Team news: Green available for Hammers
All the team news ahead of the weekend's Championship fixtures.
SATURDAY (all kick-offs 3pm unless stated)
West Ham v Crystal Palace (12.45pm)
Robert Green will be in goal for West Ham after his midweek red card was rescinded. Green, recalled to the England squad for next week's friendly against Holland, was due to serve a one-match ban after he was sent off at Blackpool on Tuesday night but the decision has since been overturned. West Ham's other two recent red card villains, skipper Kevin Nolan and fellow midfielder Matt Taylor, are still suspended. Defender Abdoulaye Faye should be fit despite picking up a knock at Blackpool and winger Julien Faubert is expected to shake off a tight hamstring. Papa Bouba Diop remains on the sidelines with a hamstring injury so centre-half James Tomkins is set to continue in midfield.
Dean Moxey could finally return to the Crystal Palace squad. The left-back was due to be involved against Watford last weekend after nearly three months out with a knee injury but he pulled out on Friday night due to an illness. If he is passed fit, Moxey is likely to be on the bench with boss Dougie Freedman considering naming the same starting line-up for a fourth straight game. Palace previously picked up draws at Middlesbrough and Bristol City before thumping the Hornets 4-0 at Selhurst on Saturday. Midfielders Jonathan Williams and David Wright are the only absentees. Williams is continuing his recovery from a broken leg and Wright has a calf injury.
Portsmouth v Leeds United
Crisis club Portsmouth are down to the bare bones. Striker Dave Kitson joins the list of absentees as he serves a one-match ban for his red card at Barnsley last week, and top scorer Erik Huseklepp on Thursday moved to Birmingham to ease the financial problems at Fratton Park. Skipper Liam Lawrence (calf), fellow midfielder David Norris (hernia), winger Kelvin Etuhu (hamstring) and forward Luke Varney (knee) remain on the sidelines. Veteran frontman Kanu (back) and defender Greg Halford (knee) are also doubts. Defenders Aaron Mokoena, Tal Ben Haim and Ricardo Rocha and midfielder Joel Ward have been carrying knocks but will have to be patched up again, while rookie midfielder Scott Allan has arrived on loan from West Brom.
Leeds manager Neil Warnock will be without midfield pair Andros Townsend and Fabian Delph. Townsend, on loan from Tottenham, has opted to cut short his stay at the club and Delph has returned to parent club Aston Villa after being been ruled out for the rest of the season with an ankle injury sustained in the recent defeat at Coventry. Winger Robbie Rogers is also doubtful after suffering concussion. The USA international was stretchered off shortly after making his first appearance for the club in last weekend's win over Doncaster. Defenders Paul Connolly and Leigh Bromby, midfielder Lloyd Sam and forwards Ramon Nunez and Billy Paynter are among those who could return to contention after featuring in a behind-closed-doors friendly with Hull this week.
Bristol City v Blackpool
Bristol City entertain Blackpool without influential midfielder Marvin Elliott. The 27-year-old snapped his Achilles tendon during a training ground accident and will miss the rest of the season. Cole Skuse's absence presents a further problem for the Robins. The utility player broke a toe in a 2-2 draw at Crystal Palace and faces a spell of at least three weeks on the sidelines. Centre-back Louis Carey is on the mend following a calf injury but will play no part against the Seasiders. Midfielder Kalifa Cisse's fitness is once again in doubt after he suffered a recurrence of a previous knee injury during last weekend's 3-0 defeat at Peterborough. However, veteran defender Jamie McAllister has returned to Ashton Gate following a loan spell at Preston and remains an option for manager Derek McInnes.
Blackpool manager Ian Holloway has some concerns in attack. Gary Taylor-Fletcher is a definite absentee after suffering a knee injury in last weekend's FA Cup loss at Everton. Scans revealed Taylor-Fletcher had not suffered ligament damage as initially feared but he is set for a period on the sidelines with bone bruising. Fellow striker Roman Bednar is also a doubt after being on the receiving end of a heavy challenge from West Ham goalkeeper Robert Green on Tuesday night. Green received a 53rd-minute red card for his troubles but the Seasiders still fell to a 4-1 defeat against the Championship leaders. West Brom loanee Bednar was forced to hobble on until full-time as Holloway had used all of his substitutes and the Czech forward will be assessed ahead of the Ashton Gate clash.
Coventry City v Barnsley
Skipper Sammy Clingan and striker Cody McDonald will both be hoping for involvement. The pair have returned to training this week following spells on the sidelines nursing groin and knee injuries respectively but it remains to be seen how much manager Andy Thorn will gamble on their fitness. Neither have got any game time under their belts and are likely to have to watch from the bench as the Sky Blues aim to build on an impressive recent home record which has seen them win four of their last five at the Ricoh Arena. Midfielders David Bell (virus) and Conor Thomas (adductor) returned among the substitutes for last weekend's disappointing 2-0 defeat at Nottingham Forest, while Nathan Cameron (knee) is also back in training. That just leaves fellow defenders Richard Wood (knee) and Hermann Hreidarsson (shoulder) on the sidelines.
Barnsley defender Stephen Foster is hoping to shake off illness. Foster is one of several players to have been hit by a virus this week, but manager Keith Hill has no new injury or suspension problems. Teenage midfielder Paul Digby made his full debut in the midweek home defeat to Birmingham and Hill must decide whether to keep the 17-year-old in his starting line-up or recall Michael Tonge, on loan from Stoke. Stephen Dawson (ankle) must wait at least another week before coming into contention for his first appearance for the Tykes following his arrival from Leyton Orient in January. Another midfielder, David Perkins, remains sidelined with a hamstring problem and defender Bobby Hassell is still nursing a knee injury.
Doncaster Rovers v Peterborough United
Doncaster will welcome back defender Habib Beye. Beye received a straight red card during last month's defeat at Bristol City, but is set to resume his position at the heart of the Rovers defence after serving a three-match ban. Mamadou Bagayoko is poised to start in attack having replaced hamstring injury victim Habib Bamogo to net a brace in last weekend's 3-2 defeat against Leeds. Left-back Tommy Spurr is expected to be fit despite suffering a nasty clash of heads with Robbie Rogers in the same match, while forward Kyle Bennett should return to the substitutes' bench in Bamago's absence. On-loan Tottenham goalkeeper David Button will play the last game of his loan spell as veteran keeper Neil Sullivan has resumed handling work in training but is not yet fully fit following thumb surgery.
New signing Tyrone Barnett will be involved when Peterborough travel to Doncaster. Barnett became Posh's first £1million player this week when he arrived, initially on loan until the end of the season, from Crawley. The 26-year-old striker is likely to start on the bench in South Yorkshire. Ryan Bennett will bid farewell after the match. The highly-rated centre-half was signed by Norwich last month for a fee that Posh are reporting as a club-record sale. The England Under-21 international was immediately loaned back to the Championship club and that deal is set to expire on Saturday.
Brighton and Hove Albion v Ipswich Town
Brighton have no new injury worries. Full-back Marcos Painter is close to recovering from a hamstring injury but will not be ready for the weekend, while fellow defender Tommy Elphick (Achilles) and midfielder Gary Dicker (broken leg) are the only other absentees. But boss Gus Poyet is still expected to tinker with his line-up following a goalless draw at Hull on Wednesday night. Will Buckley could return to the starting XI after coming off the bench at the KC Stadium. Fellow winger Craig Noone, midfielder Matt Sparrow and striker Sam Vokes will also be hoping to reclaim their places while Manchester City loanee Gai Assulin is pushing to make his full debut after a late cameo in midweek.
Ibrahima Sonko and Lee Bowyer are both in contention for Ipswich. Centre-back Sonko has missed the last two games since suffering a dislocated rib during the abandoned fixture against Middlesbrough, while midfielder Bowyer has not featured since the start of January due to a groin injury. But both have been in full training this week and are ready for selection. Whether Paul Jewell - who now boasts a fully-fit squad - opts to change a winning formula remains a different matter.
Burnley v Millwall
Burnley will be without on-loan Millwall forward Josh McQuoid. McQuoid has impressed in six appearances since joining Eddie Howe's side on a 93-day loan deal - often utilised in a wide attacking role - but his is ineligible to face the Lions. Keith Treacy could return to the Clarets' starting line-up in McQuoid's absence despite failing to make the bench for the 1-0 defeat to Reading last time out. Fellow winger Junior Stanislas is Burnley's only remaining injury absentee due to a hamstring strain. Martin Paterson and Danny Ings followed up their recent substitute outings in the first-team with midweek appearances for the reserves as they continue to build fitness after spells on the sidelines with respective hamstring and knee problems.
Jimmy Abdou could return to Millwall's starting line-up. The midfielder had been sidelined for three weeks with a knee injury but made his comeback as a half-time substitute in Tuesday's 3-1 defeat by Middlesbrough. Abdou and full-back Alan Dunne's introductions coincided with a vastly improved performance from the Lions in the second half so both could be in from the start at Turf Moor. Millwall have no new injury concerns but are still without midfield duo Therry Racon (ankle) and Tamika Mkandawire (knee) for the foreseeable future, while back-up goalkeeper Steve Mildenhall could miss out again with an ankle knock.
Watford v Southampton
Tomasz Kuszczak and Marcello Trotta will be looking to make their Watford bows. Kuszczak has arrived on loan from Manchester United and will challenge Scott Loach for the gloves while striker Trotta has signed from Fulham on a month-long deal and will also be aiming to start. Trotta's involvement could well depend on the fitness of fellow forward Troy Deeney who, having missed last weekend's 4-0 reverse at Crystal Palace with a hamstring injury, faces a late fitness test. Midfielder Sean Murray (thigh) will also be assessed having sat out at Selhurst Park while right-back Lee Hodson is expected to have overcome illness in time to keep his place at right-back.
Southampton will check on Frazer Richardson, Jos Hooiveld and Guly do Prado. Right-back Richardson missed last weekend's 4-0 win over Derby due to a thigh injury and centre-half Hooiveld was substituted at half-time with a slight hamstring problem. Brazilian midfielder Guly was also missing against the Rams through illness. Versatile defender Danny Butterfield, who has not started a league game since October, is fit after a hamstring injury and could return to the squad. Japan international Tadanari Lee climbed off the bench to score his first goal for Saints against Derby so he may have earned a place in the starting line-up.
Birmingham City v Nottingham Forest
Loan signing Erik Huseklepp goes straight into the reckoning. Fellow forward Marlon King shrugged off his troublesome groin complaint to start Tuesday's 3-1 victory at Barnsley and should again be involved. Jonathan Spector was forced off late on at Oakwell nursing a hamstring problem but should be okay to continue at right-back. That is good news for manager Chris Hughton with Stephen Carr (knee) still on the sidelines, while striker Nikola Zigic (knee) and midfielder Guirane N'Daw (hamstring) are also likely to miss out once again.
Greg Cunningham could return to the Nottingham Forest squad. Cunningham resumed training this week after a four-match lay-off with a hamstring problem. However, the on-loan Manchester City defender is unlikely to be rushed straight back into the starting line-up. A place on the bench might be a possibility, though. Cunningham's prospective return would be the only change to manager Steve Cotterill's squad.
Middlesbrough v Reading
Middlesbrough midfielder Barry Robson is facing a race against time to be fit. The 33-year-old returned from a three-match lay-off with a dislocated finger and broken bone in his hand in Tuesday night's 3-1 victory at Millwall. That injury remains sore, but he also picked up a thigh strain at the Den and is being assessed, as is Faris Haroun, who has a hamstring problem. Neither he nor Julio Arca (toe) trained on Thursday, but manager Tony Mowbray is hopeful both could be involved. Midfielder Nicky Bailey is back in contention after recovering from a medial ligament injury sustained against Peterborough on New Year's Eve. However, goalkeeper Danny Coyne (calf), midfielder Merouane Zemmama (hernia) and striker Scott McDonald (medial ligament) are still out, while Kevin Thomson completes his two-match ban.
Brian McDermott has a healthy contingent of players at his disposal. McDermott has agreed to extend his contract at the Madejski Stadium until 2015, and with captain Jobi McAnuff making a full recovery from hernia surgery, the Royals are in good shape to make a late surge toward promotion. Defenders Shaun Cummings (hamstring) and Andy Griffin could make a timely return to first-team action at the Riverside, allowing Matt Connolly and Ian Harte to drop to the bench. Winger Michail Antonio is one absentee for the Berkshire outfit, having joined Sheffield Wednesday until the end of the season.