th – 14 points): Ended a run of four straight draws by beating Crewe 3-0 on Tuesday night. Manager Shaun Derry praised his front two of Shaun Harrad and Jake Cassidy after that success but they've impressive at the back, conceding a league-best of seven.

The Gills (14th – 12 points): Were on the end of a 2-1 reverse at Sheffield United last Saturday, meaning they have only one victory in five. They've struggled on the road to date this term, losing four of their five away games, with the other ending level. 

Peterborough United v Oldham Athletic

The Posh (2nd – 19 points): Returned to winning ways against Fleetwood last weekend having lost successive matches before that. Grant McCann made his first start of the season in that 1-0 success and he believes he still has a lot to offer.

The Latics (11th – 14 points): Unbeaten in six following a 3-2 triumph over Scunthorpe last time out. They are without influential defender George Elokobi for their trip to London Road, where they haven't won in three visits.

Goals, goals, goals: One side has scored at least five times in three of the last four meetings between these two. September 2010 featured a 5-2 victory for Peterborough, before a 5-0 Posh win in the reverse match of that season. Then, last term, the Latics won a 5-4 thriller at Boundary Park, after a 2-1 Posh success earlier in the campaign.

Preston North End v Colchester United

The Lilywhites (6th – 16 points): Back-to-back 2-0 wins, against Crawley and Coventry, has lifted Preston  into the Play-Offs. They are yet to lose at home with their only defeat so far coming at Walsall in mid-September. Captain John Welsh could return and play his first league game of the season this weekend after an ankle injury.

The U's (20th – 9 points): After a dreadful start, Colchester have lost only once in five and both of their victories this season have come on the road. They are unbeaten in the league at Deepdale in four, but were thumped 7-0 there in the FA Cup in 2009/10.

Rochdale v Barnsley

Dale (15th - 16 points): Recorded their third consecutive win last time around as they defeated Leyton Orient 3-2. Enjoyed a highly successful September, winning five of their six matches in all competitions. Victory this weekend could lift them as high as the automatic promotion places.

The Tykes (21st - 9 points): Were handed their fourth defeat in five matches against Swindon last week, meaning they have taken just two points from the last 18 available to them. Manager Danny Wilson has a fully fit squad to choose from for their trip to Spotland.

Two by two: Results between these two teams seem to come in twos. Two away wins in this encounter were followed by two home wins, and then two away wins. That would suggest a home victory this time around.

Scunthorpe United v Doncaster Rovers

The Iron (23rd - 7 points): Suffered their fourth defeat in five games against Oldham last weekend. All but one of their points have come at Glanford Park this season, where they have won twice. Manager Russ Wilcox is still without seven of his first-team squad, and has labelled it the worst injury crisis he has ever seen in his 30-year career.

Rovers (18th - 11 points): Suffered their third defeat in five games in all competitions at the hands of Walsall last Saturday, as they continue to flirt with the League 1 relegation places. They have collected more points away from home this season, winning at Yeovil and Colchester.

Walsall v Bristol City

The Saddlers (17th - 11 points): Picked up just their second victory of the season at home to Doncaster last time out. They've been much stronger at the Banks's Stadium this term - losing just once - while their form on the road has seen them winless in five attempts.

The Robins (1st - 24 points): Beat MK Dons 3-2 last weekend to maintain their five-point lead at the top of Sky Bet League 1. They're undefeated in their last 10 games in the league, and have won seven of those.

Five-in-a-row: Victory for Bristol City this weekend would see them stretch their winning streak against Walsall to five matches.

Yeovil Town v Milton Keynes Dons

The Glovers (16th - 12 points): Lost 2-0 away to Crawley last weekend. They've won just once in their first five at Huish Park this season, drawing three and losing one. Signed Manchester City and England youth striker Jordy Hiwula on loan until January in midweek.

The Dons (4th - 16 points): Lost 3-2 to Bristol City in the crunch fixture at the top of the Sk Bet League 1 table last Saturday. They still possess the best scoring record in the division with 23 goals. Received good news on Thursday, when midfielder Mark Randall signed a contract extension until 2016.

All-square: These sides have met 16 times in their history, each taking four wins and sharing the spoils four times.

All games are 3pm kick-offs unless stated.

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