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Match Preview: Scunthorpe United vs Blackpool

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The Iron face newly promoted Blackpool at home on Saturday, hoping to continue their rich vein of form in the league.

Scunthorpe come into the match in a buoyant mood, having won their last three league games, with the latest coming in a 1-0 victory away at Bury. Blackpool will be equally as confident coming into the fixture, after seeing off AFC Wimbledon at home last weekend.

Graham Alexander has no new injury concerns, and will be able to name the same squad that travelled to Bury, if he wishes to do so. It has been revealed that Luke Williams has recently undergone surgery on his hamstring injury, which will keep him out for the next two-to-three months, and Jonny Margetts continues to miss out with a knee injury.

The Iron boss is likely to continue with a similar lineup to the one that saw off Bury last Saturday. Jordan Clarke may come back in to replace Levi Sutton but, after stepping in superbly for Clarke over the last few weeks, the youngster could keep his place at right-back.

Josh Morris will be hoping to build up his excellent recent form on the left wing, with Hakeeb Adelakun expected to keep his place on the right. Duane Holmes is pushing for a starting spot, but will more than likely be left to provide an impact from the bench. Midfielder Andrew Crofts will be hoping to make his debut for the club, after he signed from Charlton Athletic last week.

Paddy Madden is expected to start up front, but after the recent arrival of Lee Novak and the return to fitness of Kevin van Veen, Tom Hopper’s place in the side is under threat. However, Scunthorpe’s recent good form has coincided with Hopper’s reinstatement into the starting lineup, so he may well continue up top.

Josh Morris wheels away after his late winner at Bury

Blackpool Team News

The Tangerines may have their widely known problems off the field, but things have started to turn around on it over the last year. Gary Bowyer’s side have had a positive start to the season on their return to League One, winning three of their five matches, and have remained unbeaten in the league since their defeat at Bradford City on the opening day.

Despite achieving promotion last season, there has been a number of changes made to the Blackpool squad this summer, with fifteen players coming in and sixteen heading out of the door. It appears as though Bowyer has already managed to gel them all together, though, given recent results.

One of those summer signings was former Iron midfielder Jimmy Ryan, who will be hoping to line up against his old side on Saturday. Many United fans will argue that they never saw the best of Ryan during his time at the club, in which he scored just four goals in 76 appearances between 2011 and 2013.

Defender Will Aimson is back in contention on Saturday, after recently sitting out the wins over Oldham and Wimbledon. The fixture may come a bit too soon for striker Armand Gnanduillet, who has so far failed to start a league game this campaign and is not expected to return until next week. Fellow striker Mark Cullen will remain sidelined with a hamstring injury and Jim McAllister is still continuing his recovery from a broken leg.

The danger man of the Tangerines side is Sean Longstaff, who joined the club on loan until January from Newcastle United. The central midfielder has been in superb form of late, scoring in all four of the matches he has started in so far this season, and he will look to pull the strings in the middle of the park.

Danger man midfielder Sean Longstaff

Previous Matches

The Iron have a woeful recent record against Blackpool, who are certainly regarded as one of their bogey sides, as Scunthorpe’s last win over them came way back in 2006. The last six encounters have resulted in five wins for the Tangerines, alongside one draw.

The pair met in the Championship in 2007 at Bloomfield Road, where Blackpool picked up a 1-0 win, before the sides met a month later and played out a 1-1 draw at Glanford Park. Two years later, the Iron were subjected to a 4-1 thrashing away, before then being beaten 4-2 at home by a Seasiders side that would be promoted to the Premier League later that season. Scunthorpe were once again beaten at home by Blackpool in 2015, and then suffered a humiliating 5-0 defeat at the start of 2016 on the West coast. That match would see the end of Mark Robins’ tenure at the club.

The Iron will be hoping to maintain their unbeaten league start and record their first victory in over a decade against the Tangerines on Saturday.

Written by James Murray

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

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