Saturday team news: Murphy fit for Rovers
All the latest team news ahead of Saturday's Championship fixtures.
Barnsley v Middlesbrough
Barnsley's latest signing David Gonzalez Giraldo is expected to start. The 30-year-old Colombian, a free agent following his release from Brighton in May, has been drafted in as cover for Ben Alnwick and Luke Steele. Alnwick starts a three-game ban for his attempted headbutt on Rochdale's Ray Putterill in the Capital One Cup last week, while Steele is not ready to return following a long-term stomach injury. Barnsley will also be without winger Jim O'Brien, while another new arrival, striker Marlon Harewood, could make his league debut for the club after signing a one-year deal on Tuesday. Teenage defender John Stones is poised to make his first league start for the Tykes, but summer signing Mido is sidelined after rupturing a hamstring in the warm-up prior to the friendly with Doncaster earlier this month.
Middlesbrough boss Tony Mowbray has a near fully-fit squad to choose from. Striker Lukas Jutkiewicz is two or three weeks away from a return after his knee injury but Mustapha Carayol has recovered from the hamstring strain that forced him off at half-time against Bury last week. Joe Bennett also returned to training this week following a knee injury as was Faris Haroun (groin).
Birmingham City v Charlton Athletic
Stephen Carr will be given every chance to prove his fitness for the game. The veteran Blues skipper missed Tuesday's 5-1 Capital One Cup demolition of Barnet with a thigh injury and his fitness will be reviewed at the last possible minute. Youngsters Will Packwood and Ravel Morrison were substituted during the cup triumph having appeared to struggle with injury, but manager Lee Clark insists it was more fatigue than anything else and both are in contention. Goalkeeper Jack Butland looks set to finally make his long-awaited City debut having made England's Euro 2012 squad over the summer before featuring for Team GB's Olympic side and then making his Three Lions senior debut against Italy on Wednesday night.
Charlton boss Chris Powell, meanwhile, is poised to recall a host of players for their return to the Championship. Skipper Johnnie Jackson and last season's top scorer Bradley Wright-Phillips started Tuesday night's Capital One Cup clash with Leyton Orient on the bench, although both came on during extra time before the Addicks bowed out on penalties. They will be in the starting line-up while full-backs Chris Solly and Rhoys Wiggins, centre-half Michael Morrison, midfielder Bradley Pritchard and striker Yann Kermorgant are also set to return as Powell turns to the bulk of the side which romped to the League One title last term. Veteran midfielder Andy Hughes is recovering from Achilles surgery while young goalkeeper Nick Pope and defender Yado Mambo are out with knee injuries.
Burnley v Bolton Wanderers
Burnley are sweating on the fitness of Chris McCann. McCann headed the Clarets' first goal as Eddie Howe's men came from behind to overcome Port Vale 3-1 in the first round of the Capital One Cup, but the midfielder went over on his ankle later in the contest and is rated as 50/50 to face the Trotters. Republic of Ireland winger Keith Treacy remains on the sidelines with a groin strain alongside midfielder Marvin Bartley, who hopes to resume training shortly after an ankle problem. Martin Paterson and Sam Vokes will contest a starting place alongside midweek goalscorer Charlie Austin in attack having returned from international duty with Northern Ireland and Wales respectively.
David N'Gog is Bolton's main injury concern ahead of the trip due to a back problem. On-loan Arsenal youngster Benik Afobe and returning Team GB squad member Marvin Sordell are ready to feature in attack alongside veteran skipper Kevin Davies, but Owen Coyle hopes to have N'Gog among his forward options. Midfielder Stuart Holden remains on the sidelines as he continues his rehabilitation from knee surgery, but last season's other long term injury victims, Lee Chung-Yong and Tyrone Mears, are available once more.
Crystal Palace v Watford
Goalkeeper Julian Speroni should return to the Crystal Palace line-up but skipper Paddy McCarthy could miss out. Speroni was rested for Tuesday's Capital Cup win at Exeter in favour of Lewis Price, who played most of Palace's run to the semi-finals of the competition last season. Defender McCarthy was not risked in midweek due to a groin niggle and he will be checked over. Jonathan Williams is also struggling with a calf strain but fellow midfielders Mile Jedinak and Jonathan Parr could be added to the squad after spells on international duty with Australia and Norway respectively. Summer signings Joel Ward, Aaron Martin and Aaron Wilbraham are in line to make their league debuts after featuring in midweek.
Sean Murray remains a doubt. The midfielder has returned to training having missed last weekend's Capital One Cup win over Wycombe with a calf problem but he is not expected to be fit enough to feature at Selhurst Park. Fitz Hall definitely misses out due to a knock sustained in pre-season, as does Stephen McGinn who is still not 100 per cent due to his troublesome knee injury. Striker Alex Geijo is considered not yet ready following his summer arrival at the club, while fellow new boy Steve Leo Beleck (leg) is back in training but also unlikely to be involved. Czech Republic international defender Daniel Pudil missed out against Wanderers due to a leg injury sustained against Tottenham in pre-season and he is set to return. Goalkeeper Manuel Almunia is also poised to make his league debut following his summer switch from Arsenal.
Derby County v Sheffield Wednesday
Derby new boy James O'Connor could recover from injury to be included. Midfielder Jeff Hendrick has trained this week wearing a splint to protect the wrist injury he suffered during the pre-season friendly defeat at Chesterfield last Saturday.Jamie Ward will definitely be included after missing the penalty shoot-out exit to Scunthorpe while on international duty with Northern Ireland. Midfielder Craig Bryson and left-back Gareth Roberts are also expected to train on Friday. Both players were doubtful ahead of the Scunthorpe game due to niggling injuries and they were substituted after 62 minutes of the 5-5 draw in midweek.
Sheffield Wednesday strikers Gary Madine and Chris Maguire are both expected to be included in the Owls' squad. Both players sustained knocks in the midweek Capital One Cup win at Oldham, but have since come through training with no serious problem. But midfielder Chris Lines will play no part as he is still struggling with the groin injury that kept him out of the Oldham game. Manager Dave Jones has no new injury or suspension worries as his side kick-off a new season in the Championship for the first time since 2010.
Hull City v Brighton and Hove Albion
Striker Matty Fryatt will miss Hull's opening game of the season. Fryatt sustained an Achilles injury in the Capital One Cup penalty shootout win over Rotherham last weekend and is expected to be replaced in Steve Bruce's starting line-up by Aaron Mclean. Sone Aluko, a summer signing from Rangers, must wait a little longer for his competitive Tigers debut as the club are still without international clearance, but new Swiss goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic has been cleared to play and should be included in the squad.
Craig Mackail-Smith and Kazenga LuaLua should return. Striker Mackail-Smith missed Tuesday's Capital One Cup defeat at Swindon with a groin problem and winger LuaLua had a tight hamstring, but boss Gus Poyet says both are available. Wideman Will Buckley is also close to shaking off his hamstring trouble but Poyet is not expected to risk him just yet. Forward Will Hoskins is still sidelined with the broken foot he suffered during pre-season. Goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak and full-backs Bruno and Wayne Bridge will be handed their league debuts after making their first competitive appearances in midweek, while Adam El-Abd is pushing to return at centre-half after being left on the bench at the County Ground.
Ipswich Town v Blackburn Rovers
Andy Drury is expected to be fit. The midfielder sustained a calf injury in the pre-season clash against Southend and has missed the club's last three games, including Tuesday's Capital One Cup triumph over Bristol Rovers. But Drury returned to training on Wednesday and should be involved unless he suffers any ill-effects ahead of the weekend. Damien Delaney, Josh Carson and Ronan Murray all missed the midweek cup-tie due to international commitments but returns to the fold to face Rovers. That leaves summer signing Elliott Hewitt as Town's only absentee.
Danny Murphy is poised to lead Blackburn's bid for Championship promotion having shaken off a foot injury. Former Cottagers team-mate Dixon Etuhu is poised to make his debut alongside Murphy in the centre of the park, while Nuno Gomes and Colin Kazim-Richards are set to form a new-look Rovers strike pairing. Sweden international defender Martin Olsson is yet to resume training following groin surgery, while reserve goalkeeper Matt Bunn is set for a month out due to a hip operation. Ruben Rochina is not to be risked in attack having only returned to training on Thursday from a torn hamstring, while Steven Nzonzi will not be considered for selection by Kean after stating his desire to leave the club.
Leicester City v Peterborough United
Sean St Ledger and Tom Parkes missed the Capital One Cup tie at Torquay on Tuesday night and will again be missing. St Ledger has been ruled out with a knee injury while Parkes is serving a four-match ban carried over from last season for a red card he received while on loan at Bristol Rovers and the 20-year-old must miss one more game. Teenager Liam Moore, who has been partnering captain Wes Morgan at the heart of the Leicester defence, may have suffered a fractured cheekbone during the cup win against Torquay and the club are waiting for results of a scan.
Tyrone Barnett and Emile Sinclair have been declared fit by Peterborough manager Darren Ferguson. Barnett, who completed his permanent £1million-plus move to London Road from Crawley during the close season, missed the Capital One Cup win over Southend with a hamstring problem while fellow striker Sinclair has recovered after undergoing a minor ankle operation over the summer. Both may struggle to find their way into Ferguson's starting line-up after a three-pronged attack of Lee Tomlin, George Boyd and Paul Taylor all got themselves on the scoresheet in the 4-0 cup win on Tuesday night. Summer signing Nathaniel Mendez-Laing (hamstring), Daniel Kearns (knee), Tommy Rowe (collar bone) and long-term injury victim David Hibbert remain out.
Millwall v Blackpool
Andy Keogh and David Forde will be added to the Millwall squad. The duo missed Tuesday night's Capital One Cup penalty shoot-out defeat by Crawley as they were on international duty with the Republic of Ireland. Striker Keogh could go straight into the starting line-up but goalkeeper David Forde will probably be on the bench with Maik Taylor likely to keep his place. Skipper Paul Robinson is still recovering from a summer hernia operation and misses out along with midfielder Tamika Mkandawire, who has had knee surgery. New signings Scott Malone and Chris Taylor will make their league debuts having featured for the first time on Tuesday along with Danny Shittu, who is back for a second spell with the Lions.
Kevin Phillips has recovered from a hamstring problem. If Phillips returns to the starting line-up, midfielders Angel Martinez and Ludo Sylvestre will be most vulnerable should Holloway elect for a return to a fluid front four featuring Tom Ince, Matt Phillips and Gary Taylor-Fletcher. Further moves in the transfer market this week have brought in Algerian striker Adda Djeziri, Spanish midfielder Alberto Noguera and 18-year-old former Bolton player James Caton, and all three may be involved against the Lions along with Elliot Grandin. Attacking midfielder Grandin is back in Tangerine following last season's loan spell with Nice in his native France.
Nottingham Forest v Bristol City
Simon Cox could make his Nottingham Forest debut. Cox, who arrived from West Brom on a three-year deal for an undisclosed fee on Tuesday, will have his fitness checked following his midweek trip to Serbia with the Republic of Ireland squad. Manager Sean O'Driscoll has no injury concerns as summer signing Simon Gillett has recovered from the slight knock that saw him miss out at Fleetwood and the versatile Chris Cohen is training again after his long-term knee injury. Versatile defender Sam Hutchinson could be included in the squad after joining the club on a six-month loan deal from Chelsea on Thursday afternoon.
Bristol City boss Derek McInnes is sweating on the fitness of striker Ryan Taylor. Jon Stead and Brett Pitman are the only current options available to McInnes after failing to replace Nicky Maynard following his January move to West Ham. Midfielder Marvin Elliott may have earned himself a starting place after grabbing a late consolation against the Gills. Stephen Pearson is likely to make way but Yannick Bolasie also impressed from the bench giving his manager much to consider in the midfield. Paul Anderson could face his former employers after switching to Ashton Gate in the summer.