Accrington Stanley F.C. travel to Loftus Road in London to play AFC Wimbledon in an EFL League One match this Saturday, 3 October 2020. The Wombles come into the match a somewhat surprising 8th in the table, and have not lost yet this season, with a 1-2-0 record. Perhaps most surprising has been their offensive output of 7 goals through their first 3 league matches, but 6 goals allowed suggests that their defense has been porous. However, in their last match, they managed a clean sheet in a surprising 1-0 win at Fleewood Town, a match where Steve Seddon's 41st minute goal was all the needed to claim the full 3 points. The previous week they were involved in a wild 4-4 result at home against Plymouth Argyle. Accy comes in 17th in the table, (1-0-2), and have lost 2 matches in-a-row after an opening day win over Peterborough United. Last week they were shellacked at home 4-1 by Oxford United in a match that saw starting forward Dion Charles sent off in the 75th minute. Matty Taylor quickly salted away 2 goals for The Yellows following the send off to put things to bed in that one. Accy will be without Charles this week, who receives an automatic 3-match-ban for the send off, but will have midfielder Tariq Uwakwe, who missed last week with an injury, back in the squad.
With Charles suspended, we will likely see Colby Bishop get his first start up front for Stanley this season. Last season Bishop lead Stanley with 10 goals, but he has not scored yet this year in 3 substitute appearances. Injuries have become a bit of an issue for Bishop over the past 2 seasons, but when healthy he has been an extremely effective player.
The Wombles don't seem to have much news to report on the injury front, and have had a fairly consistent lineup this season, with 8 of their outfield players having started all 3 matches. Captain Joe Pigott, now in his 4th season with Wimbledon, is off to a blazing hot start with 2 goals and 3 assists in the first 3 matches. Pigott is unlikely to maintain that scoring pace, but it looks like 19-year-old forward Ryan Longman, who is on loan from Brighton, will be a scoring threat as well, as he has 1 goal and 1 assist already. Midfielder Nesta Guinness-Walker also has 1 goal and 1 assist this season, matching his total in both categories from last season when he started 19 matches for Wimbledon. It will be important for him to keep this up, as Wimbledon lost quite a bit of creativity in the midfield this offseason with the departure of Scott Wagstaff.
Listen To Our League One Week 3 Review/Week 4 Preview
AFC Wimbledon vs Accrington Stanley Vital Information
This match can be viewed on Accrington Stanley iFollow in the United States, at 7:00 AM U.S. (Arizona Time)/3:00 PM GMT.
Referee appointments have Michael Salisbury as the referee, with assistants Andrew Fox and Richard Wild, and the fourth official Jeremy Simpson.
As mentioned above, Charles will be serving the first of a 3 match ban this week.
This will be the 17th meeting all-time between Accrington Stanley F.C. and AFC Wimbledon. In the previous 16 meetings, Accrington has won 8, Wimbledon has won 5, and there has been 3 draws. The most recent meeting was a 2-1 win by Accy at WHAM stadium on 1 February 2020. Accy is on a 4 match unbeaten run in this series (2-2-0), with The Wombles last win against Accrington coming in the 2016 League Two playoffs, a match that they won 1-0 on 14 May 2016.
The Lead Story
Another week, another new signing, and another Chelsea loanee, Jon Russell has signed on with Stanley, and will wear the number 8 shirt. He is described as a box-to-box midfielder, and will be eligible for play in the Wimbledon match. Based on his position, it's possible that we could see John Coleman go back to his regular 4-4-2 formation this week. The 3-5-2 paid dividends early, especially in the win over Peterborough, but it's success seems reliant on having both Uwakwe and Mo Sangare in the lineup to make it work. With Sangare sidelined another 6 weeks, it seems like personnel are more suited to this more traditional formation for the time being. I can see a scenario where Seamus Conneely would move from the midfield to right back, and Russell would join Matt Butcher as the other deep midfielder. I would assume that a healthy Uwakwe starts on one of the wings, with Joe Prichard on the other wing, with Bishop and Ryan Cassidy up front. Ross Sykes and Cameron Burgess, who have been Accy's two most consistent players this season would be the starting center backs, and veteran Mark Hughes would be the left back. Another guy that we could end up seeing is Joe Maguire, who hasn't played yet this year, but is one of the only true full backs on the squad, and would add some youth and athleticism at that position. I haven't made a habit of projecting full starting lineups, but based on current injury and suspension issues a return to the 4-4-2 seems likely.
Accrington Stanley Player Snapshots
With Charles out for the next 3 matches, it will be critical for the 19-year-old Cassidy to become a primary contributor on offense. He scored his first league goal last week from the penalty spot, but has yet to get on the board yet from the run of play. He brings more pace to the position than Accy has traditionally had, and has had some decent scoring chances in the early weeks, but he will also need to get better service from the midfield to find more consistency. One concerning stat is that he has just 4 shot attempts this season, however he has gotten 3 of those on target. This seems to suggest that perhaps he can be a bit less selective in his shot taking. Cassidy is another player who fits Accrington's current mold of players that have plenty of talent, but are lacking in league experience. By comparison, the 23-year-old Bishop, and 24-year-old Charles (each in just their second league season) are experience veterans at this point. Bishop was struggling with an injury in preseason, and has yet to start, or play close to a full 90 minutes yet this season, so Coleman will likely be counting on Cassidy to go the distance on Saturday.
Listen To Our EFL League One Roundtable
If you haven't yet, cast your vote for September's Accrington Stanley Goal of the Month. Now I am not going to tell you which one to vote for, but there is clearly only one right answer to this one.
Also, as seen below, Bishop nabbed his first League goal against The Wombles last season, and tomorrow has a chance to do it for a 2nd season in-a-row.
Looking At The Opposition: AFC Wimbledon
Picking Wimbledon to get relegated from League One each season has become a bit of a rite of passage, as has them narrowly escaping it each year. In fact, they have finished 20th in each of the last 2 seasons (teams from 21st on down get relegated), and were 18th the year before that. With the loss of Wagstaff, among others, not to mention Marcus Forss's departure last January, it seemed like this would finally be the year. However, thus far The Wombles have looked like anything but relegation fodder in going unbeaten in their first 3 matches. The one offseason loss the seems to be hurting them is goalkeeper Nathan Trott, who posted and impressive 76%+ save percentage while on loan from West Ham last season, returning to his parent club. So far this season Connal Trueman and Nik Tzanev have combined to stop just 5 of 11 shots on target that they have faced. The offense has been impressive enough to offset it, but it's hard to imagine that Wimbledon's fortunes won't turn at some point if they continue to allow 2.00 goals per game as they have so far, and that is even with the clean sheet against Fleetwood last week. Luke O'Neill and Terell Thomas both return as starters on the back line, which gives them some consistency from last season, so in my estimation by the end of the year Wimbledon will finish with better defensive numbers, but far less prolific offensive numbers than they currently have. It is also worth noting that with an average age of 22.8 years, Wimbledon is one of the few clubs Accy will face this year with a lower average than their 23.4 year squad average.
Glyn’s full update includes:— AFC Wimbledon (@AFCWimbledon) October 1, 2020
💪 Team news ahead of Saturday
⚽️ Preparing for a busy month
🎤 Boosting camaraderie with initiation songs for new players to ‘sing for their suppers’!
🤼♂️ Facing up to the challenge of Accrington
Full interview: https://t.co/7R5sgCE62d #AFCW pic.twitter.com/ehfJGHwAnO
💪 New signing @AlexWoodyard1 has settled quickly into life with The Dons. The ever-present midfielder is keen to add to our unbeaten league run, when Accrington Stanley visit on Saturday. Watch the full interview with Alex >> https://t.co/GwvtculTLh #AFCW ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/NG2NjdjKQR— AFC Wimbledon (@AFCWimbledon) October 2, 2020
AFC Wimbledon vs Accrington Stanley 03/10/20 Gambling Analysis
Taking a look at the betting odds, the folks at DraftKings.com have set a line the shows no clear cut favorite, with Wimbledon the slight edge as the home team. This is what you would expect the line to be in other words, so they aren't really telling you anything here. As we all know, when the line doesn't really tell you anything, it's generally stay away time. In this case though, it is pretty clear that they are HEAVILY guarding against the draw, and it's also worth noting that the last 2 matches between these clubs that have happened at Loftus Road have ended in a 1-1 draw. This is not a bet the farm rating by any means, but I would seriously recommend laying down a meager bet on a draw.
AFC Wimbledon vs Accrington Stanley Prediction
As I mentioned above, these two clubs have drawn their past 2 matches when playing at Wimbledon, and Wimbledon has already drawn twice this season. I also think after the way the past 2 weeks have gone that Accy would be more than happy to take home any point on the road to get back on track somewhat. The last 2 weeks Accrington has come out in counter attacking mode, and the first 20 minutes or so, of the games, have been very chess match like. I wouldn't be surprised to see the same thing again on Saturday, although if they do Wimbledon might decide to push the issue. Ultimately, I think goals will be hard to come by, and we will see our third consecutive 1-1 draw in this match-up, at this venue.