League One Preview – Charlton and MK Dons look to benefit from Preston postponement

The international break sees the match between sleeping giants Preston North End and Sheffield United postponed this weekend, but elsewhere this is almost a full complement of fixtures as the rest look to move up the league now that the table begins to take shape.

Leaders Charlton Athletic have the chance to extend their lead at the top of League One with a home fixture against Tranmere Rovers at the Valley on Saturday afternoon. Whilst the Addicks have been in fine form in the league, which has culminated in a 5 point buffer between them and 2nd placed MK Dons, they suffered a surprise 0-3 reverse at home to Brentford in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy on Wednesday evening. Meanwhile Tranmere will be looking to consolidate their place in the top half in the wake of their abandoned fixture at Accrington in midweek after Tom Bender’s nasty injury caused a postponement with Rovers leading 2-1.

MK Dons manager Karl Robinson expressed his frustration at only being in 2nd place in the week and he will have to wait until Monday 10th to try and keep pace with the pacesetters as they travel to an Oldham Athletic side that have lost twice consecutively in the lead but enjoyed a morale-boosting 1-0 success at Glanford Park against Scunthorpe in midweek.

Notts County and Hartlepool United meet on Sunday 9th with both sides hovering outside the playoffs after impressive starts to the season. However both will be looking to bounce back after County suffered a reverse at Stadium MK last week, whilst Hartlepool were unlucky not to pick anything up from a tough home match against Sheffield Wednesday last week, which drew in a crowd of 6,800, the host’s highest attendance of the season.

The Owls meanwhile will be looking to continue a good run of form, which has reaped three wins in a row. Striker Gary Madine will be looking to take his season total into double figures as he leads the top scorers chart. A crushing 5-1 defeat at Stevenage seems to have rejuvenated Gary Megson’s squad, and Wednesday face a resurgent Chesterfield at Hillsborough, who won at Notts County in midweek and will turn to Leon Clarke as their main marksman after five league goals following his loan move from Swindon Town.

Huddersfield Town will be looking to continue their astonishing 36 game unbeaten League run as they host Stevenage at the Galpharm Stadium. A defeat to local rivals Bradford in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy will probably not be enough to stop the free-scoring Terriers, who have averaged two goals per game in League One this season. Nonetheless Stevenage will prove tough opposition after adapting well to life in League One after promotion, although they will be keen to arrest a slump which has resulted in four back-to-back defeats in league and cup.

AFC Bournemouth host Rochdale as both sides aim to move away from a potential relegation battle and towards midtable. Both enjoyed morale-boosting wins in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy on Tuesday, with Bournemouth defeating Yeovil 3-2 courtesy of an own-goal and a brace from Marc Pugh, whilst Rochdale won 3-1 on penalties following a 1-1 draw with Walsall.

Adams Park sees a meeting between two strugglers as Wycombe host Walsall in a Community Day which is expected to draw in a high attendance. Both teams are in woeful form, with the Chairboys picking up just one solitary win in their previous nine league fixtures, and the Saddlers picking up a meagre two points from their previous five games.

Another crucial fixture in the basement battle sees Bury play Exeter City at Gigg Lane. The loss of Ryan Lowe is still haunting the Shakers, who had not scored in three games before a 3-1 success at Yeovil last weekend. His replacement, striker Shaun Harrad, is still looking to get off the mark for his new side. Exeter meanwhile have been confined to the relegation places for most of the season to date, but will hope that last week’s 2-0 success over Oldham was no fluke. Guillem Bauza and Daniel Nardiello both notched in that match and Grecian’s manager Paul Tisdale will hope his strikers can continue where they left off.

Leyton Orient will be looking to build on their home success against Preston last week as they try to turn around a disastrous start to the campaign. Standing in their way are a Scunthorpe outfit who have also endured a difficult beginning to the season, although two wins in a row in the league have helped move the Iron up to 15th.

Colchester United host Yeovil at the Weston Homes Community Stadium with the visitors desperate to end a run of three consecutive defeats and also to move out of the relegation places. This will be no easy feat however, as Colchester have won their previous couple of fixtures without conceding a goal, and will be looking to challenge for a play-off position. Loan signing Michail Antonio will be looking to continue his impressive start in the U’s shirt.

Finally an intriguing battle will take place at Brunton Park between play-off chasing outfits Carlisle United and Brentford. It will be interesting to see how the Bees react to recent mixed results, their shock 3-0 success at the Valley immediately following a crushing 4-0 home setback against Huddersfield last week. Carlisle will look to get back to winning ways after a 1-1 draw at Walsall last week, with the Cumbrians’ goal being an absolute screamer from defender Matty Robson.

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