Sport : Football

Championship briefing

24th December 2012, 03:40pm

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Delaney: Suspended for Crystal Palace

Delaney: Suspended for Crystal Palace

Team news and statistics ahead of the Boxing Day action in the npower Championship.

Barnsley v Birmingham

Barnsley are set to be without defender Martin Cranie, who hobbled off after 20 minutes of Saturday's crucial 2-1 success at Millwall with an ankle injury. His replacement at the Den, Scott Wiseman, will retain the centre-back berth alongside Stephen Foster. Leading scorer Craig Davies is unlikely to be fit while on-loan Hungary international Akos Buzsaky is out with a hamstring strain. Reuben Noble-Lazarus (ankle) Emile Sinclair (dead leg) are also expected to miss out.

Left-back Paul Robinson is set to return to the Birmingham side after overcoming a sickness bug but top scorer Marlon King will miss the festive period with a knee problem and Paul Caddis (hamstring) and Papa Bouba Diop (hamstring) are sidelined. A lengthy injury list also features Peter Lovenkrands (calf), Jonathan Spector (ankle), Darren Ambrose, David Murphy, Stephen Carr (all knee) and Akwasi Asante (hamstring).

Last season: Barnsley 1 Birmingham 3, Birmingham 1 Barnsley 1

Last five league matches: Barnsley D L D L W; Birmingham D W L D D

Top scorers: Craig Davies (Barnsley) 9; Marlon King (Birmingham) 13

Referee: Carl Boyeson.

Bolton v Sheffield Wednesday

Bolton will be without suspended captain Kevin Davies. David Ngog is favourite to replace him if he can shake off a hamstring problem, with Benik Afobe and Marvin Sordell standing by. Marcos Alonso is favourite to come in at left-back after Stephen Warnock's loan spell ended. Defender Matt Mills (thigh) and midfielder Mark Davies (shoulder) remain on the sidelines alongside knee injury victims Stuart Holden, David Wheater and Josh Vela.

Sheffield Wednesday can call upon Jeremy Helan after the young Frenchman's loan deal from Manchester City was extended by another month. Veteran midfielder David Prutton is doubtful but striker Jay Bothroyd may return from an ankle problem.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Bolton W L D W L; Sheff Wed L L L W W

Top scorers: Chris Eagles (Bolton) 7; Chris O'Grady (Sheff Wed) 6

Referee: Scott Mathieson (Cheshire).

Bristol City v Watford

City manager Derek McInnes could shuffle his pack although winger Paul Anderson is expected to keep his place. Defenders Lewin Nyatanga and Louis Carey are both back in contention but Ryan Taylor (thigh) is a doubt along with Liverpool loanee Danny Wilson, who tweaked a hamstring in training.

Marco Cassetti will be missing for Watford through suspension. Striker Fernando Forestieri (hamstring) is not expected to be ready, along with defender Lloyd Doyley (calf). Captain John Eustace and Nyron Nosworthy have both returned to training but are short of match fitness.

Last season: Bristol City 0 Watford 2, Watford 2 Bristol City 2

Last five league matches: Bristol City L L W L D; Watford W W L D W

Top scorers: Steven Davies (Bristol City) 8; Matej Vydra (Watford) 10

Referee: Michael Naylor (Sheffield).

Burnley v Derby

Burnley boss Sean Dyche will assess the fitness of Danny Lafferty and Brian Stock after the pair missed the weekend draw at Birmingham. Danny Ings is expected to make a third consecutive start in attack having netted his first goal of the season at St Andrew's.

Derby's Gareth Roberts (calf), Will Hughes (ankle), Craig Bryson (knee) and Conor Sammon (calf) all shrugged off niggles to face Hull on Friday and came through the defeat unscathed. Defender Mark O'Brien is back to full fitness following cramp and illness and could push James O'Connor for his starting place. Top scorer Theo Robinson and Ben Davies are in line for recalls to the starting XI.

Last season: Burnley 0 Derby 0, Derby 1 Burnley 2

Last five league matches: Burnley D D L D D; Derby D L W W L

Top scorers: Charlie Austin (Burnley) 22; Theo Robinson (Derby) 9

Referee: Andy Haines (Tyne & Wear).

Cardiff v Crystal Palace

Cardiff defender Matthew Connolly will miss out through suspension with Kevin McNaughton expected to deputise at right-back. Former Watford attacker Tommy Smith is unlikely to be risked and Nicky Maynard is out for the rest of the campaign with a knee ligament injury, but midfielder Kadeem Harris is close to making a comeback after sustaining an ankle problem.

Crystal Palace are without the suspended Damien Delaney following his red card in Saturday's 1-1 draw with Huddersfield. Danny Gabbidon could be handed his full debut in Delaney's absence. Midfielder Jonny Williams is looking to be involved after returning from a groin problem. Skipper Paddy McCarthy remains sidelined with the groin injury that has kept him out of action for the whole season.

Last season: Crystal Palace 1 Cardiff 2, Cardiff 2 Crystal Palace 0

Last five league matches: Cardiff D W W L W; Crystal Palace D W D D D

Top scorers: Heidar Helguson (Cardiff) 8; Glenn Murray (Crystal Palace) 20

Referee: P Gibbs (West Midlands).

Charlton v Ipswich

Charlton are without the suspended Lawrie Wilson but midfielder Dale Stephens returns after serving a one-game ban. Defenders Rhoys Wiggins (foot) and Cedric Evina (knee), midfielder Andy Hughes (Achilles) and striker Ade Azeez (hamstring) all remain sidelined.

Daryl Murphy is an injury concern for Ipswich after suffering a knock during Saturday's 1-1 draw at home to Bristol City. Fellow forward Paul Taylor is the only definite absentee with a long-term foot injury.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Charlton W D D L L; Ipswich W W W L D

Top scorers: Johnnie Jackson (Charlton) 4; DJ Campbell (Ipswich) 8

Referee: Mick Russell (Hertfordshire).

Huddersfield v Blackpool

Anthony Gerrard and Alan Lee are suspended for Huddersfield but on-loan winger Adam Hammill is pressing for a start after replacing Oliver Norwood at half-time against Crystal Palace on Saturday. Midfielder Oscar Gobern remains a long-term absentee following ankle surgery as Simon Grayson's side chase their first league win in eight matches.

Blackpool boss Michael Appleton will assess Craig Cathcart and Neal Ardley ahead of the trip. Appleton was without centre-back Cathcart for Friday night's 2-1 home defeat to Wolves due to illness, while the same bug left right-back Eardley unused on the bench as midfielder Chris Basham featured at full-back. Fellow defender Ian Evatt (knee) and winger Matt Phillips (toe) remain sidelined.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Huddersfield L L D L D; Blackpool D W D W L

Top scorers: Chris Atkinson (Huddersfield) 6; Thomas Ince (Blackpool) 13

Referee: Nigel Miller (Durham).

Hull v Leicester

Swiss goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic, after an impressive debut against Derby, is set to continue for high-flying Hull as they welcome former boss Nigel Pearson and his fifth-placed Leicester side to the KC Stadium. Abdoulaye Faye replaced the suspended Alex Bruce at Pride Park and will keep his place after netting the second-half winner.

Striker Martyn Waghorn, a former Tigers loanee, is set to make his first start for Leicester since undergoing an appendix operation. Defender Sean St Ledger and Michael Keane remain out with hamstring injuries.

Last season: Leicester 2 Hull 1, Hull 2 Leicester 1

Last five league matches: Hull D W W W W; Leicester L W D L L

Top scorers: Sone Aluko (Hull) 8; David Nugent (Leicester) 11

Referee: Craig Pawson (South Yorkshire).Middlesbrough v Blackburn

Middlesbrough manager Tony Mowbray will run the rule over Nicky Bailey, Andre Bikey and Ishmael Miller after they fell foul of the stomach bug that has also affected goalkeeper Jason Steele and striker Marvin Emnes. Defender Rhys Williams (ankle) has an outside chance of returning to the squad and Andy Halliday (groin) could step up to the starting XI.

Blackburn manager Henning Berg expects to have captain Danny Murphy (hamstring) and club stalwart David Dunn (calf) among his midfield options. Markus Olsson is available after illness but Mauro Formica (foot) remains a doubt and Fabio Nunes and Nuno Gomes (both hamstring) are sidelined.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Middlesbrough W L W W L; Blackburn L L D L L

Top scorers: Scott McDonald (Middlesbrough) 9; Jordan Rhodes (Blackburn) 13

Referee: Martin Atkinson.

Nottingham Forest v Leeds

Defender Daniel Ayala is suspended for Forest after his dismissal at Watford on Saturday. Greg Halford is favourite to deputise while Elliott Ward and Sam Hutchinson will hope for a place among the substitutes. Changes are possible after three defeats in five games, with midfielders Simon Gillett, Lewis McGugan, Henri Lansbury and Radoslaw Majewski waiting in the wings.

Veteran Michael Brown could replace departed loanee Michael Tonge in Leeds' midfield, while Aidy White is pressing for a start. South African striker Davide Somma is also in contention after coming off the bench on Saturday for his first appearance since May 2011 but midfielder Rudy Austin and defender Leigh Bromby remain long-term absentees.

The two sides shared 14 goals in last season's two meetings.

Last season: Leeds 3 Nottm Forest 7, Nottm Forest 0 Leeds 4

Last five league matches: Nottm Forest L L W D L; Leeds W W L W W

Top scorers: Billy Sharp (Nottm Forest) 7; Luciano Becchio (Leeds) 16

Referee: Tony Bates (Staffordshire).

Wolves v Peterborough

Wolves will assess Bjorn Sigurdarson (thigh), though replacement Jermaine Pennant impressed against Blackpool. Defender Georg Margreitter (hamstring) misses out and midfielders Jamie O'Hara and Slawomir Peszko are not quite ready to return, while Razak Boukari, Dave Edwards, Steven Mouyokolo, Wayne Hennessey, Stephen Hunt and George Elokobi remain sidelined.

Peterborough should be unchanged after their second successive win, by a remarkable 5-4 scoreline against Bolton. Nathaniel Knight-Percival shrugged off an ankle injury to keep his place in the heart of defence but Kgosi Ntlhe, Peter Grant and Tyrone Barnett remain long-term absentees.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Wolverhampton L W W L W; Peterborough L L L W W Top scorers: Sylvan Ebanks-Blake (Wolverhampton) 9; Dwight Gayle (Peterborough) 12

Referee: Mark Heywood (Cheshire).


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