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League Two Preview: Plymouth face Carlisle at Ewood Park
2nd January 2016

League leaders Plymouth will celebrate being top at the start of 2016 by travelling to Ewood Park to face play-off contenders Carlisle United, who have to play at Blackburn Rovers’ ground due to the vast flooding in the north of England.

Argyle have three back-to-back league wins and the best away record with 26 points on the road. Manager Derek Adams is also hopeful to keep hold of Hiram Boateng, Oscar Threlkeld and Craig Turner, who have played for the Pilgrims 62 times between them.

United are unbeaten in five league games and are boosted with the news captain Danny Grainger and defender David Atkinson have signed new contracts until the summer of 2017.

At the other end of the table, bottom club Yeovil host York in 22nd in what is a massively important game for both clubs to stay in the Football League.

On 14 points, Town secured an unlikely draw against promotion pushing Oxford but are bottom on merit due to other results on Monday. Ahead of the crunch match the Glovers upgraded Darren Way from interim to permanent manager.

City also drew on Monday to keep them above the relegation zone on goal difference. Now four points behind Hartlepool and Newport, the Minstermen will want to bridge the gap to the teams further up the table.

Elsewhere, Northampton will want to keep the pressure on Plymouth after a tight 1-0 victory against Accrington on Monday. With a game in hand and three points behind first, Town have the best home record with 25 points collected at Sixfields.

18 July 2015 - Pre-Season Friendly - Northampton Town v Derby County - Chris Wilder, Manager of Northampton Town - Photo: Marc Atkins / Offside.

Chris Wilder’s Northampton have the best home record in League Two

In 18th on 28 points, Barnet are the visitors wanting to bounce back after losing 2-1 to Cambridge, but with only five points on the road the Bees have the worst away record in the division.

In third, Oxford dropped points with a surprising draw at Yeovil. With 22 points collected on the road, United need a victory to amend their patchy form of late in order to keep pace with the top-two.

This weekend, the U’s travel to Notts County who are 15th on 30 points and without a manager after parting company with Ricardo Moniz. Despite their lowly league position, the Magpies are still seven points off the play-offs and could still form a push for the top-seven.

In the second relegation place, Dagenham & Redbridge have reappointed John Still for a third-term as Daggers boss. The London side secured their third victory of the season after beating Stevenage 3-1 to move onto 16 points last time out – outside the drop zone on goals scored.

Exeter are their opponents, and after three straight defeats will feel they can get back to winning ways against a side fighting relegation. However, the Grecians, who are 16th on 30 points, will have to pick up their home form after winning just four of their 12 outings at St James Park this term.

After losing to Leyton Orient and drawing with Luton, fourth-placed Portsmouth have fallen eight points behind leaders Plymouth. With a rather unconvincing seven draws from 12 home games, Pompey need to get back to winning ways or be swallowed up by the chasing pack.

Mid-table Crawley are the visitors to Fratton Park. With just six points taken from their last 18, Town have not capitalised on some Christmas period dips in form which has affected a large proportion of teams in the league.

11th July 2014 - Pre Season Friendly - Cheltenham Town v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Cheltenham Town manager Mark Yates - Photo: Paul Roberts / Offside.

Mark Yates’ Crawley have collected just six points from their last six matches

Newport and Hartlepool both have the chance to propel themselves away from the drop when they meet at Rodney Parade on Saturday.

County are winless in four and have been rattled with manager John Sheridan being linked with fellow League Two side Notts County. Pool have lost their last four but have three games in hand against their opponents and other teams in the league, having had a number of games postponed.

All League Two Matches:
Bristol Rovers vs Luton
Cambridge vs Wimbledon
Carlisle vs Plymouth
Exeter vs Dag & Red
Mansfield vs Accrington
Newport vs Hartlepool
Northampton vs Barnet
Notts County vs Oxford Utd
Portsmouth vs Crawley
Stevenage vs Leyton Orient
Wycombe vs Morecambe
Yeovil vs York

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