Preview: Scunthorpe United v Middlesbrough
Updated Tuesday, 9th November 2010
United bid to get their home form back on track when Middlesbrough, who are in the relegation zone, visit on Tuesday night.
Confidence will be high in the Iron squad after Saturday's win at Hull City, but the home form has been the side's undoing this season - better finishing against Bristol City or Barnsley would even have seen the Iron in among the play-off positions. Ian Baraclough, the Iron manager, is not looking that far up the table at the moment but will be keen to pick up more points at Glanford Park. Middlesbrough have been poor travellers this season, having only avoided defeat on one league outing away from home. The Iron need to send them packing back up the A1 having suffered another loss.
Iron team news
Rob Jones remains out with a broken hand. Garry Thompson will again miss out as Baraclough thinks he is lacking match fitness following his groin injury - despite coming off the bench is reason games. Jim McNulty has returned to training following an ankle injury, but is still a couple of weeks away from a return. Michael O'Connor, Josh Wright and Eddie Nolan all suffered knocks in Saturday's 1-0 win at Hull City but should be fine, while Cliff Byrne is not a doubt despite requiring three stitches after being elbowed by Nick Barmby in that Humber Derby win.
Palace team news
Boro could put captain Gary O'Neil back into the starting line-up following a knee injury. Defender Stephen McManus is likely to miss out with an ankle injury which he suffered in Saturday's win over Palace, with Matthew Bates poised to again deputise for him. Midfielder Barry Robson is absent with a thigh injury.
Historical achievements: Boro spent much of the early part of the last century in the First Division, recording their highest ever league finish of third in the 1913-14 season. The First World War saw that team broken up, and although the club were in the top flight from 1929 until 1954, they spent much of their time flitting between the second and third divisions. Financial problems saw the team almost go out of existence in 1986, Steve Gibson secured their future at the last minute ahead of the 1986-87 season. The financial struggles of the early 80's were forgotten as the club shared in the gravy train of the Premier League, with the lavish TV money they received finding expensive signings like Juninho, Emerson and Fabrizio Ravanelli. They reached both major cup finals in 1997, but were beaten in both and relegated. They got back to the Premier League immediately and, under the guidance of Steve McClaren won the 2004 League Cup final - their only major honour - then reached the Uefa Cup final. McClaren's departure to coach England saw Gareth Southgate take over as coach, with 2009 bringing relegation back to the Championship. Southgate was sacked after failing to kickstart a promotion charge last season, his replacement Gordon Strachan lasted little over a year before being replaced by Tony Mowbray with the club firmly in a relegation battle.
Manager: Tony Mowbray
Stats and figures
The most concerning statistics for Iron supporters are the differences between home and away form. At Glanford Park the Iron have registered just one league win this season - a comfortable 3-0 success over a poor Crystal Palace side - out of seven games. Away from home there have been five wins out of eight matches - with only table-topping Queens Park Rangers and second-placed Cardiff City can match that point haul. The good news for Iron supporters is the poor away form of Boro, who have been beaten on six of their seven outings away from the Riverside Stadium this season and have not kept a clean sheet in their last five games.
The only meetings between the two sides in the last 40 years came last season, when Gordon Strachan's Boro side completed the double thanks to a 2-0 early-season win at Glanford Park and a 3-0 success in the return fixture. Until then the record had been fairly even, with four Iron wins, four draws and six victories for the Teesiders.
Click here for our full record of meetings between the two sides
Kevin Wright (Cambridgeshire)
Scunthorpe 13/8 / Draw 9/4 / Middlesbrough 13/8 (Paddy Power)