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Next Up : Scunthorpe United

Posted on: Sat 16 Apr 2011

Palace can make it 14 games unbeaten at home with victory over a Scunthorpe side that narrowly lost at home to Reading last time out. That defeat has left Scunthorpe badly needing a win at Selhurst Park, as the Iron lie six points behind 21st placed Palace with just five league games left. The Eagles will look to make the most of this crucial home game to push them ever closer to securing Championship status, a victory on Saturday would leave them nine points ahead of Scunthorpe with only four games remaining.

About Scunthorpe

Scunthorpe are currently enjoying probably the most successful period in their history. After winning promotion from League Two in 2004/05, they won League One in 2006/07 in arguably the club's best ever season, although they did drop out of the Championship after a 2-0 defeat by Palace the following year.

The 2008/09 season saw the Iron return to the Championship by beating Millwall 3-2 at Wembley and, despite probably the smallest budget in the division, they avoided relegation last season by coming 20th. If they are relegated this season it will be, at least in part, down to the continued sale of the club's best assets to balance the books.

Strikers in particular are something that Scunthorpe have been able to unearth with unwavering frequency. The likes of Andy Keogh, Martin Paterson, Billy Sharp and Gary Hooper have all been sold on for huge profits in the last five years. With a capacity stadium of 9,000, and average gates of just 6,000 though, it's to the credit of everyone involved at the club that they are still fighting for their lives in the Championship.

Originally founded in 1889, Scunthorpe didn't join the Football League until 1950, and in 1988 became one of the first football club's in the modern era to move to a new purpose built stadium, Glanford Park.

This season started well for the Iron with two wins in their first four games, but a run of four straight defeats in November saw them plummet to just outside the relegation zone. Eight games at the start of the year where they picked up just one point, losing the other seven, saw relegation looming as a near certainty. But then a number of huge wins, including notable shock victories over Nottingham Forest, Swansea and QPR, has kept them within touching distance of safety.

Away from home, the Iron have picked up six victories, drawing none, and losing the other fourteen, and with new boss and former player Alan Knill in charge, fans of the club will feel they are in good hands going into the run in.

Team News

Crystal Palace: David Wright and Jermaine Easter face a battle to make the squad. Both rejoined training after recovering from calf and thigh injuries respectively. Alex Marrow and Lee Hills remain long-term injuries, while boss Dougie Freedman may recall James Vaughan and Darren Ambrose to the side who drew against Leicester.

Scunthorpe: Michael O'Connor is the only fresh injury worry for the Iron, after he was substituted with a thigh problem against Reading last time out. Bobby Grant has come back into contention, but skipper Cliff Byrne remains out.

Match Officials

Referee : Mr K Stroud (2010/11: Games 29 Yellow Cards 105 Red Cards 7)

Assistant Referees :- L Betts & A Slaughter

4th Official:- W Northcott

Previous home encounters with Scunthorpe by Ian King

Although Scunthorpe joined the Football League in 1950, it was not until the 2007-08 season that we faced them for the first time in the League.

However the clubs had previous to this been drawn together on two occasions in the F.A. Cup, the first of these coming on 9th January 1960 in the Third Round and Palace made the trip to Scunthorpe's former home of The Old Show Ground. Scunthorpe were then in Division Two while Palace were striving to get out of Division Four but despite often outplaying their northern opponents Palace were put out of the competition by the only goal of the game in the seventieth minute.

On January 3rd 1998, at the same stage of the competition, it was Third Division Scunthorpe's turn to visit Selhurst Park for the first time but there was to be no upset on the cards as a brace of goals from Neil Emblen saved the blushes of Premiership Palace.

Therefore United have only made two visits to Selhurst Park for League encounters before today's clash. The first of these came on Saturday 12th April 2008 as the Eagles had rocketed up to sixth place while defeat for The Iron that afternoon would probably condemn them to relegation. With Scott Sinclair in on loan from Chelsea and Victor Moses' emergence Palace continued their push up the table and it was to be Moses who would be the undoing of Scunthorpe. In the 21st minute Victor crossed for Tom Soares to head home and then six minutes before half-time he again carved Scunthorpe's defence open for Clinton Morrison to profit from his cross and head home at the far post. This result and others confirmed Scunthorpe's swift return to League One while the Eagles were in hot pursuit of Hull and Watford above.

The last occasion came on Saturday 12th September 2009 as United turned the tables on Palace and came away with a 4-0 victory. Palace manager Neil Warnock described it as a "big embarrassment" for him and said all United's goals came from bad defending. After only five minutes a slip by Matt Lawrence, in for the suspended McCarthy, let in Jonathon Forte for the opening goal and the writing was on the wall before half-time although then only that goal separated the teams. After the break Scunthorpe scored three times inside ten minutes, including one from former Palace junior Sam Togwell and it was not Palace's afternoon when ten minutes from time Freddie Sears was given the opportunity to save something from the debacle when Palace were awarded a penalty for a handball but his weak shot was saved by Joe Murphy.

Head-To-Head Record (Home and Away)


Palace wins

Draws

Scunthorpe wins

League

2

1

2

FA Cup

1

0

1

Total

3

1

3

Tickets

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Betting with Coral

Palace are 4/5 to pick up their ninth home win in fourteen games and 4/1 to be drawing at half-time before going on to win the game.

Other odds include James Vaughan as the 5/1 favourite to strike first.

Click here to place your bet now.

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