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Match Preview: Scunthorpe United vs Doncaster Rovers

glanfordparkjune2016
glanfordparkjune2016

The Iron are once again in action at home this evening as local rivals Doncaster Rovers visit Glanford Park.

Scunthorpe come into the fixture on the back of a disappointing 3-1 loss to Gillingham on Saturday, while Rovers came from 2-0 down to claim a draw at third-placed Shrewsbury Town.

Graham Alexander confirmed that his side has no fresh injury worries following the weekend defeat. Matt Gilks is set to miss out again but is improving, with Ryan Yates and Levi Sutton also expected to remain sidelined, while Jonny Margetts and Jordan Clarke are still long-term absentees.

Sam Mantom is getting closer to a return and Luke Williams is progressing well but is still not ready to be involved. Andrew Crofts is back in training and could be in contention.

The Iron boss has to decide on whether to make any alterations to the side which put in a dismal performance against Gillingham or if he should give them another chance to prove themselves.

If changes are to be made, captain Rory McArdle may return at centre-back and Conor Townsend could also be drafted in to bolster the defence at left-back.

Ivan Toney is in with a shout of being handed his first start since returning on loan, while fellow striker Lee Novak, who scored the winner when United met Rovers in September, will also be hoping to be called upon.

After the weekend loss, Scunthorpe will be expecting more creativity and influence on the game from the likes of Hakeeb Adelakun and Josh Morris, despite the latter getting his name on the scoresheet against the Gills.

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Josh Morris will be hoping to pull the strings against Rovers

Doncaster Team News

Rovers have had a turn of fortunes over the last couple of months, having gone seven games unbeaten in the league, which has seen them climb up the table into the top half.

Manager Darren Ferguson confirmed that both Issam Ben Khemis and former Scunthorpe centre-half Andy Butler are ruled out of the fixture after the pair limped off at Shrewsbury on Saturday. They join Danny Andrew and Andy Williams on the treatment table. Despite recently returning to training, Luke McCullough and Alex Kiwomya will not be in contention.

Ferguson is hoping his side can carry on their unbeaten record in the derby match, as he said: “If we can get to the standards we showed in the second-half against Shrewsbury, then there’s no reason why we can’t go on and get the results in this league, we go into the game with great motivation.

“We have to win the battle, that’s what it’ll be at times, but we have to have the composure to play the football we want to play, and a win can take us 10th, but we’re taking it a game at a time.

“It’s a derby so it’ll be tough, three points would be massive but we’re finding a way not to lose games and that’s a good habit to have, we’re in a good place right now.”

The key man for Rovers in this fixture could be former Iron loanee, Tommy Rowe. The left midfielder is excellent on the ball and may provide a real problem for makeshift right-back Duane Holmes. Rowe provides good delivery from crosses into the box and has an eye for goal, having scored six goals this campaign, including two against United last month, to go alongside his six assists.

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Key man Rowe scored twice against the Iron last month

Previous Matches

Scunthorpe have a decent recent record against Doncaster, after securing victories in three of the last six meetings between the sides.

In 2015, Rovers put five past United when they met at the Keepmoat. Later that year, the Iron got their revenge in a 1-0 win away from home, before then recording a 2-0 win at Glanford Park. When the pair met at the beginning of this season, a Lee Novak goal provided Scunthorpe with a 1-0 victory at the Keepmoat. Just a few weeks later, Doncaster beat the Iron on penalties following a 1-1 draw in the Checkatrade Trophy, before then knocking their rivals out of the FA Cup with a 3-0 win last month.

Scunthorpe will be hoping to get back to winning ways and claim the bragging rights when they face Rovers this evening.

Written by James Murray

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

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