The FA Cup third round concludes tonight with Scunthorpe v Chesterfield, the visitors riding high in League One this season.
Chesterfield sit just one point adrift of the play-off places following a decent first half of the season and they should prove too strong for a Scunthorpe side who are struggling at the wrong end of the table.
The Spireites have suffered just one defeat since October in all competitions and appear in the third round of the FA Cup courtesy of a 1-0 away win to MK Dons for the second time in a month, the original tie needing a replay following the fielding of an ineligible player by Chesterfield.
Scunthorpe haven’t played since Boxing Day since their League One clash with Sheffield United was postponed. Irons manager Mark Robins will likely field a much changed squad for this clash, loanees Shaun Brisley, Luke Williams, Bobby Olejnik and Richard Brindley having returned to their home teams.
Returnees from injury include Niall Canavan and David Mirfin and they will fight for a place in defence alongside Alex Davey, the Chelsea loanee having his loan period extended.
The hosts start this match as slight underdogs, hardly surprising considering their league position. Robins will likely be attaching more importance to lifting his side away from the drop zone, and as such this competition will perhaps be seen as a hindrance somewhat.
Chesterfield are in fine form this season and are just one league win away from a place in the League One play-offs. They will be in high spirits following their second successive 1-0 cup win over MK Dons last week and will likely prove too strong for Scunthorpe this evening, a fact reflected across the betting market with BetVictor offering 29/20 for an away win.
The two sides met twice earlier in the season, Scunthorpe running out 2-0 winners in the League trophy, followed by a 4-1 home win for Chesterfield in the league less than two weeks later. We believe that it will be the visiting fans who will be cheering loudest at the final whistle tonight.
Nevertheless, the Spireites will be made to work hard for their passage into the fourth round. The visitors haven’t enjoyed many clean sheets this season and Scunthorpe will be confident of getting their names onto the scoresheet. As such, we’ll be backing a Chesterfield win with both teams scoring at 37/10 with 888sport.
Our betting tips
Chesterfield to win and both teams to score – 888sport 37/10