Birmingham City v Hull City (all 3pm kick-offs unless stated)
Birmingham will assess Curtis Davies. The centre-back missed last weekend's 1-1 draw at Blackburn with the troublesome ankle injury which forced him off against Bristol City, and he will continue to be monitored ahead of the clash against the Tigers. Republic of Ireland international midfielder Keith Fahey is unavailable having been granted compassionate leave for an indefinite period. Striker Leroy Lita has seen his loan spell cut short by a thigh injury and has returned to parent club Swansea. Full-back Paul Caddis is making good progress with his shoulder injury and is not too far away, while young striker Akwasi Asante also continues his rehabilitation from a hamstring injury. But Stephen Carr (knee) remains a long-term absentee.
Hull's latest loan signing David Meyler is hoping to make his full debut. The Sunderland midfielder, who played the final 20 minutes in the Republic of Ireland's midweek defeat to Greece, stepped off the substitutes' bench in last week's defeat at Cardiff after joining until January and could play a bigger role this weekend. Winger Robbie Brady played the first 45 minutes against Greece and is expected to resume for the Tigers. Defender Paul McShane was forced to withdraw from the Republic of Ireland squad due to a calf injury and remains a doubt. Manager Steve Bruce is hoping winger Ahmed Elmohamady returns fully fit following international duty with Egypt as he has been nursing a thigh strain in recent matches, but defender Liam Rosenior, who has also been carrying a slight injury, is expected to start. Bruce, who has no other new injury or suspension worries, is still without long-term absentees Matty Fryatt (Achilles), Joe Dudgeon and Tom Cairney (both knee), while centre-half Jack Hobbs (knee) is closing in on his return from an eight-month injury lay-off, but is not yet ready.
Bolton Wanderers v Barnsley
Jacob Butterfield is primed to make his Bolton debut when former club Barnsley visit the Reebok Stadium. Butterfield joined Wanderers on loan last week from Norwich as he looks to build match fitness following a serious knee injury sustained while at Oakwell and was an unused substitute against Bolton last weekend. Bolton boss Dougie Freedman has no new injuries going into the contest, with knee injury victims Stuart Holden, Andy Lonergan, David Wheater and Josh Vela all still on the sidelines.
Barnsley's new loan signing Marcus Tudgay will be included in the squad. The Nottingham Forest striker, who joined the Tykes for a month on loan on Wednesday, may start on the substitutes' bench as he has recently worked his way back from a double hernia operation. Barnsley's leading goalscorer Craig Davies has missed the last five matches due to a hamstring injury and is not expected to be rushed back by manager Keith Hill, while midfielder David Perkins, sidelined for the last two matches, is still out with a similar problem. Former Tottenham and Middlesbrough forward Mido made his first appearance of the season as a second half substitute in last week's home defeat to Huddersfield and is expected to start on the bench again. Winger Jim O'Brien, on the bench for the last two games, is hoping to make his first start since August after recovering from a dislocated shoulder as the Tykes look to halt a run of four straight league defeats.
Bristol City v Blackpool
Bristol City's new loan signing Neil Danns looks likely to go straight into manager Derek McInnes' starting line-up. The 29-year-old was borrowed from Leicester on Wednesday and after training without a problem on Thursday the former Crystal Palace midfielder looks set to start. Danns may not be the only new addition this week with McInnes looking to strengthen his squad before the visit of Michael Appleton's side as six players remain on the sidelines. Greg Cunningham, Cole Skuse, Stephen McManus, Jody Morris, Lewin Nyatanga and Louis Carey will all miss out for the visit of the Seasiders.
Michael Appleton will have to juggle his options in attack. Winger Matt Phillips will miss the majority of the Seasiders' games before Christmas having suffered an injury to his big toe, while Gary Taylor-Fletcher is sidelined due to a hamstring tear sustained during last weekend's 2-2 draw with Bolton. Elliot Grandin could be redeployed to a wide attacking role or Thiago Gomes could make a first start this month in Phillips' absence. Nathan Delfouneso scored a late equaliser as Taylor-Fletcher's replacement against Wanderers, while veteran striker Kevin Phillips could also come into the reckoning up-front having returned as a substitute last weekend following his lengthy struggle with a calf injury.
Burnley v Charlton Athletic
Burnley could again be without Ben Mee. Former Manchester City youngster Mee missed last weekend's defeat at Ipswich with a foot injury and is touch and go to face the Addicks. Danny Lafferty filled in for Mee at left-back at Portman Road and will be assessed following his return to training on Friday morning from international duty with Northern Ireland. Winger Ross Wallace is suspended having picked up a fifth booking of the campaign, clearing the way for Junior Stanislas to return to the starting line-up.
Charlton could add Eggert Jonsson and Scott Wagstaff to their squad. Midfielder Jonsson joined on loan from Wolves last week but missed Sunday's win at Bristol City after picking up a knock in training, while winger Wagstaff is back from a loan spell at Leyton Orient. Ricardo Fuller returned as a late substitute at Ashton Gate after a hamstring injury and should be involved again. Fellow striker Yann Kermorgant has started full training after a broken ankle but needs a few reserve games, and left-back Rhoys Wiggins remains sidelined with a foot injury although he too is not far away from returning. Full-backs Lawrie Wilson (thigh) and Cedric Evina (knee) are still on the sidelines and midfielder Danny Hollands has joined Swindon on loan.
Cardiff City v Middlesbrough
Craig Bellamy is likely to be among the Cardiff substitutes having missed the last four games while defender Matt Connolly is expected to be available again. Bellamy flew to the USA to work with specialists on the ankle injury sustained during Cardiff's 2-1 win against Watford and was given the go-ahead to resume full training with the Bluebirds ahead of the clash with in-form Boro. Kevin McNaughton was substituted in the victory over Hull with a thigh strain and is unlikely to feature. If that proves to be the case he will be replaced by Connolly in what could be the only change to the XI that beat Steve Bruce's men. Jordon Mutch has resumed full training after two months on the sidelines with a foot injury while Don Cowie (knee) is making good progress. Tommy Smith (hamstring) is still a couple of weeks away from a return to action. Stephen McPhail played 90 minutes for the development side on Tuesday night and could come into the reckoning.
Middlesbrough have injury concerns after midfielder Josh McEachran limped out of England U21's game against Northern Ireland, and Jonathan Woodgate and Kevin Thomson are both doubtful with calf injuries. Defender Seb Hines (thigh) and Luke Williams (hip) are definitely back in contention following their own respective injury absences, and both will hope to pass late fitness tests and make appearances.
Crystal Palace v Derby County
Wilfried Zaha is back from England duty to take his place in Crystal Palace's line-up. The highly-rated winger came on for his international debut in the 85th minute of the Three Lions' 4-2 defeat by Sweden in Stockholm. Midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi was also in midweek action, playing 64 minutes of South Africa's 1-0 loss to Zambia, while full-back Jonathan Parr came off the bench for half-an-hour of Norway's 2-0 friendly win over Hungary in Budapest. If the duo have suffered no ill-effects boss Ian Holloway could name the same side which registered wins over Ipswich and Peterborough in his first two games in charge. Skipper Paddy McCarthy is the only injury absentee with a groin problem.
Ben Davies is an injury doubt for Derby. Davies took a knock to an ankle this week and he will continue to be monitored ahead of the journey to south London. Manager Nigel Clough may opt to rest fellow midfielder Will Hughes following the 17-year-old's midweek exploits with the England Under-21 side. It could be that the highly-rated teenager starts on the bench against the Eagles. Frank Fielding made his return from a groin injury with 90 minutes in the reserves on Tuesday afternoon, but after six weeks out Saturday will come too soon for him so Adam Legzdins will remain in goal.
Huddersfield Town v Brighton and Hove Albion
Jermaine Beckford is expected to shake off a knock in time to start for Huddersfield. Beckford was forced out of the action after firing a first-half winner at Barnsley last week, but suffered no lasting damage and should resume his partnership up front with Lee Novak. Latest loan signing Simon Church, from Reading, made his debut last week in an unfamiliar wide role and is likely to continue, but fellow striker James Vaughan is still struggling with the thigh problem that has kept him out of the last four matches. Manager Simon Grayson, who has no new injury or suspension problems, may consider recalling the likes of midfield trio Oliver Norwood, Danny Ward and Adam Hammill, while defenders Calum Woods and Anthony Gerrard are also hoping to feature.
Brighton will make late decisions on defenders Adam El-Abd and Wayne Bridge. Boss Gus Poyet will assess the pair in training before deciding whether they are fit enough to feature. Centre-half El-Abd has missed the last two matches with a hamstring problem while on-loan Manchester City left-back Bridge has been to Germany for tests on the calf injury he suffered against Wolves last weekend. Lewis Dunk has been deputising for El-Abd while Inigo Calderon came on for Bridge at Molineux. Winger Will Buckley could return to the starting line-up after coming off the bench to score in the 3-3 draw. Spanish midfielder Vicente is set to miss out again with a thigh tendon problem.
Leicester City v Ipswich Town
Leicester boss Nigel Pearson has been handed a double boost. Jamie Vardy and Paul Konchesky both returned to training on Thursday and could be in line to face the Tractor Boys. Striker Vardy had been struggling to shake off a knock while left-back Konchesky had been nursing a hamstring problem. David Nugent is expected to be fit despite being withdrawn against Nottingham Forest last weekend after suffering a neck injury. Defender Sean St Ledger remains sidelined with a hamstring problem while loanee Michael Keane has returned to parent club Manchester United for treatment on a hamstring injury also. Fit-again midfielder Richie Wellens, who has just returned from a loan spell at Portman Road, may well face his former club where he was sent to gain some valuable match-fitness after a long-term knee injury.
Bradley Orr and Kelly Youga are in the frame for their Ipswich. Orr arrived on loan from Blackburn this week along with fellow defender Youga, who has penned on a short-term deal until January. Wide man Lee Martin is also back in contention having served his one-match suspension in last weekend's 2-1 win over Burnley. But Town have lost the services of midfielder Richie Wellens, whose loan deal expired after the victory and he has now returned to parent club Leicester with the chance of lining up against Ipswich at the King Power Stadium. Back-up goalkeeper Scott Loach will be assessed having sustained a dead leg during a Suffolk Premier Cup match in midweek. Striker Paul Taylor (foot) is likely to miss the rest of the campaign.
Nottingham Forest v Sheffield Wednesday
Simon Cox is a concern for Nottingham Forest. Manager Sean O'Driscoll is awaiting news on the striker after he suffered a foot injury while on international duty in midweek. Cox limped out of the Republic of Ireland's 1-0 friendly defeat to Greece in Dublin after an hour on Wednesday night and he will continue to be assessed by the club's medical staff. However, midfielder Adlene Guedioura, who has been away on international duty with Algeria, is expected to be available against the Owls. Daniel Ayala could come back into O'Driscoll's plans after a four-match lay-off with a hamstring injury but fellow defender Dan Harding remains a doubt with a similar problem.
Sheffield Wednesday will be without striker Chris O'Grady. The Owls' five-goal leading scorer is struggling with an ongoing foot problem and will be sidelined for a fortnight, so Gary Madine will continue to lead the line, with Jay Bothroyd and Michail Antonio supporting in wider roles. Manager Dave Jones has no new injury or suspension problems and is unlikely to make too many, if any, changes. Paul Corry shook off an ankle injury in time to play the full 90 minutes in last week's defeat at Middlesbrough and is expected to resume in midfield alongside teenager Ross Barkley, on loan from Everton, and Jose Semedo. Jones could be tempted to recall Martin Taylor to the centre of his defence as the Owls chase their second away win in the league this season.
Watford v Wolverhampton Wanderers
Almen Abdi is set to miss the visit of Wolves but manager Gianfranco Zola will be reluctant to make too many more changes to his Watford side after their emphatic 6-1 success at Leeds last weekend. Midfielder Abdi bagged the Hornets' second goal at Elland Road but was stretchered off soon after having suffered a dislocated shoulder, although the club are confident he will not be sidelined long-term. Striker Alex Geijo is okay having also nursed a sore hamstring post-match although it remains to be seen whether Zola opts to rest the on-loan Udinese forward in favour of Fernando Forestieri or Troy Deeney. Elsewhere, midfielder Daniel Pudil returns to contention having served his one-match suspension and defender Fitz Hall is back in first-team training after missing the last two games with a hamstring injury. But John Eustace (back), Prince Buaben and Nyron Nosworthy (both hamstring) remain sidelined despite making progress with their respective recoveries.
Skipper Karl Henry starts a three-match suspension. The midfielder was given his marching orders during last weekend's dramatic 3-3 draw against Brighton and now serves his second ban of the campaign. Wanderers have received mixed injury news this week after winger Razak Boukari returned to full training after six weeks out with a hamstring problem. The Togo international does though need reserve action before being considered for first-team duty. However, there was less positive news for long-term absentees Wayne Hennessey and Jamie O'Hara. Goalkeeper Hennessey suffered a major setback having been on the verge of his first-team return after cruciate ligament surgery and may now require another operation, while midfielder O'Hara will not play again until early next year as he continues to recover from his hernia troubles. Slawomir Peszko (knee), Stephen Hunt (hip), George Elokobi (ankle) and Steven Mouyokolo (knee) also remain absent.
Peterborough United v Blackburn Rovers (5.20pm)
Gaby Zakuani and Emile Sinclair are available for selection for Peterborough's home game against Blackburn. Centre-half Zakuani and striker Sinclair were two of four players, along with Tyrone Barnett and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, fined and transfer-listed by Posh this week following a "breach of club discipline". Zakuani has since been removed from the transfer list while Sinclair remains on it for "footballing reasons". The fines for those two players have also been rescinded after the PFA got involved. Club-record signing Barnett will not be considered for Saturday's game while winger Mendez-Laing has been shipped out to Portsmouth on loan. Elsewhere, defender Mark Little is nursing a knock and left wing-back Tommy Rowe is rated at 50/50 as he nears a return from the ankle injury that has kept him out in recent weeks.
Henning Berg hopes to have Jason Lowe and Gael Givet at his disposal. Lowe recently came back from a hamstring injury and was withdrawn from England Under-21 duty as a precaution in midweek but is expected to be fit for action at London Road. Givet is yet to feature under Berg having suffered a leg injury in training on the eve of the 43-year-old's first game in charge against Crystal Palace, although the French defender is also hopeful of being involved. Martin Olsson, Jordan Rhodes, Grant Hanley and Simon Vukcevic have all returned from international duty unscathed, while Colin Kazim-Richards could feature in attack following a muscle strain. Portugal Under-21 winger Fabio Nunes returned as a substitute in last weekend's 1-1 draw with Birmingham after time out with a hamstring problem and is pushing for inclusion once more.
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