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Peterborough United vs Accrington Stanley: League One Match Preview

Peterborough United vs Accrington Stanley

The EFL League One match coming up this Wednesday, 23 October 2019, between Peterborough United F.C. and Accrington Stanley F.C. will take place at London Road Stadium in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, England. Accy comes into the match having pulled off not only the biggest upset of the season in League One so far this season, but one of the biggest wins in club history. Their 2-0 win over Ipswich Town F.C. was the first loss of the season for The Tractor Boys, and a much needed 3 points to get Accy out of the relegations zone. Peterborough has been one of the top teams in League One this season, especially offensively. They currently lead the league in total scoring with 30 goals as a team. The Posh are currently on 24 points, and just points behind Ipswich and Wycome Wanderers F.C., who have 27 points apiece. They are tied with The Tractor Boys for top mark in terms of goal difference at +14. If Peterborough wins against Accrington, and The Tractor boys fall in their match with Rotherham United F.C. on Wednesday, The Posh are mathematically assured of sitting on top of the table. After finishing 7th in League One last season, and just missing out on the playoffs, they seem primed for at least a top 6 position based on their early form.

Things started very slowly this year for Accy, but over the past month and a half their form has vastly improved, although the results have mostly not shown it. On Sunday, the finally showed just how much potential this roster has by not only knocking off the top team in the league, but keeping a clean sheet as well. Striker Colby Bishop had both goals for Accrington on Sunday, and now has a team leading club leading 6 goals (7 across all competitions). The Posh are coming off a win of their own, 2-1 over Gillingham F.C. on Saturday. The goals came from Joe Ward, his first of the season, and Mohamed Eisa, who got into double figures on the season, scoring his 10th on a penalty. Peterborough comes into the match in excellent form, and are unbeaten (3-1-0) in their past 4 matches. Accrington's form has for the most part improved by the week recently, and they are (2-2-1) over their past 5 matches.

Peterborough United vs Accrington Stanley Vital Information

Peterborough United logo

By Source, Fair use, Wikipedia

This match can be viewed on Accrington Stanley iFollow in the United States, at 2:45 PM U.S. ET/7:45 PM GMT.

Referee appointments have Sam Purkiss as the referee, with assistants Wayne Grunnill and Ryan Whitaker, and the fourth official Adrian Waters.

Last week Accrington was bolstered by the return of both Sean McConville and Callum Johnson from injury, but continue to be without forward Courtney Baker-Richardson with a hamstring injury. They will be without 2 starters on the backline against Peterborough however, as Ross Sykes was suspended was a direct red card vs Ipswich, and Jerome Opoku is suspended one game for yellow card accumulation. Peterborough has Louis Reed returning from suspension, and expects midfielder Marcus Maddison to be back after missing time with an injury.

This will be the 7th meeting all time between Accrington Stanley F.C. and Peterborough United F.C.. In the previous 6 meetings, Peterborough has won 4, Accrington has won 2, and there has not been a draw. The most recent result was a 4-0 win for The Posh on 29 December 2018 at Accrington. The match at Peterborough last season on 20 October 2018 went in favor of Accy by a score of 1-0. 

Five Points That Shouldn’t Be Overlooked

Accrington Stanley Logo

By Source, Fair use, Wikipedia

As mentioned above, Eisa already has 10 goals for Peterborough this year, but he is not alone. Ivan Toney also has 10 goals already for The Posh. Shutting down 1 player with this kind of scoring ability is difficult for any team, but shutting down 2 guys like this is virtually impossible. The 20 goals scored by Eisa and Toney are not only two thirds of Peterborough's league leading total, but is more than 16 of the teams in League One have scored total. They are the only players to reach double figures scoring in the league so far this year, with Fleetwood Town F.C.'s Paddy Madden third in scoring with 9 goals. In spite of these prolific goal scoring totals, the real key to The Posh offense has been Maddison. Playing the center attacking midfield position, he has handed out a club leading 6 assists, and found the back of the net 4 times on his own. In Peterborough's preferred 4-1-2-1-2 formation, the offense really centers around these 3 players up front, with the other 7 men back in a more defensive role.

Accrington played David to Ipswich's Goliath last week, and proved that their top 11 is as good as any in the league. The problem is however, that even with all of their new acquisitions they still don't have the depth of massive clubs like The Tractor Boys, or even more established League One outfits like Peterborough. Against Ipswich was one of the first times this season that Accy has had their best 11 injury free and available. This will be far from the case, as they will be without not only 1, but 2 of their top defenders due to suspension. Replacing either Sykes or Opoku is a tall order (and not just because both are extremely tall), but replacing both of them is a near impossibility. Especially for a club that relies on starting the same guys on the back line every week. Certainly, a day where you are traveling to play the top scoring team in the league is not the day you want to be without these guys either, but such will be the case on Wednesday. Mark Hughes and Johnson will certainly start, and I would expect that Zaine Francis-Angol will taking one of those spots vacated by Sykes and Opoku. Look for perhaps Phil Edwards or Ajibola Alese to a first start of the year. Both players have looked good in very limited playing time.

Peterborough rebuilt their entire defense this offseason, and thus far the results have been mixed. 16 goals allowed puts them squarely middle of the pack. They started strong with 4 clean sheets in their first 7 matches, but have just 1 clean sheet in 6 matches since. They have also allowed 2 or more goals in 3 out of their last 4 games. Goalkeeper Christy Pym, who came over from Exeter City F.C., has a good, but not great save percentage of 62.8%. He has only faced 43 shots on target through 13 games, which tells me the guys in front of him are doing a pretty good job. The anchor on defense thus far is center back Mark Beevers, who came over from Bolton Wanderers F.C. this offseason. At 29-years-old he is still in his prime, but extremely experienced. He has over 400 career starts between League One and the EFL Championship, and has played every minute of every game for The Posh so far this year. Frankie Kent mans the other center back position, and Niall Mason starts at right back, both of whom are in their first year with the club as well. Of the regular starters on the back line, only Josh Knight was with the club last season, and he is a 21-year-old who had 8 appearances to his name last season.

The Accrington offense has been a work in progress to say the least, but Sunday was a huge breakthrough in scoring 2 goals against the league's top defensive outfit. In fact, Peterborough is the only other club that has managed to find the back of the net more than once in a game against The Tractor Boys this year. In last week's article, I wrote that the key to Accrington's offense was ultimately going to be Bishop getting the service he needs, and then putting the onion in the bag when he gets it. On Sunday, that is exactly what happened when he took Sam Finley's cross in the 17th minute, and headed it into the back of the net. Later, in the 41st minute he calmly converted on a penalty to account for the match's other goal. On Sunday, we saw McConville in the starting line-up for the first time in a few weeks, and Offrande Zanzala made his second consecutive start up front. On Wednesday, I am going to assume that we see Joe Pritchard get a start in the midfield, as John Coleman will want to give a banged up McConville a day off on such short rest. I also expect that we will see Dion Charles up front next to Bishop in place of Zanzala. Finley and Jordan Clark have been Accy's 2 most consistent midfielders, both have started every game so far, and I don't expect that to change on Wednesday. Veteran stable Seamus Conneely should round out the starting 11 for Accy.

John Coleman gaffer

Looking at the betting line, it becomes clear just how strange and telling last week's line against Ipswich was. Now of course Accrington was at home in that one. However, as we have discussed, home pitch advantage generally doesn't seem to play as big a factor when it comes to the lines in League One, as it does in many other leagues or sports. If you remember, last week, Ipswich was going off the board at 20/21. That means a bet of 100 quid on Ipswich would have paid back 195.23 (your original 100 plus 95.23 in winnings). This week, The Posh are at 8/13, which means that same 100 quid would pay back back 161.50). What does all of this mean? Well, like I mentioned, Peterborough is at home, so that is one factor in their favor. On the other hand, The Tractor Boys had not lost all season before last week, while The Posh already have 3 losses. Accrington also now has the pedigree of having beaten Ipswich. Taking all of this into account, it doesn't make much sense Peterborough is favored by significantly more than Ipswich was, even at home. What this brings us back around to is just what I mentioned last week, the bookmakers clearly had some kind of insight that Accy was about to pull an upset and were practically begging people to bet on Ipswich. Ultimately this line is more along what you would expect to see given each club's current position in the table, and it was last week's line that was the anomaly. As I say, some week's the oddsmakers are really telling you something like last week, other weeks the line is about where it is expected to be. These are the games that are hard to pick because the oddsmakers are essentially telling you they don't have a strong feeling one way or another. Accrington is going off the board at 18/5, or a payout of 460 on the 20 quid bet. I would say under normal circumstances that this would be a good value bet, especially since Accy won at Peterborough last year, but with the Sykes and Opoku suspensions I would keep my money in my pocket if I were you. The 3-1 draw line odd is a little bit of a higher than average number. It might be the best value on the board, but is also a number that says the bookmakers don't think it will end level. Ultimately, this week's line tells you more about how strange last week's line was, than it does in terms of giving you insight about this game. Ultimately, if you are going to be on anything in this game, I have seen some books out there that are offering 2-1 odds on over 3 combined goals between the teams. If you can find somewhere offering this, the that's where my money would go. Everything points to this being a fast paced, and high scoring match.

Accrington Stanley Project Starting XI

  • GK - Dimitar Evtimov
  • RB - Callum Johnson
  • CB - Mark Hughes
  • CB - Ajibola Alese
  • LB - Zaine Francis Angol
  • MF - Seamus Conneely
  • MF - Sam Finley
  • MF - Jordan Clark
  • MF - Joe Pritchard
  • F - Dion Charles
  • F - Colby Bishop

Peterborough United Projected Starting XI

Accrington Stanley vs Peterborough United Prediction

I think this is going to be a wide open and high scoring match, and it is going to be a fun one to watch as a neutral. It is a weekday night match, with both teams on short rest, and is the kind of match where strange things happen. Coming off the high of the win on Sunday, I wouldn't be surprised at all to see Accrington roll in and surprise The Posh as well. That being said, I would feel like a lot better chance of that happening if Sykes and Opoku, or at least one of them were going to be in the lineup. I think missing arguably your two best players on the backline (along with Johnson and Hughes) is going to just be too much to overcome against a team with as much firepower as Peterborough. I think Accrington might even jump out early with the first goal. Ultimately, they are going to be running out 2 guys on defense who have not played much this season, and over the course of 90 minutes, I think that Eisa, Toney, and Maddison will just prove more than they can handle.

Prediction: Peterborough United - 4      Accrington Stanley - 2

About Phil Kennedy

Member of @acrosspitch football/soccer podcast, Accrington Stanley, Phoenix Rising, Arsenal, #OnStanleyOn #UpRising #WeAreTheArsenal @OASSCNA #dontworrybeaccy

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