THE BIG MATCH

The highlight of this weekend's npower League 1 programme sees two of the division's title chasers meet at Griffin Park, as Brentford host Tranmere Rovers.

Rovers are in pole position coming into the fixture, sitting level on 53 points with second-placed Doncaster Rovers but with a superior goal difference.

They were on a run of four straight league victories - with wins against Crewe Alexandra, Crawley Town, Bury and Scunthorpe United - but lost 1-0 in midweek against Coventry City.

Ronnie Moore is looking for an immediate response from his side and will approach the game looking to get all three points.

"It's a big month for us," Moore told www.tranmererovers.co.uk. "We've got to make sure we don't lose at Brentford but we'll be going there to win the game."

Brentford may be trailing the leaders by four points, lying third, but they are on a better run of form than Tranmere.

The Bees have only lost three times this season, two of which came in their first six outings, and have not conceded in their last three league fixtures.

A Clayton Donaldson double was enough to see off Oldham Athletic last weekend, it was the striker's 16th and 17th goals of the season in all competitions, and that was followed by a 2-1 FA Cup replay victory over Southend United in midweek.

That victory set up a high profile tie against near-neighbours Chelsea in the next round but boss Uwe Rosler was keen to stress the bread and butter of the league remains the primary focus.

The 44-year-old told the Hounslow Chronicle: "I have always said the league is our priority and then the FA Cup.

"We have a big job to do on Saturday. It's fantastic for us that we can play a top team like Tranmere and everybody will be up for that again.

"It's a massive game for us. We are doing well and we have to keep up the momentum. We must focus on the right things."

ELSEWHERE IN THE DIVISION

Colchester will want to bounce back from their loss last time out against Scunthorpe United, and end a run of nine successive defeats, as they travel to rock bottom Hartlepool United.

U's boss Joe Dunne considered his future following the 2-1 loss against the Iron but chairman Robbie Cowling gave the manager his backing, and he will hope that can spur his team on to victory.

The Pools have improved slightly in recent weeks with a win and a draw coming in their last three matches, but they will need a vast turn around if they are to escape danger - they are currently 12 points adrift of safety.

The other team sitting in the bottom four is Bury but their match against Stevenage, who have lost four of their last five, has been postponed.

Before their recent slump, Gary Smith's Stevenage were battling amongst the Play-Off contenders, they now sit 11th.

They are only three points off the lowest Play-Off place, though, which is occupied by Milton Keynes Dons. Karl Robinson's side were due to play Crewe Alexandra, but that game also fell victim to the snowy weather.

With that postponement, Yeovil Town, Bournemouth and Coventry City could all move into the Play-Offs with three points - they take on Preston North End, Walsall and Oldham Athletic respectively.

Crawley Town would have also been in with a shout of moving into the top six but their match against Carlisle United failed a pitch inspection.

Brentford, Sheffield United and Swindon Town are the other three sides in the Play-Offs.

In-form Brentford's match with leaders Tranmere Rovers has been covered, while Sheffield United visit Notts County and Paolo Di Canio's Swindon host Shrewsbury Town.

Doncaster Rovers will be eager to see Brentford beat top of the table Tranmere, as they would then move up to the summit with a win or a draw in their match at home to Leyton Orient.

Elsewhere, Scunthorpe United's match with Portsmouth at Glanford Park has been postponed.

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