It’s difficult to decide whether a visit to Glanford Park is just the tonic Leicester City need, or the worst possible away trip Sven’s men could face at the moment. On the one hand, the mighty Iron have proved incapable of beating the Foxes in any of their nine previous meetings; on the other, promotion contenders Swansea and Nottingham Forest have each fallen in quick succession to Scunthorpe in recent weeks.
Those victories, together with a 3-2 win over Sheffield United and a goalless draw with Derby have given the Iron 10 points from their last four home games. Scunthorpe have real hope that, having been stuck in the bottom three since December, they have a real chance of Championship survival.
It’s not difficult to identify why Scunthorpe have found themselves in the relegation dogfight. They boast the division’s second worst attack and defence, have lost nearly a quarter (23%) of their matches 2-0 and have failed to score in eight of their 14 league matches this year. Only Derby Country (7) have netted fewer league goals in 2011 than Scunthorpe (8). In short, this is the sort of match a side with promotion credentials should win.
But Leicester arrive in Lincolnshire having taken just one point from a possible 12 and know that anything short of a string of convincing victories will not be enough to recover a seven point deficit on 6th place. It’s comforting to know that City usually get the job done in these games, their only defeat to a side in the bottom eight coming on the opening day at Crystal Palace. Better still, the Foxes have conceded just four in their last six away games, but it’s in front of goal where Sven’s men are struggling – in the same period City have scored only five themselves.
The Foxes haven’t scored the opening goal in any of their last four matches, but thankfully they face a team who have been equally reticent to take the game to the opposition. Scunthorpe have scored first just 12 times this season, a record low in the Championship. If the Foxes can take a lead into the break they can feel secure in the knowledge that the Iron haven’t taken a single point when they’ve been behind at half-time. But if the last couple of weeks are anything to go by, it’s unlikely that Leicester will make life easy for themselves.