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PREVIEW | Exiles begin 2020/21 Sky Bet League Two campaign with trip to Scunthorpe United

11 September 2020

Newport County AFC kick off their 2020/21 Sky Bet League Two campaign with an away trip to the Sands Venue Stadium to take on Scunthorpe United.

Both sides will have their own aspirations for the new season, with Saturday going a long way to determining how each team has settled into their new empty-seated surroundings.

Here, you can find all the facts and statistics ahead of the fixture...

The opposition - Scunthorpe United

This will be Scunthorpe’s second successive season in League Two after five seasons in League One, with United finishing in 20th place last time around.

The Iron’s season has not got off to the most ideal start, with two cup defeats to Port Vale and Lincoln City, but they will be hoping for better fortunes in the league on Saturday.

There is also a new manager at the helm in Neil Cox, who took over at the beginning of August after leaving his assistant role at Notts County.

Team News

Last season saw an injury nightmare break out at Rodney Parade, something that the Exiles manager Michael Flynn will be hoping to avoid this season.

With the opener on the horizon, County have just the one injury concern in new signing David Longe-King.

Scunthorpe will be without last season's top scorer Kevin van Veen and defender Emmanuel Onariase, who requires surgery on a hernia problem. Captain Jordan Clarke and Harrison McGahey both missed out on United’s cup matches due to fitness concerns.

One to watch - Ryan Loft

Ryan Loft signed for Scunthorpe on a season-long loan from Leicester City and has already made an impression. The forward marked his debut for the Iron with a goal against Port Vale in the EFL Cup.

The 22-year-old spent last season on loan at Carlisle where he scored six goals in all competitions, including the winner against Scunthorpe.

Loft will be hoping he can cement a starting place and fill the void left by the injured Kevin van Veen.

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Manager – Neil Cox

Neil Cox took over at the Sands Venue Stadium in August after Paul Hurst left the club.

The job is Cox’s first managerial position since 2011, when he was in charge of Leek Town. He has since been assistant manager at AFC Wimbledon and Notts County.

Born in Scunthorpe, the 48-year-old, incidentally, played for United 17 times in 1990/91, scoring once. The Englishman would go on to represent Watford 219 times, and play for County’s south Wales rivals Cardiff City.

Last meeting between the sides

The last time the sides met, it was County who came out on top at the Sands Venue Stadium.

The Exiles went behind late in the first half to an Abo Eisa strike, before goals in the 72nd and 76th minute from Jamille Matt and Padraig Amond provided County with a much needed win.

Newport also won 2-1 in the home tie in October, thanks to goals from Amond and Josh Sheehan.

Watch the live action

Supporters can watch Saturday's clash for £10 on iFollow Exiles.

Click here to purchase your first league match pass of the new season.

Download Exiles Picks and select your predictions

The Exiles Picks app allows supporters - aged 18 and over - to compete on a peer-vs-peer level to predict the outcome of goals, assists, shots on goal, corners, tackles, saves and more to win a share of a cash prize pool every match this season.

You can now test yourself against fellow County supporters by playing for FREE to win a share of a £500 prize pool.

Click to download on the App Store and Google Play.

Click here for full Terms & Conditions and please make sure you always gamble responsibly.

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