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Match Previews

Sky Bet League 2 weekend preview

26 September 2014

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

Saturday 27th September 2014

Accrington Stanley v Plymouth Argyle


Stanley (17th - 10 points): John Coleman's second spell in charge got off to an eventful start, with a 5-4 win at Northampton last weekend making it three wins in four for the club. Coleman has brought in Chesterfield keeper Aaron Chapman on loan to replace Joe Lumley, who returned to QPR earlier this week.

The Pilgrims (12th - 13 points): Plymouth's 2-0 win over Hartlepool was their fourth three-point haul of the season, and they have managed to keep a clean sheet on each occasion. Argyle are sweating over the fitness of top scorer Reuben Reid (5) after he picked up an injury during last week's clash.

On the draw: Out of eight previous meetings, there have been six draws between the sides, with one win apiece. Three of the four clashes at Stanley have finished 1-1, with the other encounter going the way of Plymouth back in February 2012.

Burton Albion v Cheltenham Town

The Brewers (2nd - 19 points): Burton's 3-1 defeat at Bury last week was their second on the bounce, and cost them top spot in Sky Bet League 2. However, their 100 per cent home record remains intact and they should have Adam McGurk and Lucas Akins available after minor injuries.

The Robins (7th - 15 points): Cheltenham have failed to win in four games, and Joe Hanks' late equaliser in Saturday's 1-1 draw with Dagenham & Redbridge was the Robins' first league goal in September. Jordan Wynter has returned to parent club Bristol City, but Raffaele De Vita has signed on a short-term deal.



Carlisle United v Tranmere Rovers

The Cumbrians (24th - 3 points): Keith Curle's first game in charge couldn't inspire Carlisle to their first win of the season, as they lost 3-2 at Mansfield last Saturday. Captain Antony Sweeney is set to miss out after sustaining a shoulder injury during that match, but Paul Thirlwell is available again after serving a one-match suspension.

Rovers (18th - 9 points): Tranmere are winless in four after slipping to a 2-1 defeat at home to Exeter last time out. Matt Hill underwent surgery in the week and faces a five-month lay-off. West Ham loanee Matthias Fanimo is in line for his debut after missing out on Saturday with a groin problem.

Head-to-head: Carlisle and Tranmere can't be separated despite meeting 82 times in competitive fixtures. They both have 32 wins each, with 18 draws. The last time they clashed in the bottom tier of English football was in the 1988/89 season, when the spoils were shared in both fixtures.

Dagenham & Redbridge v York City

The Daggers (21st - 8 points): A run of three defeats was halted with a 1-1 draw against Cheltenham last weekend, but Wayne Burnett's men are still five games without a victory. Veteran Jamie Cureton grabbed his fourth goal of the campaign against the Robins and he will be the danger man again.

The Minstermen (19th - 9 points): Lowly York's defeat to Southend was their second loss in their last three games, after previously going seven matches unbeaten. They have had more success away from home this season, with their only win in Sky Bet League 2 coming on the road at Stevenage.

Keep it clean: York have shut out the hosts on three of their five visits to the Daggers, coming out victorious on each occasion. When Dagenham have found the net, they have gone on to win the match.

Exeter City v Bury

The Grecians (20th - 9 points): Exeter failed to register a victory in the first seven games, but two away wins in succession have lifted the Grecians away from danger, the most recent being a 2-1 success at Tranmere. Graham Cummins has found the net in each of the last three games.

The Shakers (1st - 20 points): Bury have gone eight games unbeaten and their third successive win, against Burton last week, moved them to the top of the Sky Bet League 2 table. Ryan Lowe has three goals in his last three appearances and the Shakers are yet to lose on the road this season.

Bogey team: Exeter will be hoping to tear up the form books here, after only managing to beat Bury twice in the last 20 years. Their record against the Shakers at St James' Park isn't as bad as on their travels though, and the sides fought out a 2-2 draw here last time they met.

Hartlepool United v Portsmouth

Pools (23rd - 7 points): Last Saturday's 2-0 defeat at Plymouth was Hartlepool's second on the spin, and saw them drop into the bottom two. Scott Harrison and Charlie Wyke's loan deals have been extended, with the latter set to return to the squad after missing last week's loss due to concussion.

Pompey (12th - 13 points): Johnny Ertl's equaliser earned Pompey a point at home to Wycombe last Saturday. Aston Villa striker Michael Drennan has joined on loan, with Portsmouth only finding the net twice away from Fratton Park so far this season - the poorest record in the division.

Dry spell: There have only been eight previous meetings between the sides, and Hartlepool have yet to pick up a win against Pompey at Victoria Park. Pools haven't scored at home in the last three encounters against the South Coast club, with their last goal coming in August 1978.

Luton Town v Oxford United

The Hatters (13th - 12 points): A 1-0 win at Cambridge last Saturday stretched Luton's unbeaten run to three games. All three of their victories this season have been by that same scoreline, with Mark Cullen grabbing the only goal on each occasion.



The U's (22nd - 7 points): Oxford are unbeaten in five games following last weekend's goalless draw with Stevenage. That point kept them out of the relegation zone, but the U's need to improve away from home - they are one of only three teams yet to pick up a win on their travels this season.

Home, sweet home: These sides haven't met in The Football League since the 2000/01 season, when the teams couldn't be separated over two games. However, Oxford have failed to come away from Kenilworth Road with three points since a 3-2 win in 1987.

Morecambe v Northampton Town

The Shrimps (5th - 16 points): Two successive 1-0 defeats have halted Morecambe's flying start - Wimbledon inflicted the most recent of those. The Shrimps will be glad to be back home, where they are one of three sides yet to lose. Andy Fleming should return after a hip injury, but the game comes too soon for Alan Goodall and Jamie Devitt.

The Cobblers (9th - 14 points): The league's top scorers will be looking to respond after shifting five goals to Accrington in last weekend's nine-goal thriller at Sixfields. Ivan Toney and Darren Carter came off the bench to score, staking a claim for a place in the starting eleven, whilst Zander Diamond could return.

Road to glory: The Cobblers have had plenty of success against Morecambe, suffering only one defeat in 10 meetings. The Shrimps lost their first three games at home to Northampton but have stopped the rot slightly, holding the visitors to a draw in the last two encounters at the Globe Arena.

Newport County v AFC Wimbledon

The Exiles (16th - 10 points): Newport moved to six games unbeaten after a goalless stalemate at Shrewsbury last weekend. Andrew Hughes picked up a red card in that match so will miss out. Mark Byrne, Darren Jones and Ismail Yakubu could all return to ease the injury crisis at Rodney Parade.

The Dons (10th - 14 points): Wimbledon recorded their second successive win, and clean sheet, with a 1-0 win over Morecambe last Saturday. Top scorer Matt Tubbs (7) returns from suspension to give Neal Ardley a welcome selection headache after his replacement, Adebayo Azeez, picked up last week's man-of-the-match award.

Goals galore: There have been at least three goals in every meeting between Newport and AFC Wimbledon, but the hosts have failed to pick up a victory over the Dons in their six previous encounters.

Southend United v Shrewsbury Town

The Blues (4th - 17 points): Southend held on to beat York 3-2 last weekend, earning them their third win on the trot and helping them up to fourth in the Sky Bet League 2 table. Goals are coming from all areas for Phil Brown's side, with six separate scorers chipping in during that nine-point haul.

The Shrews (6th - 15 points): Shrewsbury slipped to sixth after a 0-0 draw with Newport last Saturday, after failing to break down the visitors' defence, but they beat Championship Norwich in Round 3 of the Capital One Cup on Tuesday. Mickey Mellon's men are having a dry September in the league with just a solitary goal coming from defender Jermaine Grandison. Only Carlisle have a worse record on the road.

Salop do like to be beside the seaside: Shrewsbury have an admirable record at Roots Hall since the turn of the decade, recording four clean sheets in their last six visits, three of which resulted in victory for the Shrews.

Stevenage v Mansfield Town

Boro (15th - 11 points): Stevenage are still yet to find any consistency, battling out a goalless draw at Oxford last time out. Chris Day will continue to deputise in goal, with Sam Beasant out with a back injury. Dean Parrett is in line for his first start of the season after a lengthy injury lay-off.

The Stags (8th - 15 points): Mansfield survived a late comeback to overcome Carlisle 3-2 last weekend, a second successive victory. Despite one of the best home records in the division, Mansfield have found it tough on the road, picking up just one win in four. The Stags are still the only Sky Bet League 2 side yet to draw a match.



Net-busters: These two teams met four times in the Conference between 2008 and 2010, with Stevenage recording three wins, and Mansfield just getting the one. This is their first ever Football League encounter and, with an average of 4.5 goals per game, it could be a good one.

Wycombe Wanderers v Cambridge United

The Chairboys (3rd - 18 points): Wycombe are now six games unbeaten after last week's 1-1 draw with Portsmouth. The majority of the Chairboys' points have come on the road, however they can rely on their back line to keep the opposition at bay, conceding just six goals in their nine matches so far.

The U's (14th - 11 points): Two straight defeats at the Abbey Stadium have seen Cambridge slip to 11th in the Sky Bet League 2 table. Loanee Tom Naylor had a debut to forget in the 1-0 defeat to Luton, his red card will rule him out of the next three matches.

Host with the most: The last five meetings between Wycombe and Cambridge have seen the home side take all three points, with each game being separated by just a single goal. The last time the visiting side won was back in 2001 - the U's coming away from Adams Park with a 2-0 win.


All games are 3pm kick-offs unless stated

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