Football League 1 Preview: Matchday 17

Whilst, the English Premier league and championship are on hold this weekend due to the International break. The Football League 1 is in full swing with some epic games to look forward too, including an exciting yorkshire derby. This weekends fixtures start with an early 12:00 kickoff saturday, where relegation fighters Swindon Town welcome Charlton Athletic to the County Ground. Charlton will be looking to pounce on the out of form Swindon Town, following their impressive 1st round FA cup victory over League 1 toppers Scunthrope last weekend. However, the Addicks suffered a midweek loss on penalties away at Colchester in the Checkatrade trophy, giving Luke Williams’s team a shimmer of hope going into this fixture.

At a later 15:00 kickoff saturday, Rochdale travel to Bradford City in attempt to claim a playoff position. A win for the Dale would close the gap to only 1 point between the two sides. Although, having only lost 1 game so far this season Stuart McCall’s team will be fighting to progress into an automatic promotion spot which a win could potentially bring.

Bury who have lost their last 6 league games, invite Phil Brown’s Southend United to Gigg Lane as they seek to break their losing streak with a home win. The shakers will be hoping current top goalscorer James Vaughan can re-light his goalscoring form in order to push for a must needed 3 points. Whilst, Southend United will need star man Anthony Wordsworth to continue his great current form if they are wanting to win the game.

League leaders Scunthorpe take the 2 hour journey down to Coventry City in pursuit to keep their dream of winning the league alive. The Iron will be expecting a tough test as Coventry are unbeaten in their last 5 games including an impressive 4-2 win away at Wycombe in the Checkatrade trophy. Withal, Graham Alexander’s side haven’t been shy at all in front of goal this season, having scored a staggering 36 goals in only 16 league games making them the highest scoring club in the Football League 1.

In addition, seriously out of form Gillingham take on Rob page’s Northampton side in hope to resurrect their 7 game winless run. On-loan striker Jay Emmanuel Thomas may prove to be of high importance if Gillingham are going to finally capture their fifth win of the season. While, the cobblers will be staring at key men Alex Revell and Paul Anderson to guide their team even further up the table.

Recently relegated MK Dons verse mid table team Walsall at the Stadium mk are in desperate need of a win as they sit just above the drop zone in the league table. Although, still searching for a new permanent manager after Karl Robinson’s resignation. The dons must have a miraculous performance if they are to turnover Jon Whitney’s men who are currently unbeaten in their last 5 league games.

Furthermore, Millwall will meet 5th placed Bristol Rovers at the Den which will prove to be a tough test for Neil Harris’s team. Goalkeeper Jordan Archer will have to produce an unforgettable performance if he is to keep Bristol’s top goalscorer Matty Taylor from scoring, who already has 11 goals to his name this season and will be looking to add to his already outstanding tally.

Next, relegation poised Oldham Athletic will be searching for their fourth league win of the season as they welcome AFC Wimbledon to Boundary Park. Steve Robinson will be praying that on-loan striker Billy McKay can break his goalscoring absence and kick start his Oldham career, as Oldham currently have scored the least amount of goals in the League 1 so far. By only scoring a shocking 9 goals in 16 games this season.

Subsequently, Bruno Ribeiro’s Port Vale take on Fleetwood Town who both currently sit on 22 points. A win for the Valiants may be on the cards as key squad members Anton Forrester and Alex Jones are both set to start for the Vale as they both have returned to training following their injuries. Although, Port Vale are without a win in their last 4 league games suggesting Ribeiro may have to take a different tactical approach into this game if he is to secure the 3 points.

To round up Saturday’s fixtures, bottom placed Shrewsbury Town match up against Oxford United at the New Meadow. Paul Hurst’s side is desperate for a victory as they sit 5 points away from safety. However, it is likely that the shrews losing streak will continue as first team players Jayson Leutwiler and Ryan McGivern are unavailable to due to them being called up to their respect national teams. On the other hand, Oxford’s exciting midfielder Liam Sercombe is expected to make his return who is certain to make a positive impact for the U’s.

Moreover, Peterborough United are set to play Bolton Wanderers at the ABAX Stadium this sunday at an early 12:15 kickoff. Peterborough must be cautious of the dangerous threat that Bolton bring as Phil Parkinson’s men have won their last 5 league games. The posh will be wishing that star player Marcus Maddison can pull the strings in the midfield to try and steal a posh victory.

Finally, in what’s a highly anticipated local derby yorkshire rivals Chesterfield and Sheffield United meet at the Proact Stadium for a 14:15 kickoff, which will be televised on Sky Sports 2 beginning at 14:00. Blades boss Chris Wilder can flaunt his last 11 league games being undefeated as he aims to make it 12 games. However, with former blade Ched Evans set to start for the spireites, it will be interesting to see how he confronts his former club.

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