Ins, outs and injury doubts for this weekend's football fixtures
New Peterborough boss Darren Ferguson is the focus of this week's Gaffer Tracker
Hammers boosted by Arnautovic scan
Little has gone right for West Ham over the last week but they received some good news on Wednesday with a scan showing that Marko Arnautovic suffered no more than major bruising when suffering a foot injury during a 3-0 loss at Wolves on Tuesday.
It was a miserable performance from the Hammers and it seemed to go from bad to worse when Arnautovic was forced off the pitch in the 76th minute.
The Austrian has spent much of the month trying to force a move to China but recently returned to the squad and needs to be at his best to help West Ham emerge from their recent slump.
West Ham barely laid a glove on Wolves and were knocked out of the FA Cup last Saturday when losing 4-2 at League One basement boys Wimbledon.
Seasiders sweat on Spearing
Blackpool captain Jay Spearing has featured in 28 of their 29 Sky Bet League One games this season, so there was concern when the 30-year-old limped off with a knee injury just seven minutes into Tuesday's 2-2 draw at home to Wycombe.
On Wednesday Spearing tweeted a picture of himself lying down with his right leg in a brace and congratulated his teammates for twice coming from behind to take a point.
However, he appears set for a spell on the sidelines and that could deal a major blow to the Tangerines' fading playoff hopes.
There is better news for Blackpool regarding striker Chris Long, who is expected to shake off a muscle strain in time for Saturday's trip to Accrington.
Port caught short in attack
Port Vale parted company with manager Neil Aspin on Wednesday and are short of striking options for their clash at home to Tranmere.
Striker Ricky Miller continues a three-game ban and attacking midfielder Ben Whitfield and centre-forward Tom Pope are ruled out with injuries.
Given the reduced goal threat they could do with keeping things tight at the back but that will be tougher without defender James Gibbons, who was sent off towards the end of Tuesday's 0-0 draw at Newport, triggering a three-match suspension.
Tigers facing defensive headache
Hull have made excellent progress over the last two months – banking 22 points from ten games since the start of December – but their push towards the Sky Bet Championship playoffs could be derailed by a mounting injury list.
Nigel Adkins' side are looking stretched in defence with Jordy De Wijs (calf) and Reece Burke (knee) missing last weekend's 3-0 loss at Blackburn and Ondrej Mazuch (Achilles) suffering an injury which forced him off after 42 minutes.
Hull's 14-goal top scorer Jarrod Bowen (knee) also failed to finish the game at Ewood Park and would be a huge loss if he spent any length of time on the sidelines.
But there is some better news for the Tigers with attacking midfielder Jackson Irvine back in contention after returning from Asian Cup duty with Australia.
Mixed news for Swansea
Swansea had a frustrating Tuesday night, drawing 3-3 at home to a Birmingham side who were reduced to ten men for the entire second half after Kristian Pedersen was dismissed and lost key midfielder Leroy Fer to a hamstring strain.
At his powerful best Fer is a major asset but his season has been severely disrupted by injury.
The Dutchman has started just 15 of Swansea's 29 league games and lasted 15 minutes against Birmingham before limping off to be replaced by Jay Fulton.
He looks a major doubt for their trip to Bristol City but the midfield void could be filled by Tom Carroll (hip and groin) who is back in full training and hoping to make his first appearance since mid-October.
Darren Ferguson - Peterborough
New managers often benefit from a honeymoon period and Darren Ferguson is guaranteed plenty of support from Peterborough fans after returning for a third spell in the Posh dugout, replacing Steve Evans.
Ferguson's first two spells at London Road were mostly successful.
In the first Ferguson led Peterborough from League Two to the Championship, winning promotions in 2007-08 and 2008-09.
And in the second he steered them back to the Championship (2010-11) and led them to Football League Trophy success in 2013-14.
Peterborough were relegated from the second tier in 2012-13 but their points total of 54 stands as a record for any side who have dropped out of the division.
Another promotion will be on his mind with Peterborough sixth in League One but in need of a lift after winning just three of their last 14 league games.
However, Posh face a tough battle with Doncaster to finish sixth and even if promotion isn't achieved this term, the partnership with Ferguson should help them achieve longer-term progress.
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