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Monday, 10 December, 2018

Oxford and Scunthorpe should both find the target

Iron plot future after Graham Alexander sacking

Scunthorpe's Ivan Toney
1 of 1

Sky Bet League One
Sky Sports Football, 12.45pm Friday

Football fans up and down the land could be forgiven for hoping Scunthorpe get well and truly chinned given their abject sacking of Graham Alexander, but punters need to rise above such gracelessness.

The Iron head for Oxford just days after Alexander was relieved of his duties for having the temerity to lead his team to fifth place in Sky Bet League One, just a few months after he got them to the playoffs.

As undeserved dismissals go that one was right up there but life goes on for the unfortunate Alexander as it does for Andy Dawson and Nicky Daws, the coaches charged with replacing him.

Their record as a caretaker duo is pretty good – they were handed five games after Mark Robins’ exit two years ago and oversaw four wins.

And they are charmed to be taking charge of a decent group of players who have kept themselves in the top six despite going on a run of no wins in eight.

There is another new manager in the other dugout. Karl Robinson will be hoping for a better outcome in his second game as Oxford boss after his first ended in a 3-0 loss at Portsmouth on Sunday.

However, they played well in patches, missed a penalty and were only a goal down when midfielder Alex Mowatt was sent off.

Robinson’s new side are a fragile five points above the drop zone having won just two of their last 11. Scunny have a two-point cushion over seventh spot. It’s a hugely important match for two clubs in transition.

Scunthorpe have lost only four away matches this season, two of which were at highflying Shrewsbury and Rotherham, and they are hard to dislike.

They have failed to score only once in a league game since December 9. However, they have also managed to keep just one clean sheet since November. The upshot of that is that both teams have scored in 16 of their last 18 encounters and that could happen again.

Both teams to score & over 2.5 goals
1pt 6-5 Sky Bet

Sky Bet League Two standings

Match odds

Team news
Alex Mowatt is suspended after being sent off at Portsmouth. Jon Obika (hip) should be available but Gino van Kessel got crocked on international duty.

Marnick Vermijl and Luke Williams are still out.

Key stat
Scunthorpe have failed to score in only one of their last 18 matches.

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Scunthorpe have failed to score in only one of their last 18 matches
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