By Dec Campbell
Graham Alexander’s Scunthorpe side face a tough test to defend their place at the summit of League One, as they face newly-revived Oxford United, sitting in 14th.
Both sides come into the game on form – Oxford will aim to make it three wins in a row, while Scunthorpe look to make it seven consecutive victories.
Scunthorpe did the double over Oxford the last time these two teams met back in the 2013/14 League Two season, winning 2-0 and 1-0 respectively.
Iron boss Alexander told Scunthorpe TV: “It’s important we see it as any another game and it is important the players continue the way they have done recently.”
Alexander will be hoping he can rely on the League’s top scorer Josh Morris for inspiration ahead of their clash as the attacker is enjoying an excellent debut season at the club, following his arrival in the summer from Bradford.
Oxford United however have had to rely on Chris Maguire for their goals, registering seven so far. The U’s seem to be missing last season’s top scorer Kemar Roofe, who departed for Leeds United in July.
Speaking of Oxford’s recent success, Appleton told the club’s website: “Things can change pretty quickly and the three game weeks can be very good to teams.”
He added: The two wins will give the lads a massive boost to take into the weekend.”
Scunthorpe have just one new injury concern – captain Stephen Dawson faces a late fitness test following a knock he picked up midweek against Peterborough and risks joining defender David Mirfin on the side-lines.
Oxford already have four confirmed players out for the clash: Wes Thomas, Liam Sercombe, Christian Ribeiro and Sam Long are all indefinitely sidelined. Chey Dunkley and Joe Skarz will face late fitness tests, with Aaron Martin and Charlie Raglan looking to come back into the team.