Match Preview: Accrington Stanley (H)

Wanderers are back in Sky Bet League One action tomorrow afternoon at the University of Bolton Stadium with Keith Hill’s men taking on Accrington Stanley.

Accrington are currently 16th in the table and look set to secure a third consecutive season in the third tier of English football. With an objective most likely to be retain their status as a Sky Bet League One club at the start of the campaign, it looks probable that they will do exactly that.

The month of February started off with three successive victories, against AFC Wimbledon, Shrewsbury Town and Lincoln City but in their last two outings John Coleman’s side have been beaten by Rotherham United and Oxford United. Inconsistency has perhaps restricted the possibility of Stanley achieving more than they have this season.

Team News

In his pre-match press conference with, Wanderers manager Keith Hill said Liam Edwards has sustained a damaged kneecap and will miss the remainder of the season. Saturday’s game will likely come too early for Ronan Darcy who remains on the sidelines and Harry Brockbank is ill.

Head to Head

Since Accrington Stanley’s reformation in 1968 there has been just two meetings between the two teams and they have both come during the current campaign. After a 7-1 defeat at the Wham Stadium in November which we won’t over elaborate on, Wanderers were also beaten 2-0 in the Trophy the following month with Offrande Zanzala and Colby Bishop on the scoresheet.

Match Coverage

As usual, match updates will be provided by the club’s official twitter account (@OfficialBWFC). We will keep you up to date with the action to ensure you don’t miss a kick – delivering a match report shortly after the final whistle with post-match reaction from manager, Keith Hill.

Live commentary will also be available by the iFollow BWFC channel (subscribe via the website), with the BBC Radio Manchester team providing the coverage.

Betting Odds

Accrington Stanley come into the game as favourites at the time of writing according to Sky Bet, and are being priced at 1/1 (Evens) to win the game.

Wanderers are regarded as underdogs and are priced at 12/5 to win the game, with a draw being priced at 5/2. Odds are subject to change.

Man in the Middle – Josh Smith

Saturday’s match will be officiated by Josh Smith. He will be assisted by David Plowright and Stephen Wade with Billy Smallwood appointed as the fourth official.

Smith has officiated 24 matches this season, with the most recent being Newport County’s 2-1 home victory against Bradford City in Sky Bet League Two last weekend.  

So far this campaign he has handed out 78 yellow cards (3.25 per game) and six red cards (0.25 per game).

Currently in his second season as a referee, Smith has never refereed a Wanderers fixture although he sent off Ethan Hamilton in a 7-1 defeat to Doncaster Rovers when the Manchester United loanee was on loan at Southend United.  

Key man for the Sky Blues – Jordan Clark

An exciting winger who is currently in his fourth season with Accrington Stanley, he has eight goals to his name in all competitions so far this season with five assists.

The 26 year-old began his career with hometown club Barnsley and featured for the club under the management of Keith Hill before joining Shrewsbury Town in July 2014 after loan spells with Chesterfield, Scunthorpe United and Hyde.

Since signing for Accrington in August 2016, he has made 189 appearances and scored 29 goals during that time.


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