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Match Previews

Sky Bet League 1 weekend preview

9 January 2015

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

Saturday 10th January 2015

Barnsley v Yeovil Town

The Tykes (17th – 26 points): Have won just one of their last six in Sky Bet League 1, losing four, and they were defeated 2-0 in the FA Cup last weekend, by Middlesbrough. They’ve conceded a league-high 21 goals at home but Peter Ramage has extended his loan spell from Crystal Palace to boost their backline.

The Glovers (24th – 20 points): Also lost 2-0 in the FA Cup last time out, to Manchester United. They’ve suffered three successive defeats in Sky Bet League 1 but four of their five victories this term have come on the road. Loanees Ryan Inniss and Tom Eaves have returned to their parent clubs.

Third time lucky? Yeovil have visited Barnsley twice in The Football League but they are yet to win at Oakwell.

Bradford City v Rochdale

The Bantams (5th – 36 points): Have notched five wins in a seven-game unbeaten streak to move into the Play-Offs. They drew 3-3 with Millwall in the FA Cup last time out and have been boosted by the news that midfielder Filipe Morais has signed a new deal.

Dale (9th – 31 points): One win in eight has seen Dale move the other way to the Bantams, falling to ninth. They were 1-0 victors over Nottingham Forest in the Cup last Saturday, though, and have netted 26 goals on the road in League 1 – more than any other club.

Double delight: Bradford’s Phil Parkinson and Rory McArdle were named the Sky Bet League 1 Manager and Player of the Month respectively for December.

Bristol City v Notts County

The Robins (2nd – 48 points): Were knocked off top spot last weekend when in FA Cup action – drawing 1-1 at Doncaster – but are level on points with new leaders Swindon with a game in hand. They beat Gillingham 4-2 in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Southern Area Final first leg in midweek, with in-form striker Matt Smith scoring all four goals.

The Magpies (10th – 31 points): Are another team to drop out of the Play-Offs after a poor run – they’re winless in six, losing four. Their most recent two defeats have been by a 1-0 scoreline, and they have only lost once on the road, conceding just eight times in 11 trips.

Chesterfield v Port Vale

The Spireites (7th – 32 points): Two 3-2 victories and a goalless draw with Coventry has lifted Chesterfield in touching distance of the top seven. They fought back to draw 2-2 with Scunthorpe in the FA Cup in midweek and have striker Mani Dieseruvwe available after he joined on loan from Sheffield Wednesday.

The Valiants (8th – 32 points): Are also on 32 points, just one off the Play-Offs. They’ve won three of four but have struggled somewhat on the road, triumphing only three times in 12 away games. Defender Freddie Veseli is in line to make his debut after joining from Ipswich.

Five-star: Chestefield are unbeaten in five meetings with Port Vale, winning the reverse clash 2-1. They last lost to the Valiants in March 2010, by a 5-0 scoreline.

Crawley Town v Milton Keynes Dons

The Reds (21st – 23 points): Have dropped into the bottom four after a run of nine matches without three points, stretching back to mid-October. They ended a three-game losing streak by drawing 0-0 with Colchester most recently, in what was boss Dean Saunders’ first game at the helm.

The Dons (4th – 44 points): Saw their 13-game undefeated spell come to an end against Walsall in their last league game, before exiting the FA Cup at the hands of Chesterfield. They are the division’s best team at home, but have still won five of 10 on the road.

Bucking the trend: These two sides have met five times in Sky Bet League 1 and the score has been 2-0 in all but one clash, including in the reverse match at stadiummk, when the Dons ran out winners.

Crewe Alexandra v Gillingham

The Railwaymen (22nd – 23 points): Have won two of their most recent three to move off the foot of the table. Another win could see them move out of the relegation zone, but they lost 2-0 to Gillingham in the reverse meeting. Defender Anthony Steward has signed permanently, while the loan deals of Greg Leigh and Alan Tate have been extended.

The Gills (20th – 25 points): Remain managerless and have lost three of their last four in League 1. They suffered a 4-2 defeat to Bristol City in the first leg of the Trophy Southern Area Final in midweek, with Cody McDonald’s brace the only positive. Fellow striker Danny Kedwell, who has scored five times this season, has left to join non-league Ebbsfleet.

Leyton Orient v Fleetwood Town

The O’s (19th – 25 points): Convincing back-to-back wins, against Crawley and Yeovil, have lifted the gloom at Orient, and moved them out of the bottom four. They've only triumphed twice at home, but those victories have come in their last three outings at Brisbane Road. Josh Wright and John Lundstram have joined the club this week.

The Cod Army (12th – 31 points): Have won, drawn and lost over their last three games, to sit three points off the Play-Offs. Josh Morris, who scored twice last time out against Swindon, has extended his loan deal, which will come as a welcome boost.

Contrasting Wembley fortunes: While Fleetwood overcame Burton at Wembley last term, to reach the third tier for the first time ever, Leyton Orient lost to Rotherham to lose out on promotion to the Sky Bet Championship.

Oldham Athletic v Doncaster Rovers

The Latics (14th – 30 points): Three defeats on the spin means Oldham have slipped into the mid-table mire, and they've let in 13 goals over those games, scoring just once. Their record against Doncaster is a poor one, with the head-to-head reading 17-8 in Rovers' favour.

Rovers (15th – 30 points): Look to have turned a corner having lost only once in seven. They've kept three successive clean sheets in League 1, winning two and drawing one. They also possess the fifth-best away record in the division with 21 points collected from 12 games on the road.

Generous hosts: These two have met twice already this season, in Sky Bet League 1 and in the FA Cup, and the visiting side has won on both occasions, with Rovers winning the Cup tie and the Latics taking all three points in the league.

Peterborough United v Colchester United

Posh (11th – 31 points): Overcame Leyton Orient to end a six-game winless streak but they've lost twice and drawn one since that victory. They're still only two points adrift of the Play-Offs, though, despite being the division's out-of-form team.

The U’s (23rd – 21 points): Are another League 1 team on a poor run, collecting only two victories in 10 outings, and they were defeated 3-1 by Cardiff in the FA Cup. David Fox has extended his deal with the club, but midfielder Marcus Bean has departed.

Level-pegging: Peterborough and Colchester have also met twice already this season. Posh won 3-1 in League 1 in August while the U's triumphed 1-0 in the FA Cup in early December.

Sheffield United v Preston North End

The Blades (6th – 33 points): Haven't won in six in Sky Bet League 1 but Nigel Clough's men have become cup kings, advancing to the Capital One Cup semis and beating QPR 3-0 last time out to make the FA Cup fourth round. Marc McNulty is their form man, netting twice against Rangers.

The Lilywhites (3rd – 45 points): Are unbeaten in six, taking four victories in that spell, to sit three points off the top two. They were defeat 2-0 by Walsall in the Trophy in midweek, however. They've travelled well so far, picking up 23 points from 12 games, conceding only nine times.

All the ones: This will be the 111th meeting between Sheffield United and Preston. The head-to-head record reads 48 wins for the Blades, compared to North End's 33 victories, alongside 29 draws.

Walsall v Scunthorpe United

The Saddlers (13th – 30 points): That midweek win was a welcome result for Walsall, after they lost 2-0 to Coventry in Sky Bet League 1 last Saturday, and took them closer to a first-ever Wembley appearance. Tom Bradshaw netted against the Lilywhites and he now has 14 for the season.

The Iron (18th – 26 points): Continue to improve under Mark Robins and have won four games in an unbeaten run of six Sky Bet League 1 matches, while they drew 2-2 with Chesterfield in the FA Cup in midweek. Their defence has been breached 20 times over 11 away games – one of the poorest records in the division. Leicester striker Tom Hopper and Norwich's Jacob Murphy have signed on loan and could make their debuts.

Four on the bounce: Scunthorpe's last four wins have all been by a 2-1 scoreline.

Monday 12th January 2015

Coventry City v Swindon Town - 7.45pm - live on Sky Sports

Sky Blues (16th – 29 points): Have had a mixed bag of results over recent weeks, mainly alternating between draws and wins, and they've only lost once in seven. They notched an impressive 2-0 win against near-neighbours Walsall last weekend and have signed attacker Frank Nouble after he left Ipswich.

The Robins (1st – 48 points): Sit at the summit after last weekend's 2-2 draw with Fleetwood. That was only the second time they've failed to take all three points in their last nine outings. They are Sky Bet League 1's best travellers, registering 24 points from 12 away trips to date.

High five: Swindon are unbeaten in five meetings with Coventry, winning three of those 2-1.

All games are 3pm kick-offs unless stated.

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