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Strength & Experience - 3 players for Sunderland to watch out for when they head to Scunthorpe

Scunthorpe might be mid-table but they’ve won their last four games, and they pose a huge threat to Sunderland - here are just three of the men that we need to look out for ahead of tomorrow’s game at Glanford Park.

Funso Ojo

Position: Defensive midfield / L1 Games/Goals: 22/1

With Scunthorpe’s best player Josh Morris missing the majority of this season with a multitude of various injuries, Belgian midfielder Ojo has stepped up in his absence and has impressed the Iron supporters with his solidity and trickery in midfield.

The defensive midfielder scored a pearler in his side’s 2-1 win over Walsall last weekend and he been far and wide their best player this term. Strong in the tackle, he distributes the ball well when sitting just in front the back four and is also excellent in the air.

Scunthorpe are expecting bids for the midfielder during January and will do very well to keep hold of a player who looks like he could, if given the chance, perform higher up the Football League pyramid. Max Power and Dylan McGeoch will have a battle on their hands.

Lee Novak

Position: Striker / L1 Games/Goals: 26/10

Now in his 30’s, the 6ft centre forward is The Iron’s top scorer this term with eleven goals and, as a Geordie, will have extra reason to want to derail Sunderland’s season this weekend.

Coming from Wallsend Boys Club, Novak has consistently scored goals in League One for over a decade, hitting double figures for the likes of Huddersfield Town and Chesterfield, and shows no sign of stopping just yet.

He’s typical of most League One centre forwards - he’s burly and he’s strong, but perhaps most importantly, he’s a very good finisher and it doesn’t take him too many chances before the ball nestle’s into the back of the opponent’s net.

With the Lads only keeping two clean sheets in league since November, we may see Jimmy Dunne come into the side to combat the threat of the Geordie striker.

Rory McArdle

Position: Central Defender / L1 Games/Goals: 20/0

The Northern Irish center back is an experienced head in defence for Scunny and, as their star defender and skipper, he’ll be the man likely to try and nullify the likes of former team-mate Charlie Wyke and Josh Maja.

McArdle spent five seasons at Bradford City, winning their player of the year in the season 14/15 whilst also being a huge part of their 2013 League Cup run which saw them get all the way to Wembley.

Now into his second second at Glanford Park, the defender wears the armband for The Iron.

He’s tall at 6’1, strong and excellent in the air at both ends of the pitch. He’ll be more than a match for Charlie Wyke and will certainly use his experience to try and snuff out the obvious threat of Josh Maja, so making sure we get the better of the defender will be paramount to the Lads bringing home three points.

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