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Match Previews

Sky Bet League 2 weekend preview

5 September 2014

Saturday 6th September

Accrington Stanley v Tranmere Rovers

Stanley: James Beattie's men sit rock bottom of The Football League with just one point from five Sky Bet League 2 games. Also suffered defeat in midweek when they were beaten 3-1 by Carlisle United in Round 1 of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy.

Click here to hear Beattie's thoughts after that defeat at home to Carlisle

Rovers: Have won two of their past three games to make it seven points from a possible 15. They've scored two goals in each of those matches, three of them coming from striker Cole Stockton.

Unfamiliar league opponents: This will be the first meeting between these two sides in League competition since December 1959. They have met six times in Cup games in that time.

Carlisle United v AFC Wimbledon

The Cumbrians: Tony Caig and Paul Thirlwell remain in joint caretaker charge of Carlisle, who sacked Graham Kavanagh following last weekend's 5-0 defeat at Cambridge United. They've taken two points from five games, but beat Accrington in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy on Tuesday.

The Dons: Sit 13th with seven points. Have scored in every game this season, with striker Matt Tubbs netting five times. That form was enough to earn Tubbs the Sky Bet League 2 Player of the Month award for August.

Dagenham and Redbridge v Northampton Town

Daggers: Lost their first two of the season but have since gone three unbeaten, taking seven points from an available nine, including a thrilling 3-3 draw with Oxford United last weekend. Have one of the worst records in Sky Bet League 2 the last 15 minutes this season, conceding three goals and scoring none.

Cobblers: Chris Wilder's men have a habit of ending games strongly, scoring three and conceding none in the final quarter of an hour of matches this term. Sit in eighth with eight points from five games.

Can we play you every week: Northampton are unbeaten against Dagenham and Redbridge. In eight meetings, the Cobblers have won seven and drawn once. That stalemate came in 2013/14.

Exeter City v Mansfield Town

The Grecians: One of five teams who remain without a win in Sky Bet League 2, courtesy of three 1-0 defeats and a couple of 1-1 draws. Alongside Carlisle, they are the division's lowest scorers with two goals. Boosted by the loan signing of Alex Nicholls from Northampton Town.

The Stags: Picked up three victories in four, in all competitions, at the start of the campaign, but have lost three successive games since. The most recent of those was a 2-0 loss at rivals Notts County in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy, but defender James Riley is confident the team can turn their form around.

One at a time: The past nine games between these two clubs have produced just nine goals. Both teams have scored in only two of those fixtures.

Hartlepool United v Shrewsbury Town

Pools: Colin Cooper's men have conceded first in all five League 2 games during 2014/15, winning one and losing four. Lost young striker Luke James to Peterborough United on deadline day, and will also be without Lewis Hawkins (ankle). Stuart Parnaby (hamstring) could come back into contention.

Read Hartlepool's match preview by clicking here

Shrews: Shrewsbury are adapting well to life in Sky Bet League 2 after relegation last term. They're one of three unbeaten teams, with three wins and two draws to their name. Add to that the fact Micky Mellon's side are top scorers in the division, with 11, and they knocked Leicester City out of the Capital One Cup and it's been a tremendous start. However, they lost to Preston North End on Tuesday in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy.

Strong starts: Shrewsbury have looked dangerous in the first quarter of an hour during League 2 games this campaign. In that period, they've netted three times and are yet to concede.

Luton Town v Plymouth Argyle - 12:15pm kick-off

The Hatters: Victorious on the opening day of the season at home to Carlisle but have since gone four without a win, leaving Luton in 18th on five points. Haven't gone five league games without tasting victory since February 2013.

Pilgrims: For Plymouth, their return of seven points represents slightly better value. Reuben Reid has scored five goals this term, half of Argyle's total. Signed winger Alex Bray on loan from Premier League side Swansea City on deadline day. Last visited Kenilworth Road in April 2007 in the Championship, winning 2-1.

Visit the Plymouth website to see the 11 things you need to know ahead of the game

One to watch: This game takes place on Saturday lunchtime in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

Morecambe v Cheltenham Town

Shrimps: Jim Bentley being named Manager of the Month for August indicates Morecambe's strong start to 2014/15, winning four and losing one of their opening five fixtures. That defeat was suffered last time out, away at Tranmere and they currently sit third in the table.

Robins: Sit directly above Morecambe, in second on 13 points. One of three teams yet to taste defeat in Sky Bet League 2, experiencing one draw sandwiched between four victories. Took that form into the Trophy on Tuesday, beating Oxford United 2-0.

Southend United v Oxford United

Shrimpers: Have tailed off since winning their first two, losing a couple and drawing once in their most recent three. Exited the Johnstone's Paint Trophy at the Round 1 stage on Tuesday, losing on penalties to AFC Wimbledon.

U's: Experiencing their worst start to a season since 2000/01, when they went seven games without winning. Have taken just a single point from five matches, but will be boosted by the return of Alex Jakubiak.

Watch Oxford's preview show by clicking here

Star man: Danny Hylton is the stand-out performer in Oxford's squad so far this term, scoring five of their seven goals.

Stevenage v York City

Boro: Welcome the team they beat 2-0 in the 2009 FA Trophy Final to the Lamex Stadium this weekend, looking to build on last Saturday's 3-2 win at AFC Wimbledon.

Minstermen: York are both unbeaten and without a win. Five successive draws has equalled their record from last season, and means they have now drawn nine of their past 12 matches in League 2 either side of summer. Josh Carson and Tom Platt are injured, while Wes Fletcher will be assessed in the build-upafter picking up a hamstring injury last weekend.

Unfamiliar ground: These two clubs have met 13 times previously, but all those clashes have come in non-league competitions; 12 in the Conference Premier and the 2009 FA Trophy Final. This will be their first Football League match-up.

Wycombe Wanderers v Bury

Chairboys: Following a relegation fight in 2013/14, Gareth Ainsworth's team are scrapping at the top end of League 2 after five fixtures. They sit fifth courtesy of three wins, a draw and a defeat, and are currently enjoying their best start to a campaign since 2008/09.

The Shakers: Bury also have 10 points from a possible 15, and sit immediately below Wycombe due to an inferior goal difference, which didn't look likely after they lost at home to Cheltenham on the opening weekend. They're unbeaten in four league games since then.

Three in a row: Bury have won on their past two visits to Adams Park; 2-1 last term and 2-0 in 2011/12. Wycombe will be hoping their opponents don't make it three in a row.

Sunday 7th September - 12:15pm kick-off

Burton Albion v Portsmouth

The Brewers: Gary Rowett's Burton sit proudly atop the Sky Bet League 2 table after five games, and were further boosted by the permanent signing of Stuart Beavon from Preston North End on deadline day.

Pompey: Lost their unbeaten record last weekend, going down 1-0 at the hands of Newport County. Bounced back from that disappointment by easily dispatching Sky Bet League 1 team Yeovil Town in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy on Tuesday, running out 3-1 winners.

Just the two: Burton and Portsmouth have only ever met twice before in their history, and those encounters were last season. Pompey won 2-1 at Burton before a 0-0 stalemate at Fratton Park in March 2014.

All games are 3pm kick-offs unless stated.

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