Team news: Leicester duo set to face Brighton
All the team news ahead of saturday's Championship games with under-pressure Leicester boss Sven-Goran Eriksson getting some good news as the Foxes prepare to welcome leaders Brighton.
Millwall v West Ham United
Millwall striker John Marquis will be available to face London rivals West Ham. The teenager has been playing on in recent weeks despite a hernia and has been pencilled in for an operation next month. But the problem is not in danger of getting worse so Marquis is in line to face the Hammers. Therry Racon and Shaun Batt are the Lions' only injury absentees and both could be back in training next week. Former Charlton midfielder Racon has been out since suffering ankle ligament damage on his debut last month. Striker Batt, who missed all of last season due to a cruciate injury, has been sidelined this term with a calf strain but is close to a long-awaited comeback.
West Ham will be without Frederic Piquionne when they make the short trip to the New Den. The striker came on as a late substitute in last weekend's 4-3 win over Portsmouth but lasted only five minutes before he was sent off and begins a three-match ban. Carlton Cole will once again lead the attack having scored in each of his last four appearances. David Bentley could start after his first appearance as a substitute against Pompey while Sam Baldock, Papa Bouba Diop and Brian Montenegro are all pushing to make their debuts. But a fifth recent signing, right-back Guy Demel, limped out of a reserve match in midweek with a tight hamstring and is a doubt. Winger Gary O'Neil (ankle) is a long-term absentee.
Nottingham Forest v Derby County
Nottingham Forest boss Steve McClaren is waiting on the fitness of a quartet of players ahead of the visit of East Midlands rivals Derby. Midfielders Paul Anderson (calf) and George Boateng and strikers Robbie Findley and Marcus Tudgay were all absent through injury as the Reds slipped to a 3-2 defeat at Southampton last weekend. McClaren, a former assistant manager at Derby under Jim Smith in the late 1990s, will keep a close eye on their progress before finalising his squad. Forest will definitely be without long-term absentees Dexter Blackstock and Gareth McCleary. Former Forest forward Nathan Tyson could be in the Derby squad for the first time this season following his summer move along the A52 to Pride Park.
Derby will make a late decision on whether Nathan Tyson will face his former club at the City Ground. The forward, who made the move along the A52 on a free transfer in the summer, has yet to play for the Rams after sustaining a groin injury during pre-season. Tyson came through 60 minutes of a behind-closed-doors game against Leicester on Tuesday afternoon unscathed and scored in his side's 3-2 defeat. He is likely to be on the bench if he is included in the squad. Steve Davies has been struggling with a back problem and could be rested, with Theo Robinson taking his place in the starting line-up at the City Ground. James Bailey missed the defeat at Coventry last weekend after suffering an ankle injury in training and the midfielder is not expected to return until after the two-week international break in October.
Barnsley v Watford
Barnsley's injury crisis has eased slightly with Ricardo Vaz Te and Nathan Doyle ready to return when Watford come to visit. Manager Keith Hill has been without a host of players in recent weeks, but Vaz Te has recovered from a thigh muscle tear while Doyle is back following a groin injury. The Tykes' casualty list already included four players and winger Matty Done has joined those sidelined with a hamstring injury. Summer signing Craig Davies (groin), teenager Reuben Noble-Lazarus (ankle), defender Miles Addison (ankle) and midfielder Goran Lovre (knee) will all miss out again. Following a poor start to the season Hill's side are now unbeaten in three games, but Done's injury means he will have to make an enforced change from the side which drew with Leicester.
Watford boss Sean Dyche is likely to keep faith with an unchanged XI for the third successive match as he takes his side to Oakwell. Dyche guided the Hornets to both their first win of the season and his first since taking charge over the summer as they triumphed 2-0 at Reading last weekend, coming after their 2-2 draw against Birmingham. And with no new injury or suspension problems to the side involved at the Madejski Stadium, Dyche is likely to go again with the same set-up at Oakwell. Lee Hodson is a doubt with a knee injury, but the defender did not make Dyche`s matchday 16 last weekend. Striker Chris Iwelumo returned to the bench against the Royals and was introduced for the last couple of minutes, before getting 90 minutes under his belt in a midweek behind-closed-doors friendly against MK Dons. Fellow forward Joe Garner is still awaiting his first start for the club following his deadline-day switch having also stepped off the bench.
Blackpool v Cardiff City
Blackpool boss Ian Holloway could call on defender Neal Eardley for the home clash with Cardiff. The Wales international recently underwent surgery on a badly dislocated finger but played in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Middlesbrough in midweek. He now looks set to come into contention to face the Bluebirds but left-back Stephen Crainey will hope to be available again after he missed last weekend's 2-0 home win over Ipswich due to illness. Matt Hill deputised for the Scot while recent signings Daniel Bogdanovic and James Hurst may again be forced to settle for a place on the bench.
Cardiff manager Malky Mackay will not risk new signing Ben Turner at Bloomfield Road despite the defender getting through a 75-minute stint for the club's development squad in midweek. Turner, who has not played first-team football for more than 10 months, is recovering from ligament damage. The £750,000 capture from Coventry had an operation in May and is closing in on a return to full fitness.
Crystal Palace v Middlesbrough
Crystal Palace's injury problems are clearing up ahead of the visit of Middlesbrough. Midfielder Alex Marrow (ankle) and striker Steffen Iversen (hamstring) were on the bench for the first time this season in Tuesday night's Carling Cup win over Wigan and will be involved again. Summer signing Glenn Murray came through his first 90 minutes of the campaign against the Latics after an ankle problem and the former Brighton forward should keep his place. Defender Nathaniel Clyne (foot) and midfielders Kagisho Dikgacoi (hamstring) and Owen Garvan (hip) are still out but all could be back by the end of the month. Goalkeeper Julian Speroni, midfielders Mile Jedinak and Jonathan Parr and strikers Sean Scannell and Jermaine Easter were rested on Tuesday night and should return.
Middlesbrough defender Stephen McManus will not be rushed back for the trip to Selhurst Park if he is not ready. The 29-year-old Scotland international limped off just seconds into last weekend's 2-0 win at Burnley after damaging his knee in a collision with team-mate Rhys Williams, and has not been able to train this week. Manager Tony Mowbray will give him every chance to prove his fitness, but will not risk losing him for a longer period by bringing him back too soon.
Hull City v Portsmouth
Andy Dawson will miss Hull's game against Portsmouth after suffering a knee injury in training which could put him out for six weeks. The Tigers captain has been sent for scans to determine the full extent of an injury suffered in an innocuous challenge. The left-back will join Paul McShane and Cameron Stewart on the sidelines. Defender McShane (calf) misses out again while winger Stewart (knee ligaments) is a long-term absentee. Manager Nigel Pearson made only one change as the Tigers beat Peterborough in their last match, with Martyn Waghorn making his debut and Matty Fryatt dropping to the bench. Dawson could be the only one of that starting XI to miss out against Pompey, with Joe Dudgeon is ready to slot in at left-back.
Portsmouth team news to follow...
Leeds United v Bristol City
Leeds will include new midfield signing Mika Vayrynen in their squad for the home game with Bristol City. Finland international Vayrynen, who signed a one-year deal on Tuesday, will join fellow countryman Mikael Forssell, who is vying for a starting place up front. Manager Simon Grayson has several selection issues as another striker, Luciano Becchio, stepped off the substitutes' bench to score on his comeback from long-term injury in last week's win over Crystal Palace. Ross McCormack is the in-form forward currently in the side - he struck his sixth goal in eight games last weekend - and will be expecting to retain his place, Andy Keogh has started the last five matches. Grayson will also be boosted by the return of left-back Aidy White, who has served a one-game ban, so teenager Charlie Taylor is likely to make way after making his full debut against Palace. Midfielder Adam Clayton remains doubtful after missing out last weekend due to a calf strain.
Jamie McAllister has undergone a successful operation on his ankle injury, but the defender remains sidelined for the clash at Elland Road. McAllister is a long-term absentee for City, who will also be without Liam Fontaine once again for the trip to Elland Road. Fontaine is still struggling with an ankle injury of his own. Otherwise, Robins boss Keith Millen has a full complement of players to select from - although striker Marlon Jackson has joined Northampton on a two-month loan deal. Neil Kilkenny returns to his former club, and Whites chairman Ken Bates appeared to criticise the midfielder's decision to leave South Yorkshire when speaking to Yorkshire Radio on Thursday.
Leicester City v Brighton and Hove Albion
Jermaine Beckford and Paul Konchesky are expected to be fit for Leicester when Championship leaders Brighton visit. Striker Beckford, who made his full debut against Barnsley last weekend, and defender Konchesky both limped off late in the 1-1 draw at Oakwell but their problems were not serious. However, the same cannot be said of Paul Gallacher, who faces up to five weeks on the sidelines after the club confirmed he damaged ankle ligaments in south Yorkshire. He was replaced at half-time by Andy King who, after making an immediate impact by scoring City's equalising goal against the Tykes, could come into the starting line-up. Fellow midfielder Michael Johnson stepped up his recovery from a sore knee by completing 90 minutes in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Derby on Wednesday afternoon. Manager Sven-Goran Eriksson also took the opportunity to give some of his first-team squad a run-out in the game, with Matt Oakley, Lloyd Dyer, Lee Peltier, Sean St Ledger and Yuki Abe all featuring in the 3-2 win. Defender Michael Ball sustained a calf injury in training last week but could return to contention. However, striker David Nugent remains absent with the hamstring injury he suffered against Southampton at the end of last month.
Brighton striker Will Hoskins is available for the trip to King Power Stadium. The summer signing from Bristol Rovers has managed just 15 minutes of action so far this season due to a hip injury but is now fit again. However, with the Seagulls sitting at the top of the table following a flying start to the campaign, boss Gus Poyet admits he might not be able to find room for Hoskins in his squad. Wednesday night's Carling Cup date with Liverpool, when Poyet can name two extra substitutes, looks a more likely chance for Hoskins to make his comeback. Poyet has no new injury concerns with just central defenders Adam El-Abd (foot) and Tommy Elphick (Achilles) in the treatment room.
Peterborough v Burnley
Peterborough boss Darren Ferguson expects Gabriel Zakuani to play against Burnley. The defender has been nursing a toe injury and was forced off early in the second half of the home defeat to Hull last weekend. However, it is not thought to be a recurrence of the problem and Congolese should keep his place. Long-term absentee David Hibbert (knee) aside, Ferguson has a full complement of players to choose from. Goalkeeper Joe Lewis, on-loan defenders Josh Thompson and Ben Gordon, recent signing Danny Kearns and fellow forward Nicky Ajose kept match-sharp with 90 minutes for the reserves this week. It remains to be seen how many of them come into Ferguson`s plans after the 5-1 defeat to Coventry. Striker Emile Sinclair will hope to make his first start after making his Posh debut as a second-half substitute against Hull.
Burnley boss Eddie Howe is without a trio of players for his side's trip to London Road. Martin Paterson (thigh), Michael Duff (knee) and Danny Ings (cartilage) remain sidelined but the Clarets have no other major concerns. Howe admits that finding ready-made additions from the loan market is not proving easy and is likely to travel to London Road with just 17 first-team players. He has been scouring the loan market for potential reinforcements following the close of the August transfer window. But, having been unable to land his top targets, the Clarets chief is happy to bide his time as he seeks to find the right players.
Reading v Doncaster Rovers
Reading are sweating on the fitness of attacking duo Noel Hunt and Hal Robson-Kanu ahead of their clash with Doncaster. Hunt missed last weekend's home defeat to Watford with a back problem and is fighting to be fit for the meeting with Donny, while Robson-Kanu has missed training during the week with a knee injury and is doubtful. Simon Church bagged two goals for the club's reserve side in midweek and may well feature in manager Brian McDermott's starting line-up, as Reading look to put an end to a dismal run of four consecutive Championship losses. Adam Le Fondre failed to score on his debut for the first time in his professional career last week and will be hoping to make up for that against the Hornets. Marcus Williams, meanwhile, has been sent out on loan to Sheffield United.
Doncaster boss Sean O'Driscoll could call upon fit-again duo Shelton Martis and Brian Stock for the trip to the Madejski Stadium. Defender Martis and midfielder Stock have been hit by injury in the opening weeks of the campaign but came through 90 minutes of a practice match against Grimsby in midweek. Yet the Yorkshire outfit remain beset by injuries, with Chris Brown, James Chambers, Martin Woods, Adam Lockwood, Billy Sharp and Ryan Mason all remaining sidelined. Rovers have yet to win a league game, while Reading have lost their last five after clinching their only victory of the season at Leicester on August 13.
Southampton v Birmingham City
Southampton will check on defenders Frazer Richardson and Dan Harding for the visit of Birmingham. Richardson should return after missing last weekend's 3-2 win over Nottingham Forest with a calf strain. Jack Cork filled in at right-back in Richardson's absence and will revert to his preferred midfield role, meaning Morgan Schneiderlin drops to the bench. Harding was also sidelined last week after jarring his knee in training, and if passed fit he will challenge recent signing Danny Fox for the left-back spot. Midfielders Richard Chaplow (tendinitis) and Steve de Ridder (foot) returned as substitutes against Forest and should be involved again. Centre-half Dan Seaborne is out of hospital but still recovering from injuries sustained in an assault outside a nightclub.
Birmingham team news to follow...