MATCH PREVIEW: Accrington Stanley
Updated Friday, 18th December 2009
Barnet Mad previews tomorrow's League Two match at the Crown Ground.
Barnet travel to Accrington for a League two match tomorrow and there is a morning pitch inspection as the Crown Ground has been covered in snow today. However, the whether in the North West has not been quite as bad as in the south and club officials at Accrington are hopeful the match will go ahead.
Accrington will be particularly keen for the game to go ahead as they are a team in form. Stanley knocked the Bees out of the FA Cup last Tuesday with a 1-0 win in the 2nd round replay at Underhill and followed it up with a mightily impressive 2-1 away win in the league at troubled Notts County. That win took the Accys up to 11th in the table and they have three points more than Barnet. As well as their cup victory over the Bees, Accrington have won their last three league matches; their last home win being a 4-2 victory over Torquay a fortnight ago. In midweek, Accrington went out of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, losing 2-0 at League One leaders, Leeds United.
Barnet’s form has been pretty much the opposite of Accrington’s. The Bees have slumped from being in the play-off positions to 15th in a run that has seen them take just three points from their last seven league matches and during which they have also been knocked out of the FA Cup. Their last victory was at the beginning of November when they beat Darlington 3-1 in the FA Cup 1st round and they have lost their last six away matches in the league.
However, there is some good news for the Bees’ fans. Inspirational goalkeeper, Jake Cole has been passed for tomorrow’s match after suffering a groin injury last Saturday against Crewe. Meanwhile, full back, Joe Devera has been passed fit as well. Devera has been missing since the end of October, last having played for the Bees in the 1-0 defeat at Chesterfield. With Bees’ other right back, Ryan O’Neill fit as well, Barnet have an almost fully fit squad, only missing long term absentees, Gary Breen and Clovis Kamdjo.
Devera’s return should bring a great deal more balance to the side, particularly on the right hand side of the team and will benefit, fit again, Albert Adomah whose from has greatly suffered from not having the support of an orthodox right back in the side since Devera and O’Neill were injured. With Devera at right back, this should allow Calum Butcher, who had an uncomfortable time against Crewe playing at right back to move back alongside Ismail Yakubu, with Daniel Leach dropping to the bench. Manager, Ian Hendon will have to choose between Kenny Gillet and Ahmed Deen for the left back spot.
Following the return to Barnet of Dean Sinclair, Hendon now has another option in midfield with Joe Tabiri returning after his loan spell at Havant & Waterlooville. Hendon has received good reports about Tabiri from his time with the Blue Square South side and he could be in contention for a place tomorrow along with Sinclair, who scored on his second full debut against Crewe. Hendon may choose to rest skipper, Micah Hyde, whose form has been somewhat poor of late and hand Mark Hughes the captaincy. Hendon will have to decide whether to play three in the centre of midfield, as he started with against Crewe, or revert to playing with two wide players. Up front, Craig McAllister looks set to continue alongside John O’Flynn.
Accrington have no injury problems, but midfield player, Tom Lees is expected to return after missing the midweek match at Leeds. Lees is on loan from the Elland Road club and so was not allowed to play in that match.
Barnet will be desperate to get something out of tomorrow’s match and end their bleak run away from home in the league and to get back to winning ways. With Devera back to lend stability and balance to the defence, the Bees should be good enough to end their torrid run of away form, but a win might be just a bit beyond them. Barnet Mad is predicting a draw, possibly 1-1.
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