MICHAEL Appleton is expecting tomorrow’s clash to be far more difficult for Oxford United than in their Checkatrade Trophy meeting with Scunthorpe United in January.

The Iron took an early lead in the third round tie, but after Marvin Johnson levelled the hosts ran out 4-1 winners courtesy of a Kane Hemmings hat-trick.

However, with both teams making changes on the night, Appleton reckons Scunthorpe’s heaviest defeat of the season will have little bearing when the sides meet in Sky Bet League One.

Instead, the head coach predicts a repeat of the closely-fought reverse fixture, which finished 1-1 in November.

He said: “They probably see themselves as a different team.

“We did ever so well on the night and took the majority of our opportunities.

“They had one or two early on that we got away with.

“I thought we deserved to win the game comfortably and we did in the end, but I expect it to be much tougher, similar to the one at Glanford Park.

“Even though we’ve had a couple of defeats of late I’d be surprised if they come here too excited about it.

“I think they’ll be wary if we turn up and some of our players are on-song they’ll expect a tough game.”