MK Dons v Hartlepool preview

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew could be without Hatem Ben Arfa for

Saturday’s Premier League meeting with Manchester City.

Midfielder Ben Arfa, who made a goalscoring return against

Fulham on Monday night after missing four games due to a hamstring

problem, is a major doubt after aggravating the injury.

Steven Taylor (hamstring) and Yohan Cabaye (groin surgery)

remain on Newcastle’s long-term casualty list.

Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany is set to miss out after

being substituted in the Manchester derby with a groin injury.

Kompany has a ‘two per cent’ chance of playing, according to

manager Roberto Mancini, so either Kolo Toure or Joleon Lescott

will deputise.

Midfielder Gareth Barry misses out through a one-match ban for

verbally abusing a match official following City’s defeat by


Lee Hughes and Jamal Campbell-Ryce could go back into the Notts

starting line-up for the visit of the Bees.

The duo were expected to feature in the midweek FA Cup

second-round replay with Rotherham but the game was postponed.

Both players have missed the last three games through suspension

and striker Hughes is expected to battle it out with Chris Iwelumo

for a starting berth.

Campbell-Ryce should replace fellow midfielder Alan Judge, who

serves a one-match suspension after picking up his fifth yellow

card of the season at Yeovil last weekend.

Defender Manny Smith made a return to action for the reserves

following four months on the sidelines with a knee problem, but is

unlikely to feature.

Andre Boucaud, Jordan Stewart, and Tom Williams continue to be

ruled out through injury.

Brentford boss Uwe Rosler has no new injury worries to contend

with, but Farid El Alagui, Kevin O’Connor and Tom Adeyemi are all

still on the sidelines.

Striker El Alagui is recovering from a knee injury, club

stalwart O’Connor is a long-term absentee with an ankle problem and

fellow midfielder Adeyemi has hamstring trouble.

Rosler could stick with the side that secured a dramatic 3-2 win

over MK Dons last weekend.

Jonathan Douglas, Marcello Trotta and Harry Forrester all shook

off knocks to play in that game, while Paul Hayes, Sam Saunders and

Jake Reeves are options for Rosler should he wish to tinker with

his starting line-up.

Meanwhile, young defender Alfie Mawson has joined non-league

Maidenhead on loan.

Cheltenham manager Mark Yates could welcome back Jeff Goulding

into his squad following his recovery from a leg injury.

The striker has missed his side’s last two games after picking

up a knock but is available to face the Valiants.

Midfielder Marlon Pack could return to the starting XI having

been rested by the manager.

Yates will give late fitness tests to a number of players but

could have a fully-fit squad to pick from.

He told Cheltenham’s official club website: “Russ Penn took one

hell of a whack on Tuesday night but from the conversation I’ve had

with the physio, it’s that there’s no way he wants to be left out

and that’s the attitude I want.

“There are a few injuries with Jermain McGlashan taking a heavy

whack, Darryl Duffy feels a bit sore but there’s no point worrying

about it. We’ll assess what we’ve got and see where we are.”

Port Vale boss Micky Adams will be without the services of

Jennison Myrie-Williams.

The 24-year-old winger will serve a one-match ban after

collecting his fifth booking of the season against


His absence comes as a big blow to Adams having been

ever-present so far this season, scoring seven goals.

Fellow midfielders Robert Taylor and Chris Shuker are expected

to battle it out for a starting role.

Adams has no further injury or suspension worries ahead of the

game as they look to return to winning ways.

Last weekend’s defeat to in-form Chesterfield extended their

losing streak to three matches in all competitions but Vale remain

five points behind leaders Gillingham in second place.

Dons boss Karl Robinson is hoping Patrick Bamford will be fit

enough to feature.

The teenage striker, who joined on loan from Chelsea last month,

is currently with his parent club receiving treatment on a

hamstring problem.

The injury has ruled Bamford out of his last two matches, but

Robinson remains hopeful he will link up with them again before the


Midfielder Daniel Powell returned for last Saturday’s defeat to

Brentford after recovering from a hamstring problem but had to

settle for a place on the bench.

Powell is back in contention for a starting role as Robinson

looks to bounce back from their first loss since October.

Hartlepool boss John Hughes could have Peter Hartley available

this weekend.

The central defender missed last weekend’s home defeat to

Stevenage with conjunctivitis, but has trained this week and should

come into contention.

But fellow defender Neil Austin remains absent as he serves the

third instalment of a four-game ban following two red cards this


Apart from that Hughes has no other injury concerns and Simon

Walton will be pushing for a start after a hamstring injury

restricted him to the bench against Gary Smith’s side last week,

while Luke James also made a substitute’s return following a double

hernia operation.

Pools, 10 points adrift at the foot of the table, are chasing

their first win under Hughes and their first success since

September 1 – a run of 20 games in all competitions.