Scout report: Ex-Newcastle United trio among Scunthorpe United's key men ahead of Sunderland showdown
Sunderland face Scunthorpe United this evening in a crucial Leasing.com Trophy clash at Glanford Park.
Phil Parkinson’s side need a win to progress to the knockout rounds but will come up against a Scunthorpe side full of confidence in this competition, having already beaten Grimsby and holding Leicester City to a draw.
So how will The Iron line-up? What form are they in and what can Sunderland expect from their opposition?
We take a closer look in our detailed scout report:
What system will Scunthorpe play?
Scunthorpe have leaked goals this season and have kept just three clean-sheets in twenty-one games in all competitions.
Although they tend to leak goals, The Iron are usually good for a goal, having scored in all but one game throughout October and November.
Paul Hurst’s decision to switch to a 4-4-2 formation has seen an upturn in results recently and it is clear from his team selections in the previous two Leasing.com Trophy games that he will be naming a strong side for this crucial game.
Who are Scunthorpe’s key men?
Ex-Newcastle man James Perch is the most recognisable name in the Scunthorpe squad and the defender hasn’t been afraid to get stuck in this season having already been sent off twice this campaign.
Kevin Van Veen is Scunthorpe’s top-scorer with six goals with three players, including ex-Gateshead striker Lee Novak, chipping in with three goals apiece.
There are a few more recognisable names in The Iron’s squad with ex-Newcastle youngsters Alex Gilliead and Yasin Ben El-Mhanni plying their trade at Glanford Park.
Do Scunthorpe have any injury worries?
Paul Hurst admitted that he may have to use some under 23 players tonight in order to fill his squad.
Scunthorpe are without nine first-team players including Harrison McGahey and Yann Songo’o who have been ruled out of contention through injury, despite featuring on Saturday.
Jamie Proctor is also unavailable for the home side as he is cup-tied after featuring for parent-club Rotherham United earlier in the competition.
Who is Scunthorpe’s manager and what can we expect from them?
Paul Hurst has been in charge since May 2019 after an unsuccessful stint as Ipswich Town manager in 2018 when he replaced former Black Cats manager Mick McCarthy.
After taking charge of his first pre-season with the club, Scunthorpe started the season poorly, picking up just one point in August.
However, since then, he has slowly begun to steady the ship and will hope a run in this competition can kick-start Scunthorpe’s progression up the League Two table.
What form have Scunthorpe been in?
Scunthorpe have struggled in the league season winning just three games all campaign, however, two of those wins have come in their last five games.
They are also unbeaten in their last three games, picking up points against Salford City and high-flying Exeter in that time.
Scunthorpe have regularly picked up points against teams above them in the table and will believe they can raise their game once more to defeat the Black Cats.
Last five league games: WLWDD