JAN 17: ENGLISH CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM NEWS

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LAST week Championship side Bournemouth let down my Super Single – and there’s a good chance Saturday’s pick will come from the same division.

My shortlist featured Birmingham at Leeds, Derby -1 against Nottingham Forest, Ipswich at Millwall and Sheffield Wednesday at home to Bolton.

I’ve ruled out Sheffield Wednesday partly down to comments from an Owls fan who questioned their home fan and insisted they were better on their travels.

All will be revealed later but here’s some team news that may help you make your choices.

Brighton v Brentford

Brighton could be unchanged. New Seagulls boss Chris Hughton has no new injury worries following the 1-0 win at Charlton in his first league game in charge last weekend. The only absentees are long-term injury victims Kazenga LuaLua, Andrew Crofts (both knee), Dale Stephens and Kemy Agustien (both ankle).

Brentford have injury doubts over midfielder Alan Judge who has a knee problem and recent signing Lewis Macleod whose debut has been delayed by a hamstring strain. Right-back Alan McCormack is edging closer to a return following an ankle injury but is unlikely to be risked just yet.

Derby v Nottingham Forest (12.15)

John Eustace is suspended for Derby but fellow midfielder Jeff Hendrick is expected to be fine despite suffering a nasty cut to the head in last weekend’s 1-0 victory at Ipswich. New signing Stephen Warnock is nursing an ankle injury and will not be involved while teenager Isak Ssewankambo, who also joined the Rams this week, is not expected to feature.

Forest manager Stuart Pearce is hopeful top scorer Britt Assombalonga will overcome a hip problem. However, Matty Fryatt and Michael Mancienne remain out. Midfielder Henri Lansbury is available again after a two-match ban while centre-back Kelvin Wilson has been training after missing out last weekend through illness.

Fulham v Reading

Ryan Tunnicliffe and Alex Kacaniklic are back in contention for Fulham, having been ineligible in the FA Cup in midweek. Striker Hugo Rodallega is set to return to the starting line-up after dropping to the bench for the third-round replay at Wolves but midfielder Lasse Vigen Christensen (hamstring) could miss out again.

Reading striker Pavel Pogrebnyak is set to face his former club following his return to fitness after two months out with a calf injury. Midfielder Hope Akpan is on the mend after a shoulder problem but is unlikely to be risked while defender Anton Ferdinand is still struggling with a calf problem.

Leeds v Birmingham

Leeds manager Neil Redfearn has “one or two niggles” to contend with and could make changes as his side chases a first league win in seven matches. Redfearn could recall midfielders Alex Mowatt, Adryan and Tommaso Bianchi, or striker Mirco Antenucci, who were all left out of the starting line-up in last week’s draw at Bolton.

Birmingham have no fresh injury worries. Jonathan Spector is close to a return after a torn thigh muscle having been an unused substitute in last week’s win against Wigan. Gavin Gunning and Matt Green (both knee) remain sidelined as they continue to fight back from their long-term lay-offs.

Middlesbrough v Huddersfield

Middlesbrough midfielder Adam Clayton will return to the squad after suspension for the clash with his former club, while Muzzy Carayol (knee) is nearly fit again. On-loan defender Milos Veljkovic has returned to parent club Tottenham after his three-month stay at the Riverside Stadium.

Huddersfield midfielder Jonathan Hogg is available again after a ban and will challenge Oscar Gobern for a place in the starting line-up. Forward Harry Bunn and defender Murray Wallace both missed out last week due to hamstring problems and will be assessed.

Millwall v Ipswich

Under-fire Millwall boss Ian Holloway will make changes after their FA Cup humiliation at Bradford. One is enforced with Mark Beevers suspended while Shaun Cummings, Andy Wilkinson, Dan Harding and Stefan Maierhofer return to availability after being ineligible for the third-round replay in midweek.

Teddy Bishop (illness) is out for Ipswich and has not trained as he struggles with the bug which has affected the Town squad this week. Cole Skuse and Jay Tabb have trained though and should be in contention for the trip to The Den after recovering from a bout of sickness.

Norwich v Cardiff

Carlos Cuellar is back for Norwich boss Alex Neil’s first home game in charge. The defender has been struggling with a calf problem but has been passed fit. Ryan Bennett has a grade one hamstring tear and is out after suffering the injury at Bournemouth last week. Alex Tettey is also doubtful for the Canaries.

Cardiff will be without central defender Bruno Manga who is away at the African Nations Cup with Gabon. Bluebirds boss Russell Slade could name an unchanged side although he has plenty of options, including new signing Alex Revell, who played for 45 minutes last week, and Kadeem Harris.

Rotherham v Bournemouth

Rotherham are expected to include new signings Conor Sammon and Zeki Fryers in their squad. However, there have also been departures this week at the New York Stadium with keeper Scott Loach joining Peterborough on loan and defender Scott Wootton returning to parent club Leeds.

Bournemouth could recall Yann Kermorgant to their starting line-up. Centre-back Elliott Ward came through 90 minutes in a midweek friendly win but is unlikely to force his way into the first XI.

Sheffield Wednesday v Bolton

Sheffield Wednesday pair Sam Hutchinson and Joe Mattock are pushing for places in the starting line-up following their return to fitness. On-loan Chelsea midfielder Lewis Baker is hoping to make his first start for the club after stepping off the bench in the victory at Nottingham Forest last Saturday.

Boss Neil Lennon expects to have a similar squad available, with none of Bolton’s long-term injury absentees set to return. Zach Clough (hamstring), Lee Chung-yong (leg), Marc Tierney (ankle), Joe Mason (hamstring), Rob Hall (ankle), Mark Davies and Max Clayton (both knee) are unavailable to Lennon.

Watford v Charlton

Watford will check on the fitness of keeper Heurelho Gomes and striker Fernando Forestieri who is a doubt with a hamstring injury. The Hornets have been in talks over a move for Bolton midfielder Jay Spearing ahead of the clash.

Yoni Buyens and Callum Harriot are available again after suspension for Guy Luzon’s first game in charge of Charlton. Addicks skipper Johnnie Jackson and striker George Tucudean went off with injuries last weekend and will be assessed while winger Franck Moussa is out with a knee problem.

Wigan v Blackburn

Winger Shaun Maloney is expected to be in Wigan’s squad following the collapse of his move to Leicester. Callum McManaman is still suspended while Ivan Ramis (ankle) and Don Cowie (calf) are injured. However, Liam Ridgewell (calf) and James McClean (knock) are fit will feature.

Blackburn could have Jason Lowe back in midfield. The 23-year-old has not played since before Christmas because of a foot injury but has had a full week’s training. Full-back Tommy Spurr has played another 90 minutes for the Under-21s and may come into the squad for the first time this season following a troublesome groin injury.

Wolves v Blackpool

Wolves could hand a debut to new signing Benik Afobe after the striker joined from Arsenal. George Saville has joined Bristol City on loan and Liam McAlinden has rejoined Fleetwood on loan while Bakary Sako is unavailable as he is with the Mali squad at the African Nations Cup.

Darren O’Dea will be fit for Blackpool despite the defender coming off against Millwall last weekend with an ankle injury. Henry Cameron will come into first-team consideration again after signing professional terms this week. Jose Miguel Cubero (ankle) and Gary MacKenzie (knee) are still out.

6 Comments
  1. Crofty 2 years ago

    Just another note David McGoldrick is a doubt for Ipswich tomorrow. Back up strikers are Noel Hurt who hasn’t played much and Freddie Sears who only signed today.

  2. J-bcfc 2 years ago

    Get on shinnie lads to score anytime, hes our best player at the mo, should of scored wknd scored wknd before that

  3. Flash 2 years ago

    J-Bcfc what team he play for

  4. J-bcfc 2 years ago

    Us, birmingham

  5. Rob 'Sooty' Sutton 2 years ago

    Jordan ibe has returned to Liverpool from on loan at derby as well Mr f he will be missed and it looks like Dawkins will get the nod over an unfit ward. I can see this game ending 1-1 myself.

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