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Scunthorpe preview

The focus on the two Carling Cup games against United has pushed our game at Scunthorpe somewhat off the radar, but we go out tomorrow with a very real chance to continue our form this season in cup competitions and progress through to the last sixteen of the FA Cup.

Whilst away ties to lower league opposition are always handed the 'tricky tie' tag, it is a game we should be expecting to win - regardless of the side that we put out.

Of course, this is the second time this season we have come up against Scunthorpe having triumphed convincingly by a 5-1 scoreline in the early rounds of the Carling Cup.

It will be interesting to see precisely what side Roberto Mancini does field. He has been known to surprise with his line-ups but it appears as though it will be a mix and match side judging by these comments:
"We will mix it again because I have three or four players who are very tired and I want them to be on the bench. I want to play a few young players again from the start.

Gareth and Nigel have played a lot recently, so we’ll recall Stephen for Sunday, probably not for the whole game. We want to win, it will be difficult for us, they will be strong at home but we will put a good team out and we are looking to win. We’ll have a strong bench and they will be ready if we need them."
Not to disrespect the FA Cup in any way, but given the importance and scale of the second leg next Wednesday, my preference would be for wholesale changes right throughout the side with as few players who are needed next week as possible - particularly with United having to field a strong side in their league game against Hull.

It doesn't appear as though Mancini will go quite as far as that, but he has shown faith in the fringe and younger players, and expect that to continue. Pleasing too that Stephen Ireland is set to return to the line up following his injury problems of late.

We really should have too much for Scunthorpe and we'll continue our momentum with a 2-0 victory.