Football - Championship

Team news: McCarthy to make Leeds debut

All the team news ahead of the Championship weekend with Alex McCarthy poised to go straight into the Leeds side for his debut.

 
McCarthy to debut - Football - ChampionshipPA Photos
 

SATURDAY 3pm

Blackpool v Millwall

Blackpool manager Ian Holloway is expected to name an unchanged side. Lomana LuaLua, Callum McManaman and Ludovic Sylvestre were drafted into the starting line-up as the Seasiders ran riot with a 5-0 win over Leeds at Elland Road on Wednesday. Gary Taylor-Fletcher remains on the sidelines with a pelvis problem, while Elliot Grandin continues his rehabilitation from a foot injury.

Millwall boss Kenny Jackett has no new injury worries. Defender Jordan Stewart and strikers John Marquis and Shaun Batt remain the in-form Lions' only injury absentees. Full-back Stewart has been out for three weeks with a groin problem, Marquis is still recovering from a hernia operation and Batt is building up his fitness after a cruciate injury.

Bristol City v Burnley

Bristol City will be without defensive duo Louis Carey and Jamie McAllister. Veteran centre-back Carey continues to struggle with a knee injury. The 34-year-old has not featured since the 5-0 defeat at Blackpool on October 1 and looks set to miss out again. Full-back McAllister underwent surgery on an ankle injury picked up in the 1-1 draw at Doncaster on August 27 and has not turned out for City since, although he is closing in on a comeback. New loan signing Stephen Pearson is in line for a debut after the midfielder completed his temporary move from Derby on Friday.

Full-back Brian Easton remains an injury concern for Burnley's trip to Bristol City. Easton was forced off during last weekend's derby win over Blackpool win a hip injury and sat out the midweek defeat to Leicester at Turf Moor. If Easton misses out, Michael Duff could be included in the squad as defensive cover, despite missing two months with a knee injury and only returning to light training this week. Goalkeeper Brian Jensen (groin) and striker Danny Ings (knee) remain sidelined.

Cardiff City v Crystal Palace

Cardiff hope to be able to call on goalkeeper David Marshall. The Bluebirds stopper was substituted at half-time in the 3-0 victory at Derby on Wednesday night, after he complained of feeling unwell. Striker Rudy Gestede will continue to miss out because of a hamstring injury but Kenny Miller returned to the starting line-up at Pride Park sporting a protective headband, and he is expected to keep his place.

Mile Jedinak should return to the Crystal Palace squad. The Australia midfielder was rested for Tuesday night's goalless draw against Portsmouth as he became a father the night before. Winger Sean Scannell and midfielder Jonathan Williams will also be pushing for recalls should boss Dougie Freedman opt to rotate his squad.

Coventry City v Southampton

Coventry host league leaders Southampton boasting the same squad who went down 3-0 at Millwall on Tuesday. Full-back Chris Hussey missed the heavy loss at The Den with a foot injury sustained last weekend against Doncaster and he will again watch from the stands. Promising midfielder Gael Bigirimana serves the third and final match of his ban for the red card received against Burnley. Defenders Martin Cranie (ribs) and Jordan Clarke are back in training but the visit of Nigel Adkins' Southampton comes too soon.

Leaders Southampton have no fresh injury worries. Sky Blues old boys Danny Fox and Jack Cork are pushing to return to the starting line-up after both were rested for Tuesday night's win over Peterborough. Striker Lee Barnard is fit after his long-term ankle problem but has yet to feature in the league so far this term. Defenders Radhi Jaidi (knee) and Dan Seaborne (head) are therefore the only injury absentees.

Hull City v West Ham United

Hull goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi could make his first appearance since August. Current number one Adriano Basso was forced out of the midweek defeat at Barnsley due to tendonitis in his knee and is a major doubt for the weekend. Manager Nigel Pearson has no other new injury or suspension worries, while injured trio Martyn Waghorn, Martin Pusic and Nick Barmby are battling to prove their fitness. Striker Waghorn (hamstring), winger Pusic (groin) and player/coach Barmby (calf) have not been ruled out of playing some part and will be monitored.

West Ham will be without Winston Reid. The New Zealand defender suffered a dislocated shoulder during the early stages of Tuesday night's goalless draw against Bristol City and will be out for at least a month, so Abdoulaye Faye will partner James Tomkins at centre-half. Striker John Carew also looks set to miss out, having visited a specialist this week to assess a knee problem. The duo join David Bentley, Henri Lansbury (both knee), Gary O'Neil (ankle), Matt Taylor (calf) and Guy Demel (hamstring) on the casualty list. Midfielder Taylor and right-back Demel are on the mend but are more likely to be held back until after the international break.

Ipswich Town v Doncaster Rovers

Ipswich striker Michael Chopra has been treated for a gambling addiction but is expected to play. Midfielder Keith Andrews is also available but Daryl Murphy (hamstring) and Nathan Ellington (calf) are rated as doubts. Lee Bowyer is also absent.

Billy Sharp and El Hadji Diouf are set to continue in attack. Sharp confounded expectation to start Tuesday night's game with Middlesbrough just three days after the death of his two-day-old son. Diouf made way for Giles Barnes in the closing stages and even though manager Dean Saunders admitted the former Liverpool, Bolton and Blackburn forward was only 70 per cent fit afterwards, he is expected to start once more. Ryan Mason suffered an ankle injury against Boro and is doubtful along with fellow midfielder Brian Stock (groin).

Peterborough United v Derby County

Lee Frecklington has added to Peterborough's problems. Frecklington was sent off for two bookable offences during the first half of the 2-1 defeat at Championship leaders Southampton on Tuesday night and must serve a one-match ban. The midfielder joins forward Lee Tomlin on the suspension list. With defenders Craig Alcock and Scott Wootton and teenage midfielder Joe Newell out injured, manager Darren Ferguson has just 16 players available. The shortage of senior players will see Ferguson include 15-year-old striker Jannai Gordon Hutton on the bench. Josh Thompson, Daniel Kearns, David Ball and Emile Sinclair are pushing for recalls.

Russell Anderson has added to Derby`s injury problems ahead of the trip to Peterborough. Manager Nigel Clough is already without captain Shaun Barker (knee), fellow defenders Chris Riggott, O`Brien and Brayford, midfielders James Bailey and Paul Green and forwards Steven Davies (fractured skull), Nathan Tyson (groin) and Theo Robinson (hamstring).

Portsmouth v Nottingham Forest

Liam Lawrence is an injury doubt for Portsmouth ahead of Steve Cotterill's return to Fratton Park. Midfielder Lawrence limped off with a sore ankle during Tuesday night's goalless draw at Crystal Palace and is still receiving treatment. Defender Greg Halford missed out at Selhurst Park with the shoulder injury he suffered against Derby the previous weekend but he has a good chance of being passed fit. Striker Benjani could return to the bench following a hamstring problem while teenage midfielder Abdul Razak is pushing to make his full debut following his recent loan switch from Manchester City.

Cotterill could name an unchanged side. After tasting defeat as Reds boss for the first time against Hull, Cotterill made two changes on Tuesday night. Guy Moussi returned from suspension to replace Jonathan Greening in midfield while US striker Robbie Findley was recalled at the expense of Ishmael Miller, who underwent a hernia operation this week. Chris Cohen (knee) remains a long-term absentee, but fellow midfielder Paul Anderson (hamstring) and forwards Dexter Blackstock (knee) and Garath McCleary (knee) could be back in contention along with Miller shortly after the two-week international break that follows this weekend's matches.

SATURDAY 5.20pm

Middlesbrough v Watford

Middlesbrough boss Tony Mowbray will make a series of late checks before naming his team. Full-back Justin Hoyte and midfielder Nicky Bailey were both substituted during Tuesday night's 3-1 victory at Doncaster and are currently being assessed. Hoyte tweaked a hamstring while Bailey sustained a calf problem. Midfielder Kevin Thomson suffered a hamstring injury during the 2-0 defeat at Nottingham Forest on October 18, and his condition too is being monitored. Defender Seb Hines left the City Ground with swelling to his knee and like Thomson, will be checked before Mowbray makes a final decision.

Watford are likely to remain unchanged once again. Striker Craig Beattie will again be assessed as he looks to overcome a hamstring injury but skipper John Eustace (back) and defender Lloyd Doyley (thigh) are likely to miss out once more and will now look to return after the forthcoming international break. Centre-back Martin Taylor is sidelined for around 10-12 weeks with his dislocated collarbone while midfielder Stephen McGinn is making good progress with his rehabilitation from a long-term knee injury.

SUNDAY 3pm

Brighton v Barnsley

Brighton have a host of injury doubts. Midfielders Gonzalo Jara (knee) and Vicente (thigh) and forwards Will Buckley (hamstring) and Will Hoskins (thigh) all missed Tuesday night's defeat at Watford while midfielder Liam Bridcutt was forced off in the first half through illness. Midfielder Gary Dicker is still recovering from a broken leg, Adam El-Abd has a long-term foot injury and fellow centre-half Tommy Elphick is out for the season with an Achilles problem.

Barnsley manager Keith Hill is not expected to make any changes. The Tykes bounced back from successive defeats to beat Hull in midweek and Hill has no new injury or suspension worries as they chase back-to-back league wins for the first time this season. Strikers Danny Haynes (hamstring) and Reuben Noble-Lazarus (ankle) remain sidelined as do defender Bobby Hassell (groin) and midfielder and Goran Lovre (knee).

Leicester City v Leeds United

Leicester caretaker managers Jon Rudkin and Mike Stowell may still be without Darius Vassell and Lloyd Dyer. The pair picked up injuries in the 3-2 defeat at West Ham and subsequently missed the Foxes' 3-1 win against Burnley. Both are considered doubtful for the match, meaning Paul Gallagher and Steve Howard are expected to retain their places in the starting XI. Jermaine Beckford will also hope for a place in Rudkin and Stowell's line-up against his former employers.

Leeds' new loan signing Alex McCarthy is expected to go straight into the starting line-up. Manager Simon Grayson has drafted in cover for Andy Lonergan, sidelined until next month due to a broken finger, and England Under-21 international McCarthy is likely to make his debut. But Leeds will be without suspended defender Tom Lees, who was shown a straight red card for deliberate handball. Andy O'Brien, Alex Bruce and Leigh Bromby will all come into contention in Lees' absence.

Reading v Birmingham City

Reading have no major injury worries. Midfielder Jay Tabb is still fighting to regain his spot in the matchday squad following a head injury. Tabb missed two matches in October and has not been selected by boss Brian McDermott since his return to full fitness a week ago. Striker Simon Church was dropped for their 1-0 midweek defeat at Nottingham Forest and will be looking to regain his place up front from Mathieu Manset while Jimmy Kebe could be in line for a start instead of Wales winger Hal Robson-Kanu.

Birmingham will be without influential playmaker Jean Beausejour. The Chilean international will serve a one-match suspension after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season against Brighton. Winger Chris Burke and strikers Chris Wood and Marlon King all came off the bench in midweek and should be among those who return to the starting line-up. Midfielders Morgaro Gomis (groin) and Jordon Mutch (ankle) remain sidelined.

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