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Match Previews

Preview: Scunthorpe United

26 February 2021

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Next up for Cheltenham Town it's a trip to North Lincolnshire and an away fixture against Scunthorpe United on Saturday (kick-off: 3pm).

After another away journey on Tuesday that ended up as a 1-0 away win at top of the table Cambridge United, the Robins are on their travels again with a clash against a Scunthorpe side who currently find themselves mid-table in League Two.

Still holding a place in the division's automatic promotion spots, another positive result over Scunthorpe after a 1-0 home win against them earlier in the season would be the perfect way to set-up back-to-back home games that come next at the beginning of March for Michael Duff's side.

Watch Saturday's match exclusively live on iFollow by buying a match pass.

Team news

Decisions over the fitness of Charlie Raglan, Chris Hussey and Liam Sercombe will be made before the game.

It's likely that Alex Addai won't be involved though with Chris Clements and Ellis Chapman definitely missing because of injury.

Assistant manager Russell Milton previewed the game on Thursday. Watch his thoughts on iFollow.

Opposition

Up until a 2-0 loss at Bolton Wanderers on Tuesday Scunthorpe had been enjoying their greatest run of wins in League Two this season and despite their midweek defeat will enter into Saturday's game in a good run of form.

They've registered four wins in their last five games, picking up maximum points against Grimsby Town, Port Vale, Colchester United and Harrogate Town in their winning run before it was ended by Bolton.

They are 16th going into Saturday's encounter and have an experienced head to rely on as their goalkeeper with former Sheffield United stopper Mark Howard their regular choice at the age of 34.

Their backline includes George Taft, who signed in January from Bolton, while long serving captain Jordan Clarke adds to defensive options who include former Rochdale man Harrison McGahey and left-sider Junior Brown.

In midfield, a former teammate of Matty Blair and Alfie May's from Doncaster Rovers, Alfie Beestin, could be deployed in this area. Former Reading and Galatasary midfielder Jem Karacan is a noteworthy central midfield option for them too, while in wide areas Alex Gilliead and Abo Eisa offer a speedy threat.

Their forward options include Ryan Loft with Dutchman Kevin van Veen also a threat. Devarn Green, who signed from National League North side Southport last summer, could also feature.

The manager: Neil Cox

After several seasons as an assistant to Neal Ardley at both AFC Wimbledon and Notts County, Neil Cox was named as manager of Scunthorpe in August 2020.

In appointing the one-time defender it saw him reunite with the club that gave him his break in the professional game as a player in a career that saw him go onto play over 550 League games for the likes of Middlesbrough, Aston Villa, Bolton Wanderers, Watford, Cardiff City and Crewe Alexandra.

He has only had one previous stint as the main man in the dugout at non-league Leek Town who he linked up with towards the end of his playing days.

His assistant is ex-Huddersfield Town coach Mark Lillis, while former Port Vale goalkeeper Paul Musselwhite is goalkeeper coach.

One to watch: Ryan Loft

With eight goals from 30 appearances in all competitions this season, Ryan Loft has been in good scoring form of late, netting four times in their last five appearances.

The front man arrived at Scunny in August 2020 on a two-year contract having spent last season on loan at Carlisle United from Leicester City.

He'd been signed by the Foxes in 2018 upon his release by Tottenham Hotspur where he'd started his career. While with Spurs he spent time out on loan at Braintree Town, Stevenage and Exeter City.

Watch the match live on iFollow

Saturday's game is available to watch online in full on iFollow for £10.

To watch the game purchase a match pass ahead of kick-off and then log in with your iFollow account to watch the action.

Coverage

Stay updated with the club's social media channels. Follow @CTFCofficial for team news, match updates, in game photos and more. The scores will also be available to check on the club's Facebook page and Instagram account.

After the match make a visit to the club website to read the match report and to watch the manager's post-match press conference.

You'll be able to watch extended highlights on the club's iFollow channel.


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