Team news: Cox could feature for Forest

Team news ahead of Saturday's Championship fixtures, with Simon Cox expected to play for Nottingham Forest despite an injury scare.

Championship - Forest clear up Cox claim

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Barnsley v Blackpool (all kick-offs 3pm)

Barnsley's selection woes continue with suspended defender Bobby Hassell ruled out. Hassell was shown a straight red card for a two-footed challenge on Bristol City striker Jon Stead last time out and starts a three-game ban. Manager Keith Hill had only 12 fit senior players for their home win over the Robins but midfielder David Perkins, defender Jim McNulty and summer signing Toni Silva could all come into the reckoning following their respective hamstring injuries. Matty Done (knee) has an outside chance of being included while fellow midfielder Paul Digby, defender Rob Edwards and striker Reuben Noble-Lazarus all featured for the Under-21s against Sheffield United in midweek and could also figure. Goalkeeper Luke Steele (stomach/groin) remains sidelined so Ben Alnwick is expected to resume but midfielder Jim O'Brien (dislocated shoulder) and striker Mido (ruptured hamstring) are still out.

Blackpool are, meanwhile, set to welcome back Ian Evatt as boss Ian Holloway enjoys the luxury of a fully-fit squad. Evatt has not featured since the Seasiders opening league victory at Millwall but returned from a foot injury in Wednesday afternoon's 3-0 behind-closed-doors friendly win over Wigan and is fit to fight for a place at Oakwell. Fellow defender Kirk Broadfoot will have the first opportunity to make his debut after joining Blackpool earlier this month on the back of his summer release from Rangers. Goalkeeper Matt Gilks and wingers Tom Ince and Matt Phillips all returned unscathed from international duty this week and will all feature as the Championship pacesetters aim for a return to winning ways after going down 1-0 at Leicester last time out.

Bolton v Watford

David Ngog is set to boost boss Owen Coyle's attacking options when Bolton look to get their Championship campaign back on track this weekend. The French striker was restricted in his pre-season work due to a persistent back complaint and is yet to feature in competitive action this term. But he scored in a recent reserve outing against West Ham and has since played a full part in training. With Wanderers wanting to build on a solitary win in four league games this term, Coyle was relieved to see his five internationals return unscathed - including Lee Chung-Yong who faced a trip to Uzbekistan with South Korea.

Watford captain John Eustace has missed the last four games with a back injury and was forced to undergo a minor operation last week so will sit out of the clash. Striker Alex Geijo is almost up to speed having spent weeks working on his fitness and could be involved, but fellow summer signing Fitz Hall has suffered a setback in his progress and is doubtful. Geoffrey Mujangi Bia (groin) and Prince Buaben (thigh) are definite absentees. Manager Gianfranco Zola could well make a host of changes following the emphatic 5-1 defeat at Derby last time out and will have benefited hugely from the two-week international break as he works with his new-look squad. And as the Hornets look to get back to winning ways they will be well aware of the threat posed by Bolton striker Marvin Sordell, whose form for the Hertfordshire club clinched a big-money move to the Reebok Stadium in January.

Bristol City v Blackburn Rovers

Bristol City boss Derek McInnes is confident his returning international players will be available. Republic of Ireland left-back Greg Cunningham and Scotland defender Richard Foster were called up earlier this month and McInnes feared they could pick up injuries. But Cunningham has unexpectedly returned ahead of schedule while the Robins chief keeps his fingers crossed over Foster. Ghana winger Albert Adomah is definitely available after being told he was not required for his country's African Nations Cup qualifying campaign.

Blackburn defender Scott Dann is expected to be fit. Dann hobbled out of the dramatic 3-3 draw at Leeds a fortnight ago with a hamstring problem but the international break has allowed him time to recover. Versatile youngster Jason Lowe is a doubt with a slight abductor strain. Boss Steve Kean is sweating on the fitness of Colin Kazim-Richards, who is still feeling the effects of a knee injury sustained in last month's 1-0 win over Hull at Ewood Park - a game where the on-loan Galatasaray man scored the only goal. Fellow forward and summer recruit Leon Best remains Rovers' only long-term absentee with knee ligament damage. Nevertheless, there is further good news for Kean in defence as Martin Olsson is back in training following his groin surgery and Gael Givet has shaken off a foot complaint.

Burnley v Peterborough

Burnley boss Eddie Howe has a virtually clean bill of health. Forward Martin Paterson is fit to play a part after a hamstring injury ruled him out of Northern Ireland's World Cup qualifiers against Russia and Luxembourg. Paterson opened the scoring in the opening day derby win over Bolton at Turf Moor but suffered a grade one tear later in that match and the Clarets' fortunes have plummeted in his absence. Brighton ran out 3-1 winners in east Lancashire a fortnight ago following losses on the road at Middlesbrough and Huddersfield. Striker Danny Ings remains on the sidelines with a knee cartilage injury, but the former Bournemouth youngster received a boost last week when he learned his recovery is likely to take three months - not the six initially feared.

New signing Kane Ferdinand could, meanwhile, make his full Peterborough debut. Winger Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, who has not played a minute of competitive football this campaign after suffering a hamstring injury during a pre-season friendly at Stevenage, could be another starter in Lancashire on Saturday after also impressing Ferguson against Luton. Kgosi Ntlhe will be assessed for fatigue as the teenage left-back did not get back to England until Thursday morning following South Africa's home win over Mozambique on Tuesday. Full-back Craig Alcock and midfielder Danny Kearns are pushing for a return to the starting line-up.

Cardiff City v Leeds United

Cardiff boss Malky Mackay could welcome back Craig Bellamy when they entertain Leeds. Bellamy returned to training earlier this week after a calf injury and is expected to be handed a place on the bench at least. Centre-half Ben Turner, who has also missed the last two games, will have his foot injury further assessed ahead of kick-off. Former City striker Ross McCormack is likely to start for their opponents.

Leeds will include new loan signing Michael Tonge in their squad for the game at Cardiff. The Stoke midfielder has joined Leeds on loan until December and could make his debut due to a shortage of midfielders at manager Neil Warnock's disposal. Rodolph Austin has returned unscathed from international duty with Jamaica, but Paul Green remains sidelined with a knee injury, David Norris is expected to miss out after tearing a thigh muscle in the recent win at Peterborough and a third midfielder, Michael Brown, has yet to feature this season due to a hamstring problem. Striker Ross McCormack was an unused substitute in Scotland's World Cup qualifying draw against Macedonia at Hampden Park and is expected to resume up front alongside Luciano Becchio. Aidy White, who captained the Republic of Ireland Under-21s in Italy this week and defender Tom Lees, who made his debut for England Under-21s, are both likely to be included.

Huddersfield v Derby County

Huddersfield pair Sean Scannell and Joel Lynch could face late fitness tests. Striker Scannell, a summer signing from Crystal Palace, missed the draw at Ipswich last time out due to a hamstring injury, while defender Lynch, signed from Nottingham Forest in July, is struggling with an Achilles problem. Calum Woods replaced Lynch in the closing stages at Ipswich and is likely to step in if required. Midfielder Oscar Gobern has been short of match fitness after taking a knock earlier in the season and has yet to make a league appearance for Huddersfield this season, but winger Danny Ward (ankle) made his first start at Portman Road. Latest signing Adam Hammill, on loan from Wolves until January, stepped off the bench against Ipswich and is pushing for a place in the starting line-up as Simon Grayson's side chase their second home league win of the season.

Derby will, meanwhile, check on the fitness of midfielder Paul Coutts. The Rams resume Championship action on Saturday following the international break but Coutts has been laid low by a touch of flu and has done very little training during the first part of this week. Manager Nigel Clough hopes the 24-year-old summer signing from Preston will be able to take his place in the starting line-up in west Yorkshire. Gareth Roberts (hamstring) was replaced in the latter stages of the 5-1 home win over Watford prior to the international break, but Clough confirmed the veteran left-back has suffered no ill effects in the intervening two weeks. Forward Jamie Ward, midfielder Jeff Hendrick and defender Kieron Freeman have all returned unscathed from international duty but teenage striker Mason Bennett faces a spell on the sidelines after suffering a thigh strain while playing for Derby's Under-21 squad last weekend.

Hull City v Millwall

Hull defender Paul McShane is doubtful for the home game with Millwall due to illness. The Republic of Ireland international, a late substitute in the win over Bolton last time out, is manager Steve Bruce's only new selection concern. Winger Ahmed Elmohamady is expected to start again after Egypt's midweek friendly against Cameroon was cancelled because of safety fears, while midfielder Corry Evans and goalkeeper Ben Amos have returned unscathed from international duty with Northern Ireland and England Under-21s respectively. Midfielder Stephen Quinn is likely to start again following his goalscoring debut against Bolton, while defender Liam Rosenior and £2.6million summer signing Nick Proschwitz may have to settle for a place on the substitutes' bench again. Tom Cairney will be sidelined for around three months after sustaining a knee injury in the recent Capital One Cup defeat to Doncaster and another midfielder, Jack Hobbs (cruciate ligament), is hoping to return to action before Christmas.

Millwall skipper Paul Robinson is in line to make his first appearance of the season at Hull. The long-serving centre-half missed the start of the campaign after undergoing a hernia operation over the summer but is now back to full fitness. Midfielder Tamika Mkandawire is also back in full training but will not be risked just yet. Mkandawire has been sidelined since November with a knee injury and will continue to build up his match fitness in the reserves before being considered for a first-team return. Winger Liam Feeney has been ruled out for two months with the ankle injury he suffered against Middlesbrough a fortnight ago and full-back Jack Smith remains a doubt with a thigh strain.

Middlesbrough v Ipswich Town

Middlesbrough manager Tony Mowbray will await news on a series of injury doubts before naming his team to face Ipswich. Midfielders Josh McEachran and Kevin Thomson and strikers Ishmael Miller and Muzzy Carayol are all being assessed ahead of the game at the Riverside Stadium. McEachran returned from England Under-21 duty early with a thigh injury, while Thomson is continuing his recovery from a calf problem. Miller damaged an ankle in the 3-1 league defeat at Millwall on September 1 and Carayol emerged from the 2-0 Capital One Cup second round victory at Gillingham four days earlier with a knee problem. Striker Lukas Jutkiewicz is working his way back to full fitness after knee surgery and midfielder Nicky Bailey is targeting a return from a hamstring injury before the end of the month, but defender Rhys Williams is likely to be out until January after undergoing an ankle operation.

Carlos Edwards is set to make a welcome return for Ipswich. Right-back Edwards missed Town's 2-2 draw against Huddersfield - their last fixture before the international break - with a groin injury but has used the two weeks to recover sufficiently and will likely start at the Riverside. Fellow defender Tommy Smith has returned unscathed from a double-header with New Zealand and manager Paul Jewell will ensure tiredness is not a factor before making his team selection. Midfielder Guirane N'Daw is yet to feature for Town following his loan move but could well get his chance to shine against Boro. N'Daw showed promise for the club's Under-21 side last week, a game which also saw the return of fit-again full-back Elliott Hewitt following his hip problems. Hewitt could now possibly make the matchday 18 for the first time since his summer switch.

Nottingham Forest v Birmingham

Nottingham Forest striker Simon Cox could feature against Birmingham, despite his midweek injury setback. Cox was forced off late on in the Republic of Ireland's 4-1 friendly win over Oman on Tuesday evening. It was thought the 25-year-old may have broken a metatarsal in his foot but X-rays have revealed only slight ligament damage. The striker was not expected to feature this weekend but manager Sean O'Driscoll is not ruling Cox out of his plans for the Blues' visit to the City Ground. Should Cox not be deemed fit enough, Billy Sharp is likely to make his full debut. Fellow striker Dexter Blackstock was forced to withdraw from international duty with Antigua & Barbuda due to a slight back problem but he is confident he will be fit to play. O'Driscoll will check on recent signing Henri Lansbury. The midfielder arrived at Forest with an ankle injury but it is hoped he will be in contention.

Leroy Lita is in contention for his Birmingham debut. The experienced Swansea striker has linked up with Blues on a three-month loan deal and provides welcome ammunition to an attack which has managed only four goals in the opening four league fixtures. Centre-back Curtis Davies (ankle) and striker Nikola Zigic (foot) are both expected to be fit having missed the 1-0 win over Peterborough last time out, while full-back David Murphy is also okay having battled through his niggling knee injury over the closing stages. But Darren Ambrose is still struggling and Stephen Carr is a long-term injury victim. Midfielder Keith Fahey returned to full training at the start of this week following his troublesome groin injury and it remains to be seen whether manager Lee Clark will include the Republic of Ireland international in his matchday 18.

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