Can Scunthorpe gatecrash the automatic promotion spots this season?

"Glanford Park" by Paul Harrop (CC BY-SA 2.0)

We are roughly halfway through the League One season and as it stands right now, seven clubs will think they have a chance of automatic promotion.

The top sides are tightly packed together and right in the middle of the action is Scunthorpe, who up until recently looked a real threat and in great form. 

They may have dipped over the past few weeks, but can the Iron be the club who fights their way into one of the top two spots to bag automatic promotion to the Championship? 

Scunthorpe's league campaign has been a little distracted by cup action in recent weeks, which has caused their push on the top of the league to slow down a little. 

A 3-0 FA Cup second-round defeat to Doncaster was a dour game, but just three days later, the side performed with credit to push Leicester all the way in a Checkatrade Trophy game that finished 2-1 to the top division side's youngsters. 

Now those cup competitions are out of the way, it is time for Scunthorpe to concentrate on league action as they try to climb the table. 

With big names like Wigan, Blackburn, Bradford and Charlton all vying for the top spots, it sure looks like it is going to be a battle throughout 2018. 


"Glanford Park" by Central Line (CC BY-SA 4.0)

The busy Christmas period is here, and presents Scunthorpe with a great opportunity to make their move. 

They face four clubs in 10 days, three who are struggling and Blackburn Rovers, who currently occupy third place, four points ahead of Scunthorpe. 

Three games are winnable, and one is a game they need to win against a rival, this 10 day period could shape the rest of the season. 

After going six games unbeaten, Scunthorpe have not won either of their last two, although in both games the Iron could call themselves a little unlucky. 

Only an acrobatic scoop off the line in stoppage time prevented them picking up a good point away at Walsall. 

In their most recent game, a red card to Neal Bishop left Scunthorpe playing the second half with ten men, and despite battling hard they couldn't keep MK Dons out, although they did manage to still pick up a point. 

The team is still playing well, but luck has not been on our side over the past couple of games. 

One positive to come from Saturday's draw with the MK Dons was the goal from Kevin Van Veen, who looks set to play an important role in the coming weeks, and needs to get on the scoresheet more often. 

That was his first league goal for the club this season, and he needs to rediscover the form that saw him score ten league goals last season. 

The latest football odds have Scunthorpe 7/2 at for promotion via any method this season, and those are sure to decrease if Scunthorpe can find some goals from their forward line. 

Those goals could be the difference between automatic promotions and the playoffs for Scunthorpe, and the next few games will give us a real indication as to whether they are good enough to fight for an automatic spot. 

There is plenty of time left this season, but the upcoming festive period will decide a lot for Scunthorpe and their automatic promotion chances. 

They have a huge game against one of their promotion rivals, and three winnable games, they must take advantage of the situation they find themselves in.

#UTI

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