Defensive work needed by Accrington & Sunderland
Sunderland’s path to League One has been well documented and their games against Accrington only serve to highlight the contrast in their new surroundings compared to their old. Can they start their ascent up the divisions once more by beating Stanley? Have a read of our preview here:
Ross under scrutiny
The Black Cats unbeaten start to the season was brought to an abrupt halt in Cambridgeshire before the international break. Three straight wins had started to ease the growing tension in a fanbase divided about the future of manager Jack Ross.
The Scotsman has the biggest budget in the division and, on paper, one of the most talented squads yet has struggled to find and settle on a tactical system that gets the best from his charges.
The two 1-1 draws that kicked off the season only served to compound the unease in the mind of Jack Ross doubters and the continued struggles of last season’s star signing Will Grigg, only fuel the fire further.
The change in approach that saw wins against Portsmouth, Rochdale and Wimbledon were very welcome and having adopted a 4-2-3-1 it appeared that the attacking play was beginning to get stronger and create better opportunities for the like of Wyke and Grigg.
That was not the case against Peterborough as Sunderland ended up losing 3-0 and now puts the pressure back on when they travel to Accrington this coming weekend.
Accrington continue to amaze
Accrington have become the epitome of a well-run club, only highlighted further by the recent demise of Bury. They are competing at this level for a second straight season and deserve huge credit for that.
It has been a tricky start to the campaign with just one win in six games and 12 goals conceded in that run. They do fight hard and created chances as shown in the 3-3 draw at Bristol Rovers last weekend but the defence has been less than convincing.
The data suggests they are the sixth-worst team in League One when it comes to giving up good scoring opportunities and that will need to change. Going forward they also need to create better chances, currently having the fifth-worst xG in the division – plenty to ponder.
Accrington v Sunderland betting tip
Stanley have really struggled defensively at times this season and Jon Coleman will know they need to improve in that area to stay away from danger. The Black Cats have also looked vulnerable at the back so backing both teams to score at odds of 7/10 is the right way to go here.