As a fairly quick disclaimer, I apologise in advance for the amount of milk advert puns I am going to make within this preview. I am sure this is all Accrington fans hear week in week out but this may be one of the only times I'll ever have the opportunity to do so I've got to grasp it with both hands whilst I can. Don't think I'm being overly confident that we'll get promoted, more than opposite and the hosts will instead.
Last Time Out
Onto the actual thing you clicked on this for, and we left Barnet with a slightly frustrating yet hard fought point. It could have been more, but looking at the positives, we kept our eighth clean sheet in twelve games and completely dominated them on the ball. What we lacked was a goal scorer to finish off the chances we were creating.
This is where everyone's favourite Haitian comes in, as Duckens Nazon will be coming back from international duty to fill that void ahead of our trip to The Wham Stadium. Without the loanee we were left with Marc McNulty and Maxime Biamou to try and find the net, both of whom are yet to find their feet with us. However I'm sure it's only a matter of time before they do.
The midfield wasn't as spectacular as it usually is despite the new flashy chant about them never giving the ball away. If anything it made them do it more so. What angered me the most was Liam Kelly's 40 yard volley when he had tonnes of space, two options, and a serious chance of scoring. All of these factors meant we unfortunately had to settle for a 0-0 draw. With the run we have coming up this has left me Craven(dale) a win.
Coventry City 2-1 Accrington Stanley
Saturday 13th February 1960
League Division Three
If we're talking the last time we competitively played them then you have to go back to 1960, when it's pre-Jimmy Hill you know it was a bloomin' long time ago. I'm sure some of the older folk would recognise a lot of this side but hand on heart the only one I can say rings a bell is George Curtis. More recently though, we faced them in a friendly back in 2012. John Fleck and Cody McDonald both got a brace each as we played our last match preparing for life in League One.
Potential Starting XI:
It's interesting to see how Mark Robins will react to the draw with Barnet, will Devon be dropped with Vincenti returning? Who gets dropped out of McNulty and Biamou with The Duck returning. Or maybe, just maybe, Ryan Haynes might get a few minutes on the field after recently returning from injury and playing for the u23s. It's unlikely he'll be risked but we could really do with some more creativity on that side.
I'd say nine of that side are nailed on to start, assuming we stay injury free, with the bottom two being the only potential changes that could be made. If there's one thing we do boast up top it's considerable depth, albeit there is a lack in goals. Once again however, it may just be a matter of time before they click and start banging them in for fun.
If we lost to the hosts on Saturday then I wouldn't touch Twitter with a barge pole, because no matter how valiantly we may have played and unlucky we may have been, you'll still get one guy saying "It's Accrington Stanley, we should never be losing to them, shows how far we've fallen" etc. In reality, they're a good side who are only behind us on goal difference.
What I'm trying to do here is damage limitation, we've got the quality to go out there and beat them, but there's a strong chance we won't and people will have an absolute meltdown. Billy Kee has been a machine so far this season and has described himself as being run "on beer and chips". So I tell you what, scratch everything I've said, go mental if we lose.
Accrington - 23/10
Draw - 21/10
Coventry - 5/4
Nothing is odds on and with relatively good reason, this is going to be a close game. If you want my pessimistic view then I'd say that Accrington at 23/10 is good value, if not and like me you want to be optimistic then 'Coventry to win to nil' is 13-5, with our clean sheet record and The Duck returning, looks like a solid bet. As an outside shot, Duckens Nazon is 66/1 to score a hat trick, so you never know...
As I've said, the return of The Duck is absolutely key here, if he's not jet-lagged and is perfectly able to start then there's absolutely no reason why he shouldn't. I will be a tad disappointed if he can rip up the Japanese National Team but not Accrington Stanley Football Club. I think we've got the ability to win, and my optimism is getting the better of me on this occasion.
Accrington Stanley 0-2 Coventry City