Having each drawn a blank in the original fixture, both Scunthorpe and Northampton went and won last time out. It might have taken them a while, but Scunthorpe finally made the breakthrough against Bristol Rovers on home soil, winning 1-0. Northampton only had to wait 11 minutes before they took the lead against Oxford at the weekend, while they only needed two minutes to go back in front after being pegged back. Such a victory, against a team who’re strong on home soil, is likely to have done wonders for the confidence of Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s men.
In the original tie, it was Northampton who could count themselves as unlucky not to have progressed straight to the next round. The Cobblers hit the woodwork not once but twice in the initial fixture. Aside from that, both teams had a couple of promising chances, but nothing glaringly obvious arrived at either end.
Considering that the fixture at Sixfields turned out to be evenly contested – if anything Northampton edged it – the fact that Scunthorpe come into this game as such strong favourites is a bit confusing. Make no mistake about it, Graham Alexander’s men are a good side, and they are tough to beat, especially at home, but they seem to be making hard work of everything of late. What’s more, even though the FA Cup is a massive competition, Scunthorpe’s primary objective, having failed in the play-offs last season, is to get out of League One. With that in mind, do they really want this replay?
At the prices, backing ‘Northampton + 1 Handicap’ is the bet that stands out. The visitors are coming into this match off the back of a very pleasing win away at Oxford, while they also won their previous away match too. On top of this, the fact that the pressure will very much be on the hosts, bodes well for Northampton. The Cobblers might be able to use that to their advantage, just as they did at Kassam Stadium on Saturday.
As good as Scunthorpe are, they’re not the sort of side to dominate a team, nor will they put their opponents under immense pressure for a serious amount of the game. Because of this, Northampton were able to be well in the game, and even dictate for periods during the initial tie, and that could easily be the case again.
All things considered, though Scunthorpe are heavily fancied in the betting, the disparity in pricing, based on what we saw in the match that took place less than two weeks ago, doesn’t quite add up.
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