Scunthorpe manager Mark Robins has revealed that he expects his striker Paddy Madden to be fit to face Chelsea in the FA Cup on Sunday 10 January. The 25-year-old, currently the club's top scorer with 14 goals in all competitions, featured for 90 minutes of a 1-1 draw with Wigan on 2 January, but was subsequently said to be struggling with a minor hamstring issue.
That is unlikely to stop him starting for the Iron during their lucrative third-round tie at Stamford Bridge, however, a match that will represent Scunthorpe's first meeting with the current Premier League champions since goals from Mateja Kezman, Andy Crosby (OG) and Eidur Gudjohnsen secured a 3-1 victory for Jose Mourinho's experimental side back in 2005.
"Paddy Madden has been struggling a little bit with a tight hamstring, but I'd fully expect him to be okay," Robins told the Scunthorpe Telegraph. "I'd expect everybody to be fighting for a place."
Scunthorpe are currently 15th in League One, seven points clear of the relegation zone and eight adrift of play-off contention. Robins has only two injury worries to contend with ahead of the trip to west London, although both of those players appear close to making their first-team returns.
"There's only two injuries at the moment – Tom Hopper and Gary McSheffrey – and they were both out on the pitch yesterday, so hopefully we can get them back as quickly as we can and remain injury free for the rest of the season."
As for Chelsea, Guus Hiddink is not scheduled to hold his own pre-match press conference until Friday (8 January). The Dutchman secured the first win of his second spell as caretaker manager last weekend, with Oscar, Willian and Diego Costa all on the scoresheet during a comfortable 3-0 triumph against Crystal Palace.
Playmaker Eden Hazard was substituted in the early stages of that victory at Selhurst Park after sustaining a groin injury and is not expected to return for the visit of Scunthorpe, or indeed the Premier League encounter with West Brom on 13 January. Gary Cahill and Loic Remy have also been sidelined of late with ankle and calf problems respectively, but both could return in the FA Cup.
Meanwhile, forgotten striker Radamel Falcao has not played at all since October due to a persistent thigh injury. Reports from The Telegraph now suggest that the Colombian has travelled back to parent club Monaco as Chelsea ponder the option to terminate his season-long loan spell four months ahead of schedule.