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Match Preview: Scunthorpe United vs Southend United

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The Iron are once again in home action this afternoon when they welcome Southend to Glanford Park.

Scunthorpe come into the fixture on the back of a 2-2 draw with MK Dons last weekend and are without a win in their last four competitive matches. Meanwhile, the Shrimpers are without a victory in their last three games and suffered defeat to Bradford on Saturday following an injury-time penalty.

Graham Alexander’s side is currently going through a crisis in midfield, with central midfielders Sam Mantom, Andrew Crofts, Funso Ojo and Neal Bishop all ruled out. Luke Williams and Jonny Margetts remain long-term absentees, while Lee Novak is expected back in training shortly and Rory McArdle may return at the start of the New year.

The Iron boss is expected to hand Manchester United loanee Devonte Redmond his first league start, given United’s lack of midfield options. Josh Morris is once again likely to start in central midfield, with Hakeeb Adelakun and Duane Holmes operating on the flanks.

Kevin van Veen will more than likely start up front for Scunthorpe after getting on the scoresheet against MK Dons and he could once again be partnered by Tom Hopper.

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Kevin van Veen celebrating his goal against MK Dons

Southend Team News

The Blues currently sit 12th in League One and Phil Brown’s side have so far failed to find any consistency this season, with just one victory coming in their last seven outings.

There are a couple of former Scunthorpe players in the Shrimpers squad that will be hoping to make an appearance at their old stomping ground.

Midfielder Josh Wright spent two years with the Iron, where his only goal came courtesy of a memorable strike against Manchester United in the League Cup. Wright scored a nine-minute hat-trick of penalties for Gillingham against United last season.

Theo Robinson played eight games for Scunthorpe in 2015 and the striker registered three goals during his loan spell.

Michael Timlin played just one game for the Iron while on loan from Fulham in 2006, but he will not make an appearance due to an injury.

Alongside Timlin, Southend’s key midfielder Ryan Leanord is also sidelined after he was sent off in the build-up to Bradford’s winning penalty last weekend. The Blues may also be without Anthony Wordsworth, who is touch and go having spent the majority of this week on the treatment table. Defender Rob Kiernan is ruled out with a knee injury.

When previewing the fixture, Phil Brown said, “Anybody can beat anybody in this league. Scunthorpe are up there on merit, the same as Bradford last week and then it’s Charlton and Shrewsbury so we’re coming up against some tough teams who have been consistent.

“That’s all I’m after in the second half of the season; a little bit of consistency and a little slice of lady luck.”

With the absence of Ryan Leanord, the key man for the Shrimpers is Stephen McLaughlin. The left midfielder has registered four goals and six assists so far this season and got himself on the scoresheet against Bradford last time out.

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Key man Stephen McLaughlin

Previous Matches

Scunthorpe have a decent recent record against Southend, securing victories in three of the last six encounters between the sides.

In 2014, the pair played out a 2-2 draw at Glanford Park when they met in League Two. In the 2015-16 season, Southend beat the Iron 2-1 at Roots Hall, before Scunthorpe knocked the Blues out of the FA Cup a few weeks later. In the latter part of that season, United secured a 1-0 home victory over the Shrimpers. Last season, the Iron hammered the Blues 4-0 at home, before falling to a 3-1 defeat at Roots Hall in January.

Scunthorpe will be hoping to get back to winning ways and secure another home victory over Southend this afternoon.

Written by James Murray

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

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