Team news: Richardson doubt for Saints
All the team news ahead of Saturday's Championship fixtures, with Frazer Richardson a doubt for Southampton's home clash with Derby.
All matches kick off at 15:00
Barnsley v Portsmouth
Barnsley's latest signing David Cotterill is expected to start on the substitutes' bench against Portsmouth. Winger Cotterill, 24, completed his move to Oakwell until the end of the season this week, but is short of match fitness following his release from Swansea last month. Another recent signing, former Orient skipper Stephen Dawson (ankle), is hoping to be in contention for his first appearance and could also be included on the bench. Defender Bobby Hassell sustained a knee injury in training this week and will be sidelined for a fortnight, but winger Jim O'Brien is pushing for his first start since Boxing Day. He stepped off the bench in the midweek defeat at Burnley after recovering from a niggling groin injury. Barnsley slipped to back-to-back away defeats last week and are 12 points adrift of the play-offs.
Portsmouth have an injury crisis for the trip to Oakwell. Kelvin Etuhu sustained a hamstring injury and fellow midfielder Liam Lawrence picked up a calf problem during Tuesday's 1-0 home defeat to Ipswich and have joined three team-mates on the sidelines, leaving manager Michael Appleton with just 14 players at his disposal. Veteran striker Kanu continues to struggle with a back injury and is unlikely to return against the Tykes. Midfielder David Norris is still making his way back from a double hernia operation and forward Luke Varney is building up his fitness after two months on the sidelines with a knee injury. Defender Ricardo Rocha (calf), Greg Halford (knee) and Joel Ward (hip) are also doubts. Appleton had spoken of his desire to rest Marko Futacs, but the ever-extending injury list is likely to see the striker occupying a starting berth again. Youngsters Adam Webster, Sam Magri, Jed Wallace, Alex Grant and Dan Butler have been training with the first team and may be included in the squad to make up the numbers.
Crystal Palace v Watford
Dean Moxey could return for Crystal Palace's clash with Watford. The defender has been occupying the sidelines for some time due to a knee injury and may boost manager Dougie Freedman's backline against the Hornets. Winger Sean Scannell could force his way back into the first-team picture, while Glenn Murray, who replaced fellow striker Jermaine Easter during the second half of the 2-2 draw with Bristol City on Tuesday, is pushing for a start. Midfielder Owen Garvan made a late substitute appearance at Ashton Gate and may be given a promotion to the starting line-up against Sean Dyche's side. However, Palace are without Jonathan Williams and David Wright. Welsh midfielder Williams is continuing his rehabilitation from a broken leg suffered in November and is close to a return to training and defender Wright has a calf problem.
Watford will be able to call upon Lloyd Doyley for their trip to Selhusrt Park after his midweek red card was rescinded. The Hornets lodged an appeal with the FA against Doyley's dismissal for denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity late on in Tuesday's 3-2 victory over Leicester. Besides Doyley being the victim of mistaken identity after it was defensive partner Adrian Mariappa who committed the foul, Watford's appeal against the merits of the red card in the first place were upheld. Neither Doyley or Mariappa will be suspended at Selhurst Park. Manager Sean Dyche does, however, have injury concerns to contend with as striker Troy Deeney remains touch-and-go having missed the clash against the Foxes altogether due to a hamstring problem. Young midfielder Sean Murray is also a doubt with a thigh injury, while long-term absentees Stephen McGinn (knee) and Martin Taylor (toe) are still unavailable. Forward Gavin Massey has been recalled from his loan spell at Colchester to bolster Dyche's attacking options should Deeney again not make it.
Ipswich Town v Cardiff City
Ipswich striker Michael Chopra has shrugged of a slight knock to be fit to face former club Cardiff. Chopra was forced off as a precaution in the 79th minute of the Tractor Boys' 1-0 win at Portsmouth on Tuesday, in which he found the net for the fourth time in three games. But he has since resumed full training and is looking to register the winning goal for a third successive match against the club he left last summer. Elsewhere, manager Paul Jewell has no new injury or suspension problems and is likely to stick with the same XI who triumphed at Fratton Park. Damien Delaney replaced the injured Ibrahima Sonko in defence as the only change to the XI who started last Saturday's abandoned game against Middlesbrough. Sonko (dislocated rib) has now resumed light training although it is not yet known when he will return to first-team action. Midfielder Lee Bowyer (groin) is fit once again but may struggle to break into the matchday 16.
Cardiff may not be able to call on Stephen McPhail for their trip to Portman Road. Midfielder McPhail has turned to doctors to help control the onset of his Sjogren's Syndrome and, having missed the Bluebirds' last three matches, he is likely to be absent once more this weekend. Manager Malky Mackay could revert to a 4-5-1 formation at Portman Road, meaning either on-loan forward Haris Vuckic or Rudy Gestede - both of whom scored in the 3-1 victory over Peterborough last time out - would drop to the bench, with Kenny Miller occupying the lone striker's role. Craig Conway is pushing for a recall after coming on as a substitute against Posh in midweek, while Mackay is still waiting on the return of centre-back and captain Mark Hudson from a calf strain.
Leeds United v Doncaster Rovers
Leeds midfielder Fabian Delph has been ruled out of Saturday's home clash with Doncaster. Delph, on loan from Aston Villa, sustained an ankle injury in the midweek defeat at Coventry and has returned to Villa Park for treatment. Michael Brown replaced Delph on Tuesday night and is expected to return to the starting line-up, although caretaker-manager Neil Redfearn has the option of recalling Andros Townsend, on loan from Tottenham. Redfearn, who will be taking charge of his fourth game - one win and two defeats - since Simon Grayson was sacked, has no other new injury or suspension problems, but could be tempted to make one or two changes following a display at Coventry which he described as "unprofessional". Central defender Andy O'Brien made his first appearance in over three months when stepping off the bench at the Ricoh Arena and he could be one such change.
Fabien Robert and Martin Woods are available for selection when Doncaster make the short trip to Elland Road. The midfield duo have struggled with respective groin and knee complaints over recent days but both have been passed fit to play. Elsewhere, boss Dean Saunders has no new injury worries. Winger James Coppinger is around a fortnight away from returning after suffering a broken cheekbone during the defeat at Bristol City last month, while defender George Friend faces three more weeks on the sidelines with knee ligament damage. Veteran goalkeeper Neil Sullivan has stepped up training this week after a lengthy absence due to thumb surgery but will not be considered for selection at this stage, leaving on-loan Tottenham goalkeeper David Button to continue between the posts. Defender Habib Beye serves the final game of a three-match suspension.
Nottingham Forest v Coventry City
Nottingham Forest are hoping that leading scorer Marcus Tudgay will return to contention for the visit of relegation rivals Coventry. Tudgay has been ill but Reds boss Steve Cotterill has his fingers crossed that the six-goal striker will train towards the end of the week and be able to play some part on Saturday. "We have not been able to have him around the squad in case he passes anything on, but hopefully he will be back later this week in time to play a part," Cotterill said. "He has been ill for our last two games and he has arguably been our most consistent striker." Fellow forward Ishmael Miller is a concern after a hamstring problem forced him off moments before half-time during the 2-1 defeat at Middlesbrough in midweek. Defenders Brendan Moloney (thigh) and Greg Cunningham (hamstring) also remain doubts.
David Bell will be assessed ahead of Coventry's crucial trip to the City Ground. The midfielder missed Tuesday's 2-1 victory over Leeds with a virus and will be given every chance of returning to the frame at the City Ground, although manager Andy Thorn is unlikely to change the XI who ended a three-match losing streak in midweek. Carl Baker and Jordan Clarke came in to replace skipper Sammy Clingan (groin) and defender Richard Wood (knee) respectively, and neither of the latter duo are expected to be fit to face Forest. Elsewhere, veteran defender Hermann Hreidarsson may miss the rest of the season having been told he needs surgery on his shoulder, while Nathan Cameron (knee), Chris Hussey (ankle) and Conor Thomas (adductor) also remain sidelined. Striker Cody McDonald has finally resumed training after his troublesome knee problem but is not yet ready for first-team action. The Sky Blues go into the clash level on points with second-bottom Forest but ahead of their midlands rivals by the virtue of goal difference, with Portsmouth set to be dragged into the relegation scrap as they prepare to go into administration and suffer 10-point deduction.
Peterborough United v Bristol City
Peterborough are waiting to discover the extent of Gabby Zakuani's latest toe injury. It is thought Zakuani has suffered a recurrence of the problem that disturbed the early part of his season. The 25-year-old defender was forced off just before half-time in the 3-1 defeat to Cardiff on Tuesday night. "He's struggling. For Gabby to come off in any game means he's struggling because he normally plays through anything," said Posh boss Darren Ferguson following the game in the Welsh capital. "He had a problem with it in training so we knew he'd need an injection. But knowing Gabby we felt he'd get through it, he's had that many. He was just in too much pain. We'll have to see how he is but he's in a lot of pain." Zakuani did not train for three months between August and November because of the problem, but he managed to play games with the aid of pain-killing injections.
Bristol City will be without the injured Cole Skuse for their trip to London Road this weekend. The versatile 25-year-old was taken off during the 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace in midweek and X-rays have since revealed that Skuse had broken and dislocated a toe, ruling him out of action for as long as four weeks. Manager Derek McInnes will also be missing veteran centre-back Louis Carey, who is still recovering from a calf problem picked up in training and is not set to return for another fortnight. And McInnes has a further doubt over midfielder Kalifa Cisse, whose knee injury kept him out of the clash with the Eagles on Tuesday. City go into the match at London Road having lost each of their last four games away from home in all competitions, during which time they have failed to score a single goal.
Southampton v Derby County
Frazer Richardson is a doubt for Southampton's home clash with Derby. The former Leeds defender departed the field during Tuesday's 1-1 draw with West Ham with a knock and is touch-and-go to be passed fit the for the visit of Nigel Clough's side. Richardson is the only fresh problem manager Nigel Adkins has to deal with as the returning Jos Hooiveld has showed no signs of triggering a hamstring injury that kept him out of action for three weeks. The defender scored the equaliser at Upton Park and should retain his place against the Rams, while midfielder Dean Hammond was a second-half substitute against Sam Allardyce's side and may be recalled. Defender Dan Seaborne is still out as he continues to recover from a head injury.
Craig Bryson, Gareth Roberts and John Brayford will be given as long as possible to prove their fitness ahead of Derby's trip to St Mary's. Midfielder Bryson and left-back Roberts are nursing injuries following the home defeat to Reading in midweek and are doubts but right-back Brayford could return after missing the last two matches with a thigh problem. Bryson came off at half-time on Tuesday night with a heel problem while Roberts suffered a leg injury in the closing minutes. Manager Nigel Clough will also monitor the fitness of forward Nathan Tyson, who completed a match for the first time this season against the Royals, following 85 minutes at Millwall last Saturday. Leading scorer Theo Robinson and fellow striker Steve Davies returned from injuries as second-half substitutes against Reading and are both pushing for starts.