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Venus likely to find Scunny are on another planet

Scunthorpe midfielder Richie Smallwood
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Coventry v Scunthorpe
Scunthorpe have topped the Sky Bet League One standings for the last six weeks and they can strengthen their position by defeating Coventry at the Ricoh Arena.

Fifteen points separate the pair in the table and the clubs have been going in opposite directions for some time.

Scunny have banked 77 points in 2016, while the Sky Blues have amassed 44 points over the same period.

Coventry have improved under caretaker-manager Mark Venus, taking ten points from their last four fixtures, but they may have a weakness in midfield if Vladimir Gadzhev and Chris McCann fail to recover from the injuries which ruled them out of last Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Morecambe in the FA Cup first round.

Cov were fortunate to gain a replay after defending for much of the game and will have to improve considerably if they are to cope with today’s challenge.

Scunny cruised to victories at Chesterfield (3-0) and at home to Swindon (4-1) in their last two league outings and 29-20 that they defeat Coventry looks way too big.

2pts 29-20 Betfair

Bury v Southend
A six-match losing sequence has seen Bury tumble from second to 15th in Sky Bet League One and the Shakers’ decline could continue with a loss at Gigg Lane.

Both teams are locked together on 20 points but Southend, who are unbeaten in their last four league games, are playing with much more confidence.

The Shrimpers have picked up four points from their last two away games – holding high-flying Bradford to a 1-1 draw and winning 3-0 at MK Dons.

Phil Brown’s side are forced into a change at right-back with Jason Demetriou away with Cyprus but they are in better shape than their hosts, who are without injured quartet Kean Bryan, Nathan Cameron, Craig Jones and Tom Pope.

Southend draw no bet
1pt 5-4 Betfred, Ladbrokes, Paddy Power

Millwall v Bristol Rovers
Bristol Rovers are emerging as playoff contenders in Sky Bet League One and they can bolster their promotion push by avoiding defeat against Millwall at the Den.

The Pirates have competed well at some difficult venues, losing 1-0 to Sheffield United despite winning the shot count, drawing 1-1 at Bradford and winning 2-1 at Northampton.

They have lost just two of their last 12 league fixtures and have no reason to fear Millwall, who are six points below them in 13th.

Millwall still have time to push towards the top six but they have an injury doubt over top scorer Steve Morison and look short-priced 5-4 shots to defeat resilient Rovers.

Back the away side to secure at least a point at 5-6.

Bristol Rovers or draw double chance
1pt 3-4 Coral

Exeter v Doncaster
Exeter’s home record is the joint-worst in the top four divisions alongside Sunderland but the long wait for victory can end this afternoon against Doncaster.

The Grecians’ five league wins have been away and the most recent – a 3-0 success at Morecambe – may have given them the confidence they need to turn their season around.

The Devon side have struggled with injuries especially at the back with central defenders Troy Archibald-Henville and Troy Brown out of action.

But Archibald-Henville came off the bench near the end of last Saturday’s 3-1 loss at home to Luton in the FA Cup and fellow defender Luke Croll may feature for the first time since being concussed in the Morecambe win.

A reinforced Exeter rearguard can contain a Doncaster side weakened by the absence of injured striker Andy Williams.

Donny have lost successive away games since he was crocked and another reverse looks likely.

Exeter draw no bet
2pts 5-4 Paddy Power

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Scunny have banked 77 points in 2016, while the Sky Blues have amassed 44 points over the same period
E.W. Terms
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