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Scunthorpe United vs. Leicester

Glanford Park

12/03/11

3 p.m

Preview: Scunthorpe vs Leicester

Leicester aim to turn around their disappointing run of form to help reignite their stuttering play-off bid.

The Foxes head to Glanford Park on the back of three defeats in their last four Championship fixtures, but know they can kick-start their campaign with a win over the struggling Iron.

Ian Baraclough's side sit in the final relegation spot, but have picked up several vital points in recent weeks to help their cause for survival.

The Iron suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Burnley midweek, but shocked the league with a superb victory over Swansea on home soil last weekend.

The Glanford Park pitch has come under severe criticism from opposition managers for the majority of the campaign, a situation which will not bode well for Sven-Goran Eriksson's passing side.

But Eriksson will not wish to think of early excuses as he attempts to haul his flapping Foxes back on track.

The Swede has overseen his side beaten in all three of City's crucial clashes against teams around them in the promotion race, but remains convinced they still have what it takes to reach the top six.

Tuesday's 3-2 home reverse at the hands of Norwich was City's first home defeat in the league under Eriksson, and placed a significant dent into the Foxes promotion wagon.

But Eriksson will be quick to remember the run of eight wins in nine which saw his side come within just a place of the play-off positions, and knows his side are more than capable of getting back on track at Glanford Park.

Scunthorpe have never beaten the Foxes, a stat enhanced by City's 3-1 victory over the Iron at the Walkers Stadium this season.

Vital Quotes:

Leicester boss Sven-Goran Eriksson: "We have to go out there and make it a fight, because it will be a fight. Then, if we can play our football then that is very good.

"I know we haven't got the strongest, most physical team in the league. Technically, we are one of the best.

"But even if you are not the biggest, you have to challenge, you have to compete. You need energy when you are fighting in the middle of the park. Otherwise it is difficult."

Scunthorpe United Team News:

Scunthorpe have been boosted with the news that midfielder Michael O'Connor could start for the first time since being sidelined in January.

Goalkeeper Joe Murphy remains out with an ankle injury, as are Garry Thompson (groin) and Cliff Byre (back).

Player to watch: Michael O'Connor

The match is perhaps too early for him, but if playing, O'Connor comfortably poses one of Scunthorpe's most significant threats on his day.

The Northern Ireland international found the net at the Walkers Stadium earlier in the campaign, and has attracted the interests of both Newcastle and West Brom in the past.

Leicester Team News:

Leicester will once again be without the services of centre-back Jeffrey Bruma, who remains sidelined with a groin injury.

Fellow Chelsea loanee Patrick van Aanholt will sit out once again with a thigh injury, while striker Steve Howard is still missing from action.

Player to watch: Paul Gallagher

Oddly failed to start in both the home defeat to Norwich midweek and at QPR last weekend, but looks an almost definite pick for Eriksson this time around.

The Scot bagged a hat-trick against the Iron in a 5-1 victory at the Walkers Stadium last season, and proved his worth with a finely taken consolation free-kick against the Canaries midweek.

Match Facts & Stats

- Leicester have won 6 of the 9 meetings between the two sides.

- Both sides have lost three of their last four fixtures.

- Scunthorpe have won only 4 matches at Glanford Park this season. Only Preston have won fewer on home soil.

- City have conceded 28 first-half goals in the Championship this season - more than any other team.

Ref Watch:

Rob Shoebridge (Derbyshire)

Matches: 18
Yellows: 36
Reds: 2

Match Prediction:

Surely, surely, this time. Scunthorpe 0-2 Leicester.

Next Fixtures:

Saturday 19th March

Portsmouth (H)




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The Journalist

Writer: JBFox Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday March 11 2011

Time: 7:58PM

 

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