SPIREITES’ hosts this weekend, Oxford United, did their play-off hopes no harm in midweek.
A late winner from Michael Raynes saw off a stubborn Barnet side to leave the U’s in ninth, five points off the final season extending spot. Former Spireite Deane Smalley came on as a sub in the game and hopes to start alongside another man who has had a loan with Chesterfield, Andy Whing. However a third ex Spireite, Peter Leven, is out with a knee injury.
The win means Oxford have picked up maximum points in five of their last seven games with a draw with York City and a heavy home defeat against Rotherham United thrown in the mix.
Chesterfield, who look as though they need eight wins from nine remaining games to reach the top seven, have got their defence in decent shape, with just three concessions in seven games. But they need to score more if their miniscule chance of reaching the play-offs is to materialise.
Jack Lester and Armand Gnanduillet look set to start at Oxford with Tendayi Darikwa and Drew Talbot pressing for returns after missing out of a starting spot due to injury and illness.
Talbot could be considered for a spot at full back or on the wing. Richard Brindley and Conor Townsend are the players most under threat in the starting line-up.