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Match Previews

Sky Bet League 1 weekend preview

31 October 2014

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

Saturday 1st November 2014

Bradford City v Doncaster Rovers

The Bantams (12th - 19 points): Slumped to mid-table after their third loss in four last time out, against Oldham. They've only won two of seven on home soil and were thumped 5-1 by Doncaster in their most recent meeting, in the 2007/08 Johnstone's Paint Trophy.

Rovers (20th - 15 points): Are also struggling for form having lost three of their last five, going without a victory in their most recent three games. Last time out they drew 0-0 with MK Dons, leaving them only a point above the relegation places. Sam Johnstone has rejoined the club on loan.

Bristol City v Oldham Athletic

The Robins (1st - 33 points): Lead the way with a two-point cushion over Preston, who have played one less game. Steve Cotterill's men have drawn their last two matches 2-2 and are the only unbeaten team in The Football League this term. They've won five of seven at home. Star striker Aaron Wilbraham has been struggling with a back injury but looks set to feature.

The Latics (7th - 25 points): Extended their undefeated run in all competitions to 13 games by beating Bradford 2-1 last time out. They've drawn five of their seven away matches so far. Goalkeeper Neil Etheridge has been signed on a short-term deal.

Reunion: Oldham manager Lee Johnson spent five and a half years at Bristol City as a player, making 199 appearances at Ashton Gate.

Chesterfield v Yeovil Town

The Spireites (11th - 19 points): Are now on a run of three successive defeats after going down 3-0 to Swindon in midweek. They've only won once in nine, and that triumph came at the beginning of October. Eoin Doyle has 14 league goals so far but he hasn't got on the scoresheet in four outings, which is his longest spell without finding the net this term.

The Glovers (22nd - 13 points): Five defeats in six, including last weekend against Rochdale, sees Yeovil in the relegation mire, but they haven't lost to the Spireites since 2005, five meetings ago. Coventry defender Jordan Clarke has been brought in on loan.

Colchester United v Port Vale

The U's (14th - 17 points): Have alternated between draws and wins for four matches, sharing the points with high-flying Swindon last time out to continue their resurgence under Tony Humes, who replaced Joe Dunne at the start of September.

The Valiants (16th - 16 points): Are another team that have improved following a managerial change, having lost just twice in seven under Rob Page, rising from 23rd to 16th. Page has now been given the job on a permanent basis, and the stability could see the Valiants improve further following last weekend's 3-0 victory against Leyton Orient. They've only won once in seven on the road, though.

Happy hosts: The home side won this encounter on both occasions last term, with Colchester taking the points in August, before Port Vale won 2-0 at Vale Park in February.

Crawley Town v Crewe Alexandra

The Reds (13th - 18 points): Have bounced back after successive defeats in mid-October by notching four points from their last two outings. They've struggled somewhat in front of goal at home, scoring seven in seven, but that has brought a healthy return of four victories in West Sussex.

The Railwaymen (23rd - 13 points): Went down 1-0 to Sheffield United last Saturday after winning three on the spin prior to that. They could move out of the bottom four this weekend but have conceded 31 goals – the most in the division – and have lost five of their seven away matches, letting in 15.

Just the one: Crawley and Crewe have met six times in The Football League but the former have only tasted success once, in their March 2013 clash.

Fleetwood Town v Gillingham

The Cod Army (10th - 19 points): Have suffered back-to-back defeats after losing 3-2 to Preston last time out, despite taking an early two-goal lead. Graham Alexander's men remain unbeaten on home soil, with three wins and four draws.

The Gills (21st - 14 points): Are winless in seven, being defeated in four of those, following a 1-1 draw with Crawley. During that poor run they've netted just three times and are yet to win on the road this season, drawing two and losing five.

All the two's: These two teams have met twice, in 2012/13, with both games ending 2-2.

Leyton Orient v Coventry City

The O's (19th - 15 points): Mauro Milanese's first game on the touchline ended in a 2-0 defeat to Preston, meaning they've lost two in two without scoring, but the new boss has called for unity. Their home form is the worst in the division; two points from a possible 21.

The Sky Blues (17th - 16 points): Ended a sequence of seven winless games – six of those being defeats – by overcoming Peterborough last time out, coming from 2-0 behind to triumph 3-2. Their away form mirrors the O's home run; two draws and five defeats in seven. Gary Madine has joined on a month's loan.

Milton Keynes Dons v Swindon Town

The Dons (8th - 14 points): Drew with Doncaster last Saturday to make it two wins and two draws in their most recent four league matches. They bowed out of the Capital One Cup in midweek, losing 2-1 to Sheffield United, but their league home form reads four wins, one draw.

The Robins (3rd - 26 points): Returned to winning ways emphatically on Tuesday, seeing off Chesterfield 3-0, having drawn two and lost one of their previous three. They have the momentum but their record against the Dons reads only one win in nine league clashes.

Good form: MK Dons have lost only once at home this term, against Bradford in mid-September, while Swindon have suffered a solitary away defeat, to Crawley on the second weekend of the season.

Notts County v Walsall

The Magpies (4th - 26 points): Moved up to fourth after a fifth successive victory last time out, at Scunthorpe. That took their undefeated run to nine matches, which has been built on a solid backline that has conceded a league-best 12 goals. Jake Cassidy and Hayden Mullins remain sidelined.

The Saddlers (18th - 15 points): Beat Chesterfield 1-0 last time out to end a run of three defeats on the bounce. They've struggled away from home so far, not winning in seven and scoring a league-worst three goals.

Last time around: Walsall thumped Notts County 5-1 at Meadow Lane in January of last season, extending their unbeaten run against the Magpies to four games.

Peterborough United v Scunthorpe United

The Posh (5th - 26 points): Have succumbed to two defeats in as many games, against Crewe and Coventry. Both of those losses were away from home, and their form at London Road reads four wins, two draws and only one reverse, which came in mid-August.

The Iron (24th - 12 points): Remain rooted to the foot of Sky Bet League 1 after losing 1-0 to Notts County last weekend, having not lost in their three games prior to that. They've conceded a league-worst 15 goals on the road, winning only one of their seven games away from Glanford Park this term.

Home sweet home: The hosts are unbeaten in this encounter since 1998. The last time they met, in 2009/10, Scunthorpe beat Peterborough 4-0 at Glanford Park, after Posh have won 3-0 in the reverse fixture.

Rochdale v Preston North End

Dale (9th - 23 points): Overcame Yeovil 3-0 in their most recent outing to make it two wins in two and no defeat in three. In all, they've only suffered a single defeat in seven, but lost 2-0 to Preston in August in the Capital One Cup.

The Lilywhites (2nd - 31 points): Are flying under Simon Grayson with seven wins on the bounce lifting them up to second. Over that fine run they've conceded just four goals. After scoring in the midweek victory against Leyton Orient, Aston Villa loanee Callum Robinson has targeted promotion.

Sheffield United v Barnsley

The Blades (6th - 26 points): Advanced to the last eight of the Capital One Cup in midweek by beating MK Dons 2-1, thanks to two late Michael Higdon strikes, who says there's more to come from him. In Sky Bet League 1, they’re into the Play-Off places after three victories on the trot but haven't got the better of Barnsley in four meetings, going back to April 2009.

The Tykes (15th - 16 points): Are winless in three but halted a run of defeats by sharing the points with leaders Bristol City last time out. Despite sitting 15th, they're only two points above the relegation zone, highlighting just how tight Sky Bet League 1 is.

All games are 3pm kick-offs unless stated.

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