Oldham Athletic welcome Scunthorpe United to Boundary Park tomorrow as the club looks for its fourth win in a row.
Wins against Cheltenham Town, Hampton and Richmond Borough and Bradford City in the space of a week have seen Harry Kewell’s men claim a valuable three points in Sky Bet League Two, secure progression in the Emirates FA Cup and maintain their 100% record in the Papa John’s Trophy.
Scunthorpe are currently enduring a rotten run of form in all competitions and are currently on an eight-match losing streak stretching back to late September.
Their recent troubles leave them 23rd in the table with four points from eight games. They are seven points worse off than Oldham but have played three games less due to a lengthy postponement in their schedule due to Covid-19 restrictions where the team had to self-isolate.
They were unable to overcome non-league opposition in Solihull Moors in the opening round of the Emirates FA Cup and losses to Lincoln, Manchester City Under 21s and Mansfield have seen them drop out of the Papa John’s trophy at the group stage too.
The Iron’s last six:
- Scunthorpe United 1-2 Mansfield Town (EFL Trophy)
- Scunthorpe United 2-3 Solihull Moors (FA Cup)
- Exeter City 3-1 Scunthorpe United
- Cheltenham Town 1-0 Scunthorpe United
- Scunthorpe United 1-4 Forest Green
- Tranmere Rovers 2-0 Scunthorpe United
Latics have won 16 of the 53 previous meetings, Scunthorpe have won 19 and 18 have been draws.
The sides last met on New Year’s Day with goals from Abo Eisa and Matty Lund giving Scunthorpe a 2-0 win at Boundary Park.
The last time Oldham got the better of the Iron was in March 2018. Second-half goals from Patrick McEleney and Eoin Doyle saw Latics seal a 2-0 victory on the road.
In terms of players for selection, Harry Kewell has a near fully fit squad with the only new exception being Alfie McCalmont who is now on international duty again with Northern Ireland U21.
Carl Piergianni has completed his self-isolation period whilst it is still too soon for an update on the availability of strikers Zak Dearnley and Conor McAleny who are both working hard to gain full fitness.
Andrea Badan remains on the treatment table for some time due to his hamstring injury.
Watch Out For
The Iron have been without Kevin Van Veen through injury in the league this season, but the forward marked his return to the side with a goal in the Emirates FA Cup tie against Solihull Moors.
The Dutchman was by far Scunthorpe’s most successful goal threat last time, notching 15 times in all competition for the club.
Starting his career with Dutch outfit Helmond, Van Veen had spells with Dijkse, UDI, JVC Cuijk and FC Oss before leaving his homeland in January 2015 for his first spell with the Iron.
He scored 23 goals in his first spell with the club before making the move to League One side Northampton Town in January 2018.
He scored 10 goals in his 38 appearances whilst at Sixfields and then rejoined the Iron in January 2019.
The acquisition of Van Veen was not enough to stop Scunthorpe’s relegation from League One that season but his form the following season in League Two showed he can be a danger to any defence in the division.
He played a full 90 minutes in his return to the side from a knee injury and played a further 45 minutes in the PapaJohns trophy game against Mansfield and with those minutes in the tank, he stands a good chance of selection for his sides trip to Boundary Park.
In The Dugout
Neil Cox is the man in the dugout for the visitors.
Cox was appointed in August 2020, leaving his post as assistant manager at Notts County to take the role.
His role previous to that was the assistant job at AFC Wimbledon and his only other time as manager came with Leek Town between 2010 and 2011.
Cox was already known by Scunthorpe fans as he began his playing career with the Iron in the early 90s before going on to play for Aston Villa, Middlesbrough, Bolton Wanderers, Watford, Crewe Alexandra and Leek Town.
Referee - Lee Swabey
Assistant Referee 1 - Wayne Grunnill
Assistant Referee 2 - Graeme Fyvie
Fourth Official - Sebastian Stockbridge
Lee Swabey will be the man in the middle for fixture.
The Devon-based official will travel to the Boundary Park for his 11th game of the campaign and his fourth game in Sky Bet League Two.
He's refereed Latics on four occasions - the most recent being the 6-1 defeat at Mansfield Town last season which saw Egert and Morais sent off in the same phase of play.
Sky Bet Odds
Latics have been made 21/20 favourites to make it four straight wins in all competitions whilst Scunthorpe are at 12/5.
The draw is also priced at 12/5.
How To Follow The Game
Because the game is classed as behind-closed-doors, supporters can tune into a live match stream with commentary available for all subscribers on iFollow Latics, as Roy Butterworth and Mike Leyland talk you through the action.
This match is available as a live stream for the fee of £10.
Alternatively, supporters can also follow the game with live updates on the club's official Twitter account: @OfficialOAFC.
Oldham Athletic would like to make it clear that all fixtures are still strictly-behind-closed doors with spectators not being allowed entry.
Extensive guidelines are in place for the safety of officials and players whilst the events are taking place.
It is important you do not travel or attempt to visit Boundary Park on the day, especially with the new local restrictions in place.