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Match Preview: Northampton Town vs Scunthorpe United

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The Iron are back in FA Cup action this weekend, as they head to Northampton for a first round fixture.

Scunthorpe have had a recent upturn in fortunes, having gone three league matches unbeaten. United were unfortunate to lose on penalties in midweek against Doncaster Rovers, after a 1-1 draw in the Checkatrade Trophy. The Cobblers’ are also on a three-game unbeaten run, and have recently recorded victories over Gillingham and Blackpool.

Graham Alexander has a couple of injury worries, with Conor Townsend still out of contention, while Neal Bishop is to be assessed ahead of the fixture. Jonny Margetts was set to have an operation yesterday and the club are awaiting the results. Levi Sutton and Luke Williams also remain sidelined.

The United boss made a number of changes to his side on Tuesday night and may opt to revert back to a stronger side as he looks to secure a place in the second round of the competition.

Clayton Lewis is in with a chance of starting, having recorded his first Iron goal on his debut in midweek. Lewis Butroid, who was unlucky to miss out away at Oldham last weekend, could be recalled to the lineup. Lee Novak and Tom Hopper may start up front together again, after the latter got on the scoresheet on Saturday.

Scunthorpe fans can pay on the gate at Sixfields, with tickets priced at a reduced £15 for adults. If you are not heading to the game, you can also take advantage of some special offers at Bet365 Casino.

Tom Hopper celebrating his opening goal at Oldham

Northampton Team News

Town have had a poor start to the season, despite having ambitions of pushing for promotion this campaign. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, who replaced Justin Edinburgh as Northampton boss in September, appears to now be getting the best out of his players following a three-match unbeaten run.

There are a couple of former Iron loanees in the Cobblers’ ranks, who will be hoping to face their old side on Saturday.

Matt Crooks spent the second half of last season on loan at Glanford Park and proved to be a huge hit with the United faithful. The midfielder scored three goals in his twelve matches, before his campaign was cut short through injury. Scunthorpe attempted to sign Crooks on a permanent basis in the summer, but were unable to match Rangers’ asking price for the player.

Defender Brendan Maloney had a brief stint with the Iron back in 2010, in which he showed promise but wasn’t around long enough to make a lasting impression.

Hasselbaink is expected to make changes at the weekend, and has a couple of players back in contention. Matt Crooks and right-back Aaron Phillips returned to training this week, with both of them now in with a chance of being involved in the cup tie. Leon Barnett remains sidelined with an Achilles problem.

The danger man of the Town side is Matt Grimes. The central midfielder is currently on loan from Swansea City and has recently started hitting form, having set up two goals and scored one in his last three appearances. Grimes will look to get the ball down and pull the strings in the middle of the park.

Danger man Matt Grimes

Previous Matches

Scunthorpe are unbeaten in their last six encounters with Northampton, but five of those matches have ended in draws.

In the 2008/09 season, the pair played out a dramatic 4-4 draw at Glanford Park, before then being involved in another goalfest in the reverse fixture, which ended 3-3. They didn’t meet again for another four years and both matches resulted in 1-1 draws. Last season, the two sides played out yet another 1-1 draw at Glanford Park, before United secured a 2-1 victory at Sixfields in January courtesy of a late Josh Morris wonder strike.

The Iron will be hoping to carry on their recent unbeaten run against Northampton and progress through to the next round of the FA Cup on Saturday.

Written by James Murray

Aspiring journalist and Scunthorpe United fan studying at the London South Bank University.

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Northampton’s Hasselbaink says Iron are a ‘very good team’