Scunthorpe United face Notts County at home in the first round of the newly named Carabao Cup tonight.
Both sides head in to the match on the back of what they will regard as disappointing opening day results, with the Iron drawing 1-1 at home with AFC Wimbledon while County lost 3-0 away at Coventry City.
The two teams actually met at the same stage of the competition last year, with Scunthorpe progressing to the next round after two extra time goals from Kevin van Veen.
Graham Alexander has been keeping his cards close to his chest ahead of the first round tie, but has said that he wants to utilise his squad and get them used to the new system.
Neal Bishop will definitely miss out against his former club after being forced off with a dead leg early on in the second-half on Saturday. Luke Williams and Lewis Butroid will remain absentees, with Williams only returning to full training last week while Butroid only rejoined training again on Monday morning.
There has been no further developments regarding Tom Hopper’s potential move to Mansfield, so the striker is expected to once again be named on the substitutes bench.
The Iron boss has the tough choice of whether to stick with a similar line-up that drew with the Dons, or to give some of his fringe players a chance to impress. Alexander is expected to continue with the new formation – something many Scunthorpe fans will be frustrated to hear.
If changes are made, Rory Watson will be looking to step in for Matt Gilks in goal and make his professional debut. Charlie Goode may come in and replace one of his fellow centre-backs in the back three. With Neal Bishop out, Sam Mantom is likely to be drafted in for the 36-year-old in midfield, but faces competition from Devonte Redmond, who will be hoping to make his Iron debut. Duane Holmes may be called upon to replace either Josh Morris or Hakeeb Adelakun in one of the attacking midfield positions, with Kevin van Veen eager to get the nod in a forward role. The Dutchman could even partner Paddy Madden up front if Alexander decides to tweak his formation slightly.
Notts County Team News
The Magpies will be hoping to bounce back from their defeat at Coventry on Saturday and also avenge their early exit from the competition at the hands of Scunthorpe last season.
Manager Kevin Nolan is attempting to gel his squad together after almost completely overhauling the Magpies this summer, with thirteen new signings being made and nine players heading out of the club.
Just like the Wimbledon squad at the weekend, the Notts County side features a number of former Iron players.
Terry Hawkridge joined the Nottingham side from Lincoln City earlier on in the summer. The midfielder had a decent spell at Scunthorpe, as his effort levels were always appreciated by the fans, despite him not being the best technical player.
Former United striker Jonathan Forte returns after an unconvincing four years at Glanford Park, in which he scored just nine goals. On his day, Forte can be a handful, so he has the potential to cause the Iron defence some problems.
Shaun Brisley had a short loan spell with the club, but the centre-back failed to impress in his seven appearances.
County’s Michael O’Connor will not feature tomorrow, as he continues his long recovery after undergoing knee surgery. The midfielder put in a number of solid performances for the Iron in his three years with the club.
O’Connor is the only absentee for County, and Nolan is likely to make changes from the side that played on Saturday.
Jonathan Forte is expected to be involved despite being left out of the squad for the game at Coventry, but faces competition up front in the form of experienced strikers Shola Ameobi and Jon Stead. Ryan Yates is likely to make his debut after the midfielder joined the club on loan from Nottingham Forest, with Jorge Grant, who is also a fellow Forest loanee, and Rob Milsom pushing for starting spots.
The Iron have an abysmal record against Notts County, having only beaten the Magpies once in the last nine encounters between the two sides.
As previously mentioned, that win came in August of last year at the same stage of this competition. Five of those matches ended in defeat, two of which resulted in County knocking Scunthorpe out of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
The Iron will be hoping to put a good performance together and once again progress through to the second round of the competition with victory over Notts County.