Burnley v Blackburn Rovers (12.30pm)
Burnley boss Sean Dyche has the luxury of a clean bill of health. Dean Marney missed Tuesday night's 1-1 draw at Barnsley through suspension having collected five yellow cards, but the former Hull man is available to contest a place in central midfield. Kieran Trippier returned from a suspension of his own at Oakwell, while Ben Mee replaced Danny Lafferty and both men are expected to retain their places in the full-back positions.
Colin Kazim-Richards and Morten Gamst Pedersen are pushing for starts for Blackburn. Rovers came off on the wrong side of another local argument in midweek when Bolton brushed aside a largely lacklustre display to triumph at 2-1 at Ewood Park. Pedersen and Kazim-Richards were introduced in the closing stages and the latter crossed for Jordan Rhodes to reduce the arrears as Henning Berg's men threatened a belated revival. Former Blackburn defender Berg has overseen three defeats and a solitary win in his six games since succeeding Steve Kean at the helm and will be without veteran striker Nuno Gomes due to a hamstring injury. Rovers stalwart David Dunn (calf) is pushing to be involved in midfield, but the derby clash could come too soon from him and Portugal Under-21 winger Fabio Nunes.
Cardiff City v Sheffield Wednesday (3pm)
Cardiff are set to be boosted by the return of four first-team regulars as they attempt to pile further pressure on former boss Dave Jones. Jones' successor Malky Mackay, who has overseen nine successive wins at the Cardiff City Stadium, is likely to have Kevin McNaughton (thigh), Ben Turner (hamstring), Andrew Taylor (calf) and Don Cowie (knee) at his disposal after all four missed the midweek draw at Derby. The Championship leaders will face a Wednesday side who have lost their last five games, scoring just twice, without Craig Noone as the former Brighton winger is suspended after being sent off at Pride Park. On-loan Norwich man Simon Lappin returns after serving his one-match ban. Meanwhile, Tommy Smith has begun running again after his hamstring injury, but is a few weeks away from a return, while long-serving midfielder Stephen McPhail has moved closer to a first-team comeback after two 90-minute run-outs for the development team.
Sheffield Wednesday will give late fitness tests to Anthony Gardner, Lewis Buxton and Rhys McCabe. Centre-half Gardner and right-back Buxton were both forced out of the midweek home defeat to Watford with hamstring injuries, while midfielder McCabe was withdrawn due to an ankle problem. All three players are rated very doubtful. Should Gardner not make it Martin Taylor is likely to step in alongside Miguel Llera at the heart of defence, while Kieran Lee and Joe Mattock provide boss Jones with options at right-back if Buxton is ruled out. Jose Semedo is expected to be recalled to the starting line-up in midfield if McCabe is ruled out alongside Chris Lines, who made his first start of the season on Tuesday night following a long-term groin injury. Striker Mamady Sidibe, on loan from Stoke, is expected to continue up front after making his Owls debut in midweek, with Jay Bothroyd part of a five-man midfield, as the Owls chase their first league win in six matches.
- Sports & Recreation
- Blackburn Rovers
- Morten Gamst Pedersen