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Match Previews

Sky Bet League 2 weekend preview

10 October 2014

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

Saturday 11th October

Accrington Stanley v Dagenham & Redbridge

Stanley (11th - 16 points): Picked up a 1-0 victory over 10-man Mansfield last weekend - their third successive win under John Coleman and their fifth in their last six games. Anthony Barry has re-joined on a three-month loan from Forest Green Rovers, and could feature.

The Daggers (19th - 11 points): Jamie Cureton's fifth goal of the season wasn't enough for Dagenham last Friday when they slipped to a defeat at home to Exeter, leaving them with just one win in seven. That was followed by a 2-0 defeat against Leyton Orient in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy on Tuesday.

Crowning glory: Dagenham have come out victorious on three of their last four visits to the Crown Ground, and are unbeaten in all competitions against Stanley since a 3-0 defeat back in November 2011.

AFC Wimbledon v Bury

The Dons (13th - 15 points): Came from a goal down to draw 1-1 at Cheltenham last time out in Sky Bet League 2. A midweek Trophy success over MK Dons was the perfect way to return to winning ways, with Adebayo Akinfenwa grabbing his fifth goal in his last five games.

The Shakers (1st - 23 points): Bounced back from a rare defeat to return to the top of the table by beating Tranmere Rovers 2-0 last weekend. Daniel Nardiello scored in that success and added two more in Tuesday night's 3-1 win over Morecambe in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy..

Third time lucky? Last season saw Wimbledon and Bury meet for the first time, and the Dons failed to come away with a victory on either occasion. Following a draw at Gigg Lane, Bury returned from Kingsmeadow with a 1-0 victory.

Cambridge United v Oxford United – 12.15pm – live on Sky Sports

The U's (16th - 14 points): A run of three defeats was ended in some style last Friday, ending Burton's 100 per cent home record with an impressive 3-1 win at the Pirelli Stadium. There are no fresh injury concerns for Richard Money as his side chase back-to-back victories for the first time this season.

The U's (20th - 10 points): Grabbed a second win in four games by overcoming Newport 1-0 at the Kassam Stadium last weekend. Tyrone Barnett's red card didn't affect that match, but he will have to sit out of this one as a result. Oxford are one of only two sides in League 2 yet to win on the road this season.

Sharing is caring: These two sides can't be separated by their nicknames, and it's not often they are separated by scorelines either. Their last three meetings in the Conference ended up all-square, as they did in five of their last eight Football League encounters between 2000 and 2005. If this

Carlisle United v Stevenage

The Cumbrians (23rd - 9 points): Climbed off the bottom of the table last time out in the league, recording a 3-0 win over Hartlepool - their second consecutive victory under new boss Keith Curle. They still possess the worst defensive record in the division, though.

Boro (17th - 14 points): Stevenage had gone two games without defeat until Luton's visit to the Lamex Stadium last Saturday, when a late goal condemned them to a 2-1 loss. The wait for striker Calvin Zola's first start goes on as his ankle injury is likely to keep him out for a couple more weeks.

Northern struggles: Stevenage registered a win at Brunton Park in the Conference back in 2005, but they've had less luck in their Football League meetings. Their last three visits to Carlisle have seen them come away with just a solitary point - a 0-0 draw in Sky Bet League 1 last season.

Exeter City v Hartlepool United

The Grecians (14th - 15 points): Two late goals last Friday gave them their fourth successive 2-1 victory, at Dagenham, but there was midweek disappointment as they crashed out of the Trophy with defender Jordan Taylor-Moore breaking his foot in the 3-1 defeat at Coventry.

Pools (24th - 8 points): Were thumped 3-0 by Carlisle last weekend - a result which saw boss Colin Cooper resign, and the two sides swap places at the bottom of Sky Bet League 2. Hartlepool have just one goal in their last five league games but they pushed Sheffield United all the way in Tuesday’s Trophy clash, eventually losing 2-1 to the Blades.

Generous hosts: Since 1999, Exeter have only picked up one win over Hartlepool at St James' Park - a 3-1 win in 2009. Five of the nine previous meetings at Exeter have seen Pools travel back with the three points.

Luton Town v Southend United

The Hatters (7th - 18 points): There was disappointment in midweek for Luton as they were edged out 1-0 by Crawley in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy. However, a 2-1 win over Stevenage last weekend – their fourth victory in five - took them in to the Play-Off places. September's Sky Bet League 2 Player of the Month Luke Wilkinson was amongst the goals in that game.

The Blues (4th - 20 points): Southend held onto fourth spot despite their four-game winning run coming to a halt last time out, when they stumbled to a 1-0 defeat at home to Morecambe. Barry Corr missed that game with a knee injury but is in line for a return this weekend.

Dry spell: The last time Southend found the net at Kenilworth Road was back in 1996, in a 3-1 defeat. These sides haven't battled it out in League 2 since the 2001/02 season, when the Hatters did the double over the Blues.

Morecambe v Wycombe Wanderers

The Shrimps (5th - 19 points): Morecambe were brushed aside by Bury in the Trophy on Tuesday night but their three-match losing streak in the league came to an end last weekend, following that aforementioned victory over Southend. All of the Shrimps' last four league fixtures have been settled by a solitary goal.

The Chairboys (2nd - 22 points): Wycombe's late show last weekend stretched their unbeaten run to eight games, as Aaron Holloway's 98th-minute header earned them a 1-1 draw against Northampton. The Chairboys have played five matches on the road this season, and are still yet to lose.

A perfect 10: Wycombe have gone 10 league meetings without losing to their weekend opponents. Since earning promotion to The Football League, Morecambe have only managed one goal at home to the Chairboys, which was Kevin Ellison's equaliser back in January of this year.

Newport County v York City

The Exiles (18th - 13 points): A 1-0 defeat to 10-man Oxford last weekend ended Newport's impressive run of seven games unbeaten. Mark Byrne and captain Andy Sandell will sit this game out after they both picked up their fifth yellow cards of the season during that loss.

The Minstermen (21st - 10 points): Picked up their a seventh draw of the campaign in a goalless encounter with Portsmouth last Saturday, leaving them winless in five. Wes Fletcher and Michael Coulson picked up hamstring and calf strains respectively during the stalemate, and will face a couple of weeks on the sidelines.

Border control: York have failed to take a point from the Welsh outfit in three league meetings at Rodney Parade. They suffered two defeats when they met in the Conference, and last season's League 2 encounter saw Newport run out comfortable 3-0 winners.

Northampton Town v Burton Albion - 2pm

The Cobblers (6th - 18 points): Notched a point after drawing 1-1 at Wycombe last weekend. Gregor Robertson was sent off in that match but is available again after sitting out of Tuesday night’s Trophy meeting with Portsmouth. The 2-1 win over Pompey came at a cost, as top scorer Marc Richards suffered a hamstring injury.

The Brewers (3rd - 22 points): Were knocked off of their perch again last weekend, following a 3-1 Friday night defeat to Cambridge United. That ended the Brewers’ 100 per cent home record and they leaked three more goals at the Pirelli Stadium in midweek, as League 1 Doncaster cruised to a 3-0 win in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.

Close call: These sides have never been separated by more than a goal in any of their 10 Football League meetings. The last three encounters have seen the hosts of the fixture win 1-0, two of which were at Sixfields.

Portsmouth v Mansfield Town

Pompey (9th - 16 points): Portsmouth's 0-0 stalemate with York was their third consecutive draw in the league and they were knocked out of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy in midweek by Northampton. Jack Whatmough (hamstring) and Michael Drennan (calf) have been ruled out.

The Stags (15th - 15 points): Succumbed to a second successive defeat last time out after losing 1-0 at home to Accrington. A late red card for Adam Murray didn't help matters, and this serves as the first game of his three-match suspension. Ryan Tafazolli (hamstring) and John Dempster (groin) also face spells out of action.

On the draw: These sides have only met on four occasions in The Football League, with three of those seeing the sides share the spoils. The most recent meeting finished 1-1 at Fratton Park. Pompey's only victory over Mansfield was in the 2006 League Cup.

Shrewsbury Town v Cheltenham Town

The Shrews (12th - 15 points): Failed to score away from the Greenhous Meadow yet again last week, as they were on the wrong end of a 1-0 scoreline at Plymouth. It's now four defeats in the last six for the Shrews, although they are the only team in Sky Bet League 2 yet to lose a home match. Boosted their attacking options by bringing in Bobby Grant on loan from Blackpool.

The Robins (10th - 16 points): Have gone six league games without a victory, after last weekend's 1-1 draw with AFC Wimbledon. There was no change in fortune in Wednesday's Trophy clash with Bristol City, when they were beaten 3-1 by the League 1 outfit, although Mark Yates was pleased with his side's efforts.

A happy home: Cheltenham haven't come away from Shrewsbury with three points since a 2-0 win in 2000. Five of the last seven meetings at Shrewsbury have seen the home side come out victorious, the most recent being a 2-0 win at Greenhous Meadow in 2011/12.

Tranmere Rovers v Plymouth Argyle

Rovers (22nd - 9 points): Fell to a third consecutive loss in a 2-0 reverse at Bury last Saturday - a fourth defeat in six games. They stopped the rot in their midweek Johnstone's Paint Trophy clash with Carlisle, edging past their fellow League 2 strugglers on penalties.

The Pilgrims (8th - 16 points): Reuben Reid returned to the Plymouth line-up after injury and continued where he left off. His sixth goal of the season fired the Pilgrims to a 1-0 victory over Shrewsbury. That was followed up with a win over Swindon in midweek, as Lewis Alessandra netted twice in a 3-2 Trophy win over the League 1 outfit.

Mersey blues: Plymouth have had little joy at Tranmere in recent years, coming away defeated in their last five visits. Rovers have won five of the last six meetings between the pair, however Argyle fans will remember their last win fondly, as they hammered today's opponents 6-0 back in 2003.

All games are 3pm kick-offs unless stated

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