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League One Preview: Burton travel to Rochdale and Gillingham face Blackpool
30th January 2016

An FA Cup weekend means another Saturday with a reduced fixture list in League One, however five of the top six clubs are still in action.

The highlight sees league leaders Burton travel to Rochdale’s Spotland in the hope of preserving their three-point cushion at the summit.

A 1-0 victory against play-off hopefuls Peterborough in midweek saw Albion maintain the gap to second-placed Gillingham, but Nigel Clough’s men have a crucial game in hand which could lift them well clear of any potential challenge.

The Brewers take on a Rochdale side that suffered a heavy 6-1 defeat to Barnsley last weekend – a slump in form that has left them just six precarious points off of the relegation zone.

The Gills will be looking to keep the pressure on the leaders with a trip to a Blackpool side unbeaten in three.

Justin Edinburgh’s men will be boosted with the short-term loan signing of Brighton defender Adam Chicksen, as the Kent club look to continue their chase for an automatic promotion spot. Meanwhile, draws with Walsall and Sheffield United lifted the Tangerines two points clear of the drop zone, with manager Neil McDonald preparing for another tough visit from a top team.

04 January 2014 FA Cup 3rd Round - Southend United v Millwall FC - Neil Harris, temporary Millwall FC manager. Photo: Mark Leech

Neil Harris’ Millwall will look to continue their push for promotion this weekend.

Millwall celebrate their move into the top-six by hosting Crewe, who are quickly falling too far from safety.

The Lions have three consecutive wins which lifted them a point above the Blades, but their patchy home form has prevented them climbing higher. The Alex are without a win in seven and are as many points from safety, who now need anything to keep any hope of surviving.

Elsewhere, high-flying Wigan take on a Port Vale side who have also seen an upturn in form.

The Latics jumped ahead of Coventry into fourth place, eight points off the top spot and five behind automatic promotion. Unbeaten in seven, Gary Caldwell’s team will want to continue this brilliant run of form. Rob Page’s men have taken 10 points from their last five league matches, and have signed striker Theo Robinson and winger Matthew Kennedy to bolster their squad.

The Sky Blues will want to reclaim fourth place when they host a Scunthorpe side who picked up their first win since Boxing Day.

City are coming off the back of two losses, including to Burton, which has seen them fall nine points from the summit.

A struggling Fleetwood will want to hoist themselves out of the bottom-four with a trip to out-of-form Bradford.

Being just one point from safety, Town know that any points will give them a fighting chance of staying up, while City have fallen from the battle for a play-off place after taking a measly four points since Christmas, although they have signed Birmingham striker Wes Thomas on a three-month loan deal.

Finally, Barnsley have taken the maximum 15 points since Santa Claus has been and gone. The Tykes are on a brilliant run of form which has not only lifted them out of a relegation battle, but a massive eight points clear. They travel to Swindon who are a point behind this weekend’s opponents and unbeaten in three.

League One Fixtures

Saturday, 3pm

Blackpool vs Gillingham
Bradford City vs Fleetwood Town
Coventry City vs Scunthorpe United
Millwall vs Crewe Alexandra
Rochdale vs Burton Albion
Swindon Town vs Barnsley
Wigan Athletic vs Port Vale

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