GEORGE Elek (@georgeelek) gives us his thoughts on Sunday’s game between Scunthorpe and Bradford.
Scunthorpe v Bradford | Sunday 12:30 | Sky Sports 1
A glance at the formbook will tell you that this is a clash between two sides very much on different trajectories. Scunthorpe are on a hellish run of just one win in 11 that has seen them drop out of the automatic spots and hurtle perilously close to the edge of the play-offs.
Stuart McCall’s Bantams, on the other hand, are unbeaten in seven. They have emerged victorious in four of these games, and look primed to make a late charge for that second promotion spot.
Suspect away form
On closer inspection, however, it is their away form against the division’s better teams that has left them currently six points adrift of Bolton. They have so far played seven of the top 11 clubs in League 1, with Sheffield United, Rochdale and Scunthorpe to come.
Of these they are yet to emerge victorious, losing three and drawing four. They have struggled to score in these fixtures, netting just four times and never more than once in a game.
Despite their league position of 5th, there have to be concerns as to whether Scunthorpe really represent a top seven team at the moment. The wheels have fallen off, with recent home defeats to Shrewsbury, Walsall and AFC Wimbledon indicative of a team who have really lost the groove of their blistering early season form.
The last three games have, however, shown some shoots of recovery. The Iron were two goals up against Gillingham before a freak three late penalties saw them come away with nothing. That was followed up by a late show of their own, with a Matt Crooks injury time winner against Rochdale sealing their first three points since January.
They squandered another lead at Oxford, but there is enough to suggest Scunthorpe are ready for the fight. With Bradford’s woeful record in this type of game, it’s best to get against the form book here.
With all of Scunthorpe’s last four matches tied entering the late stages, and Bradford having drawn four of their seven fixtures against the divisions top teams, it looks best to side with the draw, in what looks set to be a tight encounter.
Due to the Bantams’ woes in front of goal in the aforementioned fixtures, the best bet looks to be the draw and under 2.5 goals at 3/1, so covering both 0-0 and 1-1 scorelines.
Scunthorpe v Bradford – Draw and Under 2.5 Goals (3/1 Boylesports)