Scout report: Accrington in shocking form but Newcastle man must be watched

It's the second game in a big week for Sunderland but what should the Black Cats expect from Accrington Stanley as they welcome them to the Stadium of Light?

Friday, 15th February 2019, 11:55 am
Updated Friday, 15th February 2019, 12:07 pm
Dan Barlaser, on the ground, has been instrumental for Stanley this season.

The previous game between the two sides was played at Crown Ground in December but the match was abandoned late on with the score at 1-1.

Stanley find themselves 16th ahead of their trip to Wearside but what system will they play? What form are they in? And who do Sunderland need to keep an eye on?

We take a closer look at the Black Cat's next opponents in our detailed scout report.

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What system will they play?

Accrington have only scored 27 goals in 29 league games this season which is the second-worst goal scoring record in League One behind only AFC Wimbeldon. Stanley haven't netted in their last six games.

They do however boast the 10th best defence in the league. Manager John Coleman often opts for a 4-4-2 formation allowing his side to have defensive cover and try to hit the opposition on the counter attack.

Most of their attacks go through forward Sean McConville who plays on the left-wing in Coleman's system.

Who are Accrington's key players?

McConville is vital to Accrington, having scored eight goals in 27 league games this season, making him Stanley's top scorer.

Striker Billy Kee has seven goals to his name this term. The 5'9 forward will have to be watched carefully by Sunderland's centre-backs.

On-loan Newcastle midfielder Dan Barlaser is another man to keep an eye on. The Gateshead-born youngster has been instrumental for Accrington this season and will hope to do damage to his rival club's promotion chances.

Do Accrington have any injury worries?

The Reds almost have a clean bill of health with only defender Ross Sykes an injury doubt for their trip to the North East. Midfielder Sam Finlay will miss the game as he enters the final game of his suspension.

Who is Accrington's manager and what can we expect from them?

Accrington's manager is John Coleman who has held the position since September 2014. The 56-year-old had a previous spell at the club from 1999-2012.

After taking over from James Beattie, Coleman led Stanley to 17th and after a few seasons in charge he led them to promotion, winning the League Two title.

What form have Accrington been in?

A run of six league games without a victory has left the Reds' bottom of the form guide.

Winless in eight games, in all competitions they have received three red cards and manager Coleman will be hoping their ill discipline can be rectified.

Stanley find themselves only four points from danger after their poor run.

Last six league games: LLDLDL