Plymouth v Exeter preview
Fri, 29 Mar 2013 11:34:00
Everton manager David Moyes will be forced to make at least two changes for the Premier League clash against Stoke at Goodison Park as Steven Pienaar and Marouane Fellaini are suspended.
Pienaar was sent off in the win over Manchester City and subsequently banned for two games, while Fellaini also has a two-match suspension after notching up 10 yellow cards this season.
Goalkeeper Tim Howard (back) and Tony Hibbert (calf) are sidelined but Phil Jagielka has an outside chance of returning from an ankle injury.
Stoke have Robert Huth back available for Saturday's trip after the defender completed a three-match suspension.
Huth, who served the ban after accepting a violent conduct charge from the Football Association relating to an incident in the Potters' 1-0 defeat at Fulham last month, is expected to make an immediate return to the starting XI, linking up once again with his centre-half partner Ryan Shawcross.
Potters boss Tony Pulis looks set to have a full squad to choose from for the fixture.
Plymouth defender Curtis Nelson is set to return for the Devon derby.
The youngster had been sidelined by a persistent groin problem since late January but has returned to training and is set to be involved.
The Argyle youth product's comeback will be timely with fellow central defender Anthony Charles set to miss out again with a groin injury he picked up in the 2-0 win at Southend.
Striker Warren Feeney is on the comeback trail after two months on the sidelines with an ankle injury but this match is expected to come too soon for the Northern Ireland international.
Captain Conor Hourihane heads into the clash with their biggest rivals on nine yellow cards, one away from a two-game suspension. And striker Reuben Reid will be involved after his loan deal from Yeovil was extended until the end of the season.
Argyle are now two points clear of the League Two relegation zone having suffered just one defeat in their last six games but they have tasted victory over Exeter just once in the previous five meetings.
Exeter boss Paul Tisdale is confident his promotion-chasing squad can handle two crunch games in just over 48 hours, starting with the Devon derby.
That lunchtime clash on Saturday and Monday's visit of Rochdale will decide whether the Grecians have a realistic chance of making it into the League Two automatic promotion places.
But, injuries and suspensions aside, Tisdale is likely to name a similar line-up in both matches.
Matt Oakley (shoulder), Tommy Doherty (back), Alan Gow and Liam Sercombe (both ankle) are all sidelined but the arrival of Brighton midfielder Anton Rodgers and fellow loanee Lawson D'Ath from Reading have helped fill the void.
John O'Flynn will hope to keep his place after netting in the 4-1 win over Bradford, with top scorer Jamie Cureton pushing for a recall after being an unused substitute against the Bantams.
Cureton has scored 20 goals for the Grecians this season but has failed to net in 12 appearances against the Pilgrims since netting for Bristol Rovers at Home Park in January 1998.