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Match Preview: Scunthorpe United vs Blackburn Rovers

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The Iron face Blackburn in what could be one of their toughest matches of the season on Tuesday night.

Scunthorpe come into the fixture on the back of a 0-0 draw at home to Blackpool and remain unbeaten in the league, while Blackburn won 3-0 away at Rochdale on Saturday and are currently on a three-game winning streak.

There are no new fresh injury worries for Graham Alexander’s side, with Luke Williams and Jonny Margetts still out and the confirmation that Andrew Crofts will be out for the next few weeks. Murray Wallace suffered a dead leg in the first half at the weekend, but he should be fine.

The Iron boss will be hoping for a better performance than Saturday’s goalless draw, after his side failed to create many clear cut chances. Alexander may opt to utilise his squad for this fixture and add some fresh legs into the starting lineup.

Jordan Clarke is pushing to regain his spot at right-back, but Levi Sutton has put in a few solid performances in his absence. Hakeeb Adelakun struggled on Saturday, as he gave the ball away on a number of occasions, which could mean Duane Holmes is drafted into the lineup. Tom Hopper is another man under pressure, as he struggled to get into the game against Blackpool and could be replaced by either Kevin van Veen or Lee Novak in an attempt to sharpen up the front line.

The key players for the Iron will be centre-halfs Rory McArdle and Murray Wallace, given Blackburn’s recent form in front of goal. The United defence has so far conceded just two league goals this season and has played a crucial role in the side picking up points.

Blackburn Team News

Rovers had a slow start to the season, losing their first two fixtures, before then going on to win their next three matches. Each of those wins have come against decent League One opposition, with victories away at Bradford and Rochdale and a 4-1 home win over MK Dons.

Tony Mowbray has, without doubt, one of the best squad’s in the league at his disposal.¬†Unlike Blackpool on Saturday, this Blackburn team will likely try and take the game to Scunthorpe, as they come into the fixture full of confidence. This a game for them to prove that they are worthy favourites for the League One title.

Former Iron loanee Richie Smallwood should be in line to face his old side, after playing almost every minute of the campaign so far. The midfielder played nineteen times for Scunthorpe, and scored his only goal for the club on his debut. Smallwood showed glimpses of quality in spells – but the Iron fans simply didn’t see enough of him.

The Rovers boss is expected to travel with a similar squad that went to Scotland on Saturday, with Scott Wharton, Ryan Nyambe and Darragh Lenihan all still sidelined through injury. Mowbray is sweating over the fitness of key first team players Charlie Mulgrew and Craig Conway. Mulgrew missed the game against Rochdale with an ankle injury, while Conway was forced off with a hip problem.

Big-money summer signing Bradley Dack could brought into the lineup, should Conway be unavailable. Striker Danny Graham could be in line for a start, after he scored off the bench at Rochdale.

This Blackburn side have a number of danger men, but the main threat will be Dominic Samuel, who seems to have found his scoring boots of late. The striker has four goals to his name in all competitions and could pose a real threat to the Iron defence.

Previous Matches

The two sides have only ever played each other three times in competitive matches, given that Rovers have spent much of their history in the top leagues of English football.

In 1972, Scunthorpe played Blackburn for the first time, when the two club’s met in the old Division Three. United were beaten 3-0 away from home, before drawing 1-1 in their home fixture in April of 1973. The Iron would finish bottom of the league that season, while Rovers finished in third place. It would be 41 years before the pair would meet again, this time in a League Cup clash. Scunthorpe ran out 2-1 victors at Ewood Park, despite Blackburn being two divisions above United.

The Iron will be hoping to make a real statement against their promotion rivals and record their first league win over Blackburn on Tuesday night.

Written by James Murray

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

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