League Two Preview: Battle on for top spot
By Football News
No fewer than eight sides will be battling to claim top spot in League Two this weekend.
With just three points separating current leaders Oxford United and eighth-placed Newport County, there is plenty of incentive for the clutch of promotion contenders to stake their claim as the season heads towards the hectic Christmas fixture period.
Chris Wilder's Oxford have hit form at just the right time, having lost just one of their last nine in the league.
They can extend that sequence with a home victory over Dagenham and Redbridge, although the chasing pack behind them will be waiting for a slip-up.
Chesterfield and Southend United - in second and third respectively and among a group of five clubs all just a point behind the leaders - both face opposition from England's south coast, with Plymouth Argyle travelling to the Proact Stadium while Southend make the long trip to Torquay United.
Meanwhile, Scunthorpe United in fourth are on the road against a Wycombe Wanderers side without a win in five games in all competitions, including an FA Cup exit last weekend at the hands of Preston North End.
Rochdale are also battling for the play-off places and will be expected to feature in one of the games of the day when seventh-placed Fleetwood Town head to Spotland.
Graham Alexander's visitors have stuttered of late after stringing together a four-match winning run at the start of November, and they will be out to avoid a third straight away league reverse.
Burton Albion, in sixth, host a York City side without a win since October, while Newport are at Portsmouth.
At the bottom of the table, Northampton Town were not expected to be in the relegation places at this stage of the season, but they have at least taken seven points from their last 12 available in the league.
Victory for them at Bury would see them leapfrog their 20th-placed hosts in the table, while fellow strugglers Bristol Rovers could also be sucked into the relegation mire if they fail to win at Morecambe.
Mansfield Town are sliding towards danger after a run of six consecutive League Two defeats and a seventh away at AFC Wimbledon would pile more pressure on boss Paul Cox.
Elsewhere, Cheltenham Town host Hartlepool United, while Exeter City travel to Accrington Stanley.