Championship - Saturday team news: Hudson back for Cardiff

Team news ahead of the weekend's Championship fixtures.

PA Sport
Championship - Team news: Cardiff face defensive headache

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Captain Mark Hudson led by example with Cardiff's opening goal in a comfortable win

All matches start at 15:00 unless stated

Peterborough v Bolton

Nathaniel Knight-Percival has recovered from an ankle injury to enable Peterborough boss Darren Ferguson to name an unchanged side against Bolton at London Road.

Bolton striker David Ngog is pushing for a start, while on-loan Aston Villa full-back Stephen Warnock completes his spell this weekend, although Wanderers are keen on seeking an extension. Midfielder Mark Davies is sidelined for around three months after undergoing shoulder surgery, defender Matt Mills will not feature again until the new year with a thigh injury while Stuart Holden, David Wheater and Josh Vela remain unavailable due to long-term knee problems.

Birmingham v Burnley

Birmingham are without Paul Caddis (hamstring) as they welcome Burnley. Fellow defender Jonathan Spector is also likely to miss out as he struggles with an ankle injury, but he is expected to return for the Boxing Day trip to Barnsley. Midfielder Darren Ambrose, full-backs David Murphy and Stephen Carr (all knee) and striker Akwasi Asante (hamstring) remain sidelined. But Lee Clark is boosted by the return of Hayden Mullins from his one-match suspension, while fellow midfielder Morgaro Gomis is in contention after recovering from a thigh injury.

Burnley welcome back Michael Duff and Chris McCann after suspension. Defender Ben Mee remains sidelined as he continues his rehabilitation from medial knee ligament damage. Keith Treacy is pushing for involvement once more after coming on as a late substitute last weekend, the winger's first appearance for the Clarets since August.

Sheffield Wednesday v Charlton

Sheffield Wednesday defender Reda Johnson could make a return from a foot injury as they look to move out of the relegation zone when they host Charlton. Wednesday, who are looking to build on the crucial three points they accrued at fellow strugglers Barnsley last Saturday evening, will be without striker Jay Bothroyd, who is troubled by an ankle problem. Gary Madine has declared himself fit despite being withdrawn due to a knee injury against Barnsley after a brutal challenge from Stephen Foster, which the Owls striker suggested was pre-meditated. Defender Jose Semedo is missing, though, due to a cut on his knee which Jones insisted they would treat with caution. Jermaine Johnson has been declared fit despite toiling with a hamstring strain in recent weeks while Nejc Pecnik has shaken off a knock.

Dale Stephens will be missing through suspension for Charlton. Striker Ricardo Fuller is hoping to return over Christmas after a hamstring injury but the trip to Hillsborough may just come too soon. Rhoys Wiggins remains on the sidelines with a foot injury and fellow full-back Cedric Evina is recovering from a knee operation. Midfielder Andy Hughes is still some way from returning from an Achilles problem and young striker Ade Azeez has a hamstring injury.

Watford v Nottingham Forest

Watford are without Fernando Forestieri for the visit of Nottingham Forest. The Italian striker has been absent with a hamstring problem for the last two games, during which time the Hornets have picked up just one point. Midfielder John Eustace and defender Nyron Nosworthy both returned to training this week after injury but the pair are some way short of match fitness and will not be involved. Defender Lloyd Doyley remains sidelined with a calf injury. Boss Gianfranco Zola picked Alex Geijo alongside Troy Deeney in attack for the 1-1 draw at Burnley, but could recall Matej Vydra to face Forest. The Hornets are three points behind Millwall in sixth, but will be leapfrogged by their opponents if they suffer a second successive home defeat.

Simon Cox could return to the Nottingham Forest squad. Cox has been out for almost a month with a foot injury but after a full week's training the Republic of Ireland international striker is pushing to be included in manager Sean O'Driscoll's plans. On-loan Chelsea defender Sam Hutchinson and borrowed Tottenham midfielder Jermaine Jenas are back in training after respective knee and calf injuries but neither player is likely to be risked at Vicarage Road.

Ipswich v Bristol City

Ipswich are buoyed by the return of Luke Hyam (hamstring) ahead of their clash with fellow strugglers Bristol City. Nigel Reo-Coker returned to the bench on Saturday after recovering from a hamstring injury and is pushing for a first start since the 1-1 draw with Peterborough in November. But Paul Taylor remains sidelined with his foot injury.

Bristol City striker Jon Stead (thigh) is set to make his first start for the club for over a month. He is now set to replace Ryan Taylor in the starting line-up. The former Rotherham forward has a thigh injury and is expected to miss out along with Liverpool loanee Danny Wilson, who tweaked a hamstring in training. There is better news for manager Derek McInnes on the injury front with Cole Skuse back in training after six weeks out with a fractured cheekbone and Greg Cunningham moving closer to a start after making his long-awaited return from an ankle injury last week. Defensive duo Lewin Nyatanga and Louis Carey are both back in contention

Blackburn Rovers v Brighton and Hove Albion

Blackburn captain Danny Murphy (hamstring) could be ready to return when Brighton visit Ewood Park. Fellow midfield veteran David Dunn is also pushing for greater involvement having been restricted in recent weeks as he looks to make a full recovery from a calf problem. Markus Olsson is available once more after being struck down by illness ahead of last weekend's 2-0 defeat to Blackpool, where Jake Kean was a surprise inclusion in place of Paul Robinson in goal. Berg will be unable to call on wingers Mauro Formica (foot) and Fabio Nunes (hamstring) as he looks to end a dismal run of one point from the last five matches.

Brighton have problems in defence ahead of the trip to Blackburn. Full-backs Bruno (Achilles), Inigo Calderon (knee) and Marcos Painter (calf) are all expected to miss out at Ewood Park, so centre-half Adam El-Abd looks set to deputise at right-back. Gary Dicker (knee) and Andrea Orlandi (rib) are also likely to sit out again. Fellow midfielder Liam Bridcutt was withdrawn during the second half of the 2-2 draw with Millwall on Tuesday night but manager Gus Poyet confirmed that was only as a precaution.

Millwall v Barnsley

Millwall will check on Andy Keogh (toe) and Chris Taylor (knee) ahead of the visit of Barnsley. Forward Darius Henderson was on the bench at Brighton after a hamstring injury and should be involved again. Therefore skipper Paul Robinson is the only definite absentee with the defender continuing his recovery from a pelvic problem.

Barnsley's on-loan midfielder Akos Buzsaky has been added to the injured list for the game at Millwall. The Hungary international, on loan from Portsmouth, sustained a hamstring injury during last week's home defeat to Sheffield Wednesday and could be replaced in the starting line-up by Jim O'Brien. Teenager Reuben Noble-Lazarus and fellow striker Emile Sinclair, on loan from Peterborough, both missed the Owls defeat due to an ankle injury and a dead-leg respectively and are not expected to be included in manager Keith Hill's squad. Midfielder Jacob Mellis has been sidelined for the last two games with a nasty dead-leg sustained in the recent defeat at Watford and remains unavailable.

Leeds United v Middlesbrough

Leeds defender Alan Tate is expected to return to the starting line-up for the home clash with Middlesbrough, having missed the Coup defeat through ineligibility. Striker Davide Somma could make his first appearance of the season following a long-term knee injury, goalkeeper Paddy Kenny was rested in midweek and is another player likely to return, in place of Jamie Ashdown, while manager Neil Warnock must decide whether to recall David Norris to his midfield. Michael Tonge is expected to start in his final game for the club before his scheduled return to parent club Stoke, although Leeds are hoping to make the deal permanent during the January transfer window. Strikers Ross McCormack and Luke Varney, plus winger Aidy White are all pushing for recalls, but midfielder Rudy Austin and defender Leigh Bromby remain long-term absentees.

Rhys Williams (ankle) could return to the Middlesbrough squad for the first time since August. Full-back George Friend, who suffered a hamstring strain in the 2-0 victory over Wolves last weekend, is being assessed ahead of kick-off. Central defender Andre Bikey and midfielder Faris Haroun (both hamstring), as well as utility man Andy Halliday (groin), all missed the clash with the Black Country club, and their respective conditions too will be assessed. Midfielders Julio Arca (toe) and Muzzy Carayol (knee) and striker Curtis Main (also knee) are also close to returns from long-term injuries, but less advanced than Williams.

Leicester City v Cardiff City

Martyn Waghorn is expected to return to the Leicester squad for the visit of Championship leaders Cardiff - just 10 days after an operation to remove his appendix. Defenders Sean St Ledger and Michael Keane remain out with hamstring injuries, with St Ledger currently in Germany seeing a specialist about the problem that has kept him out for two-and-a-half months.

Cardiff captain Mark Hudson is set to return to their starting line-up at Leicester after missing the shock defeat to Peterborough through suspension. That would leave Kevin McNaughton and Matt Connolly to battle it out for the right-back slot. Malky Mackay also has midfielders Jordon Mutch and Aron Gunnarsson pushing for recalls for the Championship leaders, who face Crystal Palace at the Cardiff City Stadium on Boxing Day. Former Watford attacker Tommy Smith is edging closer to a return to action with Mackay wary of rushing him back into action. Meanwhile Nicky Maynard remains out for the rest of the campaign with his knee ligament injury while Kadeem Harris is almost fit after an ankle problem.

Crystal Palace v Huddersfield Town (17:20)

Crystal Palace welcome back stand-in skipper Mile Jedinak (suspension) for the visit of Huddersfield. Fellow midfielder Jonny Williams is back in full training after a groin problem, although Palace are keen not to rush him back after an injury-hit season. Captain Paddy McCarthy remains a long-term absentee with the groin injury which has kept him out all season.

Huddersfield will be without the suspended Alan Lee but fellow striker Jermaine Beckford (hamstring) could return to the starting line-up.Another striker, Sean Scannell, could return to contention after recovering from his hamstring strain and defender Joel Lynch, who returned in last week's defeat at Hull after a similar problem, is expected to continue in the back four. Defender Paul Dixon is back in contention after sitting out a one-game ban, while midfielder Oscar Gobern remains a long-term absentee following ankle surgery.

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