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Match Previews

Sky Bet League 2 weekend preview

31 October 2014

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

Friday 31st October 2014

Accrington Stanley v Morecambe – 7.45pm

Stanley (16th – 20 points): Were held to a 1-1 draw by Newport last weekend, giving them four points from their last two matches. Kai Naismith won’t feature in the Friday night kick-off, after being granted leave for personal reasons.

The Shrimps (8th – 23 points): Were beaten at home by Exeter last Sunday, meaning they've collected only two wins in their previous eight fixtures. Full-back Joe Widdowson has returned to Bury. Fleetwood loanee Scott Davies will continue in goal, after it was revealed Barry Roche will miss the rest of the season.

Bad run: Morecambe are still chasing a first victory over Accrington in a Football League encounter. The pair have met 14 times in League 2, with Stanley dominating proceedings. This includes doing the double over the Shrimps last season, including a 5-1 rout at home.

Saturday 1st November 2014

Burton Albion v Plymouth Argyle

The Brewers (3rd – 28 points): A late own goal from Ian Sharps condemned them to a 1-0 defeat at Stevenage last weekend. They continue to alternate between victories and defeats - their inconsistent run now stretches to seven games. They go into this fixture without a manager after Gary Rowett departed for Birmingham earlier this week.

The Pilgrims (6th – 26 points): Cruised to a 3-0 win over Cheltenham at Home Park at the weekend. The clean sheet means it's now five games without conceding for The Football League's best defence, but six of the eight goals they have leaked have been on their travels. They make the trip with an unchanged squad.

Close call: All six meetings between the pair have been decided by a one-goal margin. Burton lead the head-to-head with five wins to Plymouth’s one, and the Brewers won the last three encounters 1-0.

Bury v Cambridge United

The Shakers (5th – 27 points): Slipped down to fifth position, after a 1-1 draw with Southend last time out. It's only two wins from the last six for Bury, who have Joe Widdowson available after returning from a loan spell at Morecambe. Midfielder Duane Holmes has been recalled by parent club Huddersfield.

The U's (12th – 21 points): A dramatic late winner handed them all three points at home to struggling Hartlepool last weekend. Harrison Dunk's goal earned them a 2-1 victory against Pools, and the U's have now only lost once in five. Ian Miller and Issa Diallo remain the only absentees.

High five: Bury are unbeaten in the last five league fixtures between the pair, taking victory in four of them. Cambridge’s last win was at Gigg Lane in August 2002. The U’s did get the better of the Shakers in last season’s FA Cup, though, as they advanced via a replay.

Cheltenham Town v York City

The Robins (11th – 22 points): Were brushed aside 3-0 by Plymouth at the weekend, bringing their run of two successive wins to a halt. Joe Hanks is in line for a return to the starting line-up after dropping to the bench for Saturday's defeat.

The Minstermen (22nd – 12 points): Earned a share of the spoils with Mansfield last time out, with the game finishing 1-1. They haven't taken three points in nine outings. Ryan Jarvis serves the final match of his suspension, but Deon Burton will make his debut after joining on loan from Scunthorpe.

On the draw: York have only beaten Cheltenham once in competitive fixtures, back in 2000, but the last four encounters in Sky Bet League 2 have ended level.

Dagenham & Redbridge v Shrewsbury Town

The Daggers (21st – 15 points): Were denied all three points late on against Wycombe last weekend, but managed to come away with one thanks to a 1-1 draw. They haven't won in three games and only Hartlepool have a poorer home record. Manager Wayne Burnett could welcome a host of players back after a successful midweek run-out in the Essex Senior Cup.

The Shrews (4th – 27 points): Came from behind to beat Portsmouth 2-1 at the weekend – their fourth successive win in League 2. They carried their form into Tuesday night's Capital One Cup clash, where they pushed a strong Chelsea side all the way, before losing 2-1.

Double trouble: The last time these two sides met was in 2011/12, when the Shrews took six points from the two meetings. The Daggers have failed to score against Shrewsbury in the last three games, ever since dishing out a 5-0 thumping in 2009.

Exeter City v Luton Town

The Grecians (10th – 22 points): Followed up their impressive result over Wycombe with a Sunday afternoon victory against Morecambe. The 2-0 win lifted them up to 10th after a run of six wins from their last eight games.

The Hatters (1st – 30 points): Moved to the summit of Sky Bet League 2 last Saturday thanks to a last-gasp strike from Luke Guttridge, the midfielder handing them a 1-0 victory over Northampton. John Still's men have won seven on the bounce, having not lost since the first week of September.

Form teams: Based on the last 10 games, these pair top the Sky Bet League 2 form table. Exeter have only lost twice in that period, but table-topping Luton lead the way, having avoided defeat in their previous nine fixtures. It's the Hatters who will fancy their chances of extending their good run here, leading Exeter 25-10 in the head-to-head record, with 12 draws.

Hartlepool United v Newport County

Pools (24th – 11 points): Hit the bottom of the table following a third straight defeat, with Paul Murray's first game in charge resulting in a 2-1 loss at Cambridge. They've only scored three goals at home all season. Nicky Featherstone is in line for a debut after becoming Murray’s first signing this week.

The Exiles (7th – 23 points): Held to a 1-1 draw by Accrington at the weekend but the stalemate extended their unbeaten run to four games. A sickness bug has hit the camp to go alongside the current injury crisis - Robbie Willmott is the latest to join the list of long-term absentees.

All-square: Last season saw the pair meet for the first time, and the honours are even so far. The hosts won on both occasions; Newport recorded a 2-0 victory at Rodney Parade but Hartlepool went one better, with a 3-0 success at Victoria Park in the reverse match.

Mansfield Town v Southend United

The Stags (17th – 19 points): Battled out a 1-1 draw with York last time around - their fourth successive stalemate. Paul Cox could welcome back Martin Riley, Simon Heslop and Matt Rhead, but Ritchie Sutton will miss out after fracturing a jaw in last weekend's match.

The Blues (9th – 22 points): Shared the spoils with Bury last Saturday, extending their winless run to five games. West Ham United striker Elliot Lee has joined on loan as they look to get back to winning ways.

Northampton Town v AFC Wimbledon

The Cobblers (18th – 18 points): The late goal conceded to Luton last weekend means it's four consecutive defeats, which has seen them drop to 18th. Oxford's Tom Newey and Fleetwood's Stewart Murdoch have joined on loan to ease the injury worries at Sixfields, and both are expected to feature.

The Dons (13th – 20 points): Drew 2-2 with struggling Tranmere at the weekend. They travel to Sixfields this weekend with a full squad as they look to get three points, having not won a game in their last three outings.

Bogey side: AFC Wimbledon have failed to overcome Northampton in six previous clashes. The Cobblers have won four and drawn two, with the last encounter ending 2-2.

Oxford United v Wycombe Wanderers

The U's (19th – 16 points): Two successive victories were followed up by a 2-1 defeat at Carlisle last Saturday. Danny Hylton will continue to lead the line after netting his fourth goal in as many games during the loss to the Cumbrians, and there are no fresh injury concerns for Michael Appleton.

The Chairboys (2nd – 29 points): Are without a win in two games, after sharing the spoils with Dagenham at the weekend. The 1-1 draw saw them surrender top spot in the division. Paris Cowan-Hall is back in contention, whilst new signing Hogan Ephraim is likely to make his debut.

Generous hosts: The hosts of this fixture haven’t been victorious since Wycombe won an FA Cup match at Adams Park in 2006. Oxford’s last three-point haul at home to the Chairboys was in January 2005.

Portsmouth v Carlisle United

Pompey (14th – 20 points): Threw away an early lead last weekend, eventually losing 2-1 to Shrewsbury. It's now just one win in the last seven games for Pompey. Jack Whatmough had a successful run-out in the Final Third Development League in midweek, so could come into contention.

The Cumbrians (20th – 15 points): Now have four wins in six, thanks to substitute Derek Asamoah's late goal against Oxford last weekend, handing them a 2-1 victory. Stephen Elliott misses out after rupturing his Achilles in Saturday's success.

Road to ruins: These two are all-square when it comes to head-to-heads in The Football League, however it's been a long time since Carlisle have returned from the 700-mile round trip with all three points. They grabbed a share of the spoils in League 1 when they last met in 2013, but it's 20 years since an away victory for the Cumbrians.

Tranmere Rovers v Stevenage

Rovers (23rd – 11 points): Climbed off the bottom of the table thanks to a second successive draw last time out, in which Chesterfield loanee Armand Gnanduillet bagged a brace. Micky Adams has moved to bring in Port Vale midfielder Steve Jennings in on loan, for his second stint at Tranmere.

Boro (15th – 20 points): Managed to win 1-0 against Burton last weekend without registering a shot on target - a late own goal handed them a second win out of the last three. They're chasing what would be just their second victory on the road this term. Adam Marriott and Simon Walton are both back in training, but the game may come too soon for the pair.

Honours even: These two have faced each other six times, all in League 1. The record reads two wins each, alongside two draws. The visiting team is yet to triumph.

All games are 3pm kick-offs unless stated

All games are 3pm kick-offs unless stated.

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