League One Gameweek 13: Marquis to strike at Spotland7 min read
Last month, John Marquis netted a brace for Doncaster Rovers at Plymouth; his goals not only helped his side to a 3-2 victory, they also took his individual total for the club up to 50.
Marquis was by far Donny’s main goal threat last season, when he scored 15 goals in all competitions, but one also felt there was more to come from him.
There were a lot of games in which the team, then managed by Darren Ferguson, looked pedestrian in the first half leaving their marksman isolated, but he would often come alive in the second period once the tempo increased.
Since Grant McCann took over from Ferguson in the summer, the new boss has made adventurous tweaks to ensure the high-tempo football clicks into gear earlier.
He has ensured that the deepest midfielder has the technical proficiency to switch play quickly; Benjamin Whiteman has taken on that role very well.
Between Whiteman and Marquis is a plethora of creative talent. Herbie Kane has proved one of League One’s stand-out teenagers since joining on loan from Liverpool, Matty Blair offers pace and drive, the evergreen James Coppinger is intelligent as ever while Leeds loanee Mallik Wilks provides excellent mobility.
Of course, things didn’t go to plan for Doncaster in last week’s 4-0 home defeat to Fleetwood – by some distance their worst display of the campaign to date.
Grant McCann though will not stand for many more of those performances and we back his side to respond against Rochdale.
Keith Hill’s hosts have shipped 13 goals in six on familiar soil, giving them the worst home defensive record in League One.
Although they haven’t always been outplayed by their opponents, they are yet to identify, within their squad, defenders who can stay strong and keep them in games when under the cosh.
We reckon Marquis, who has scored five goals in Doncaster’s six away league games this year, is great value to strike at Spotland at 7/5.
Tip: Marquis to score
Scunny to edge Posh thriller
The mood at Scunthorpe has improved immeasurably over the last six weeks.
Nick Daws clearly cared for the club and had done well in his two caretaker spells, but appeared to have difficulties when thrust into the bright lights of permanent management, which suggests coaching might be his career choice hereon.
Stuart McCall, who replaced Daws as boss after just five games, has not only shown the charisma to manage a whole club rather than just a group of players, he has also brought attacking football to Glanford Park for the first time in quite a while.
Since the former Rangers legend took charge, Scunny have taken 12 points from seven games – only three teams have taken more in that time-frame – and scored a highly-impressive 15 goals, making them the joint-top goalscorers in the division since August.
Lee Novak has grafted admirably up top; the ex-Birmingham man has scored three goals in his last six while fellow forward Stephen Humphrys, on loan from Fulham, has two in two.
The duo have received fine service from attacking talent Ryan Colclough, who appears to have put the off-field issues he faced at Crewe as a young player behind him and is showing his full potential.
⚽ Goal: Lee Novak v Luton Town (A) – Another look at Lee Novak's fourth goal of the campaign away at Luton Town on Saturday. #UTI #IRON pic.twitter.com/7atZwG3wBg
— Scunthorpe United (Stay 🏠) (@SUFCOfficial) October 9, 2018
Wide man Josh Morris is getting back to his best while Matty Lund, an impressive performer when he last played at this level with Rochdale, offers bags of energy in midfield.
Momentum favours the Humberside outfit against Peterborough – although Steve Evans’ side are second, their recent form has called their promotion credentials into question.
Posh took 22 points from the first 27 available to them – but they did so through clinical finishing from their forwards, two of Matt Godden, Jason Cummings and Ivan Toney.
They didn’t necessarily control many of their early clashes and the fact they scored from an abnormally high proportion of their shots suggests performances needed to improve for form to be sustained.
Instead, last week’s 4-0 home defeat to Barnsley means Peterborough have won just one of their last five league games, conceding 12 goals in that period; in fact, they have just one clean sheet to their name all season.
In the interests of balance, they have made the scoresheet in each of their games bar the Barnsley match.
For that reason, the best angle of approach is to side with Scunthorpe whilst backing a high-scoring encounter.
The home win with Over 3.5 goals at 19/4 might seem like an outside shout, but the Iron are on an upward curve and Posh, a downward trajectory; there are reasons to suggest those trends might continue on Saturday.
Tip: Scunthorpe to win and over 3.5 goals
Read Gabriel Sutton’s League Two Gameweek 13 Preview here!