Second attempt at this fixture – and since December when the game should’ve taken place the two sides have had very different fortunes. Scunthorpe are on an absolutely abysmal run of league form. They haven’t won in their last eight games – they haven’t won at home since beating Palace at the end of August last year. Indeed, that’s their only league win at home.
Forest of course are on an excellent run of form – we are unbeaten in ten league games, having just come through a game against the league leaders with ten men for 70 minutes (and indeed being a goal down when the sending off occurred) for a draw. This game is also of course one of our games in hand over our promotion rivals, having originally been scheduled for December last year.
With Raddy’s rash red card at Loftus Road we are further depleted in central midfield options along with Moussi’s injury – indeed, Raddy won’t be available now until Millwall away. Moussi, Findley and Dex remain long term injuries, but that aside we are in reasonable shape, same defence as normal, Lewis gets more of a chance in midfield, same striking options as normal.
Our hosts of course have our very own Joe Garner on loan – although he won’t be playing tomorrow as part of the loan agreement. They also have Garry Thompson missing through injury, but Dagnall, Jones and Mirfin could return to contention.
Our recent record against Scunny isn’t brilliant – only one win in our last six attempts, although it was as recent as last season at the City Ground with Chambers and Dexter scoring to give us a 2-0 win. At Glanford Park last season we were two-nil up through goals from Boyd and Garner but chucked it away by conceding just after half time and again just before full time.
It’s fairly difficult to state a case for Scunthorpe in this match, they’ve really be struggling of late and Forest should feel supremely confident. The risk is they feel over-confident or – worse still – are looking beyond this game sandwiched between heavyweights QPR and Cardiff – and don’t have their ‘game heads’ on for this one. I can’t imagine Billy standing for that, though.
And it’s not just us at risk from eyeballing the weekend fixture either, Scunthorpe have Derby County up next at home on Saturday, so they too might well have their eye on that game as an opportunity to finally snag some points, they follow that up with another home match next week against another struggling side Sheffield United.
Without being disrespectful to our hosts it’s tough not to forecast the Reds getting something from this game – and they’re most certainly capable of getting all three points. The important thing is that the boys are properly motivated and Billy has his game plan right to ably deal with both any threat posed but also the potentially dogged defending of the Iron. I’m going for a Forest win.
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