Don’t mention the advert. Don’t mention the advert. Don’t mention the advert.

We’ve already ruined games against Swindon with all those slug references, it’s probably best to draw the line somewhere. Stanley are so much more than a nostalgic milk advert. Obviously I don’t have a particular list of accomplishments to draw upon, but they’re level with us in the league this season and have been one of the top teams so far, so let’s give them the respect they deserve, yeah? Ian Rush demands it.

After the giddy excitement leading up to last week’s snoozefest, I’m going to keep things low-key this week, so not to disappoint people if things don’t go to plan.

Not that I’m worried or anything. It’s just funny how we never learn. Football is so clearly a sporadic game, how hard should it be to display a modicum of restraint afterwards if things don’t quite go to plan? Boring matches come along all the time. They are what they are: annoying but inevitable. Yet when they do happen there’s always a disproportionate meltdown and drop in any excitement that had built up previously. This week, Lamptey Show podcast downloads are down, and the Telegraph have barely run any articles about our players’ disputed modes of transport. Two clear metrics highlighting that we have all been distracted from what remains a strong-looking season for us, in spite of the rotter of a match we had to endure last week.

It feels like a contradiction but we can remain both excited and pragmatic about how things will go. I continue to think (and expect) we will go up, mainly because all the signs indicate that our performances are superior in almost every area. I don’t think we’re going to win every game, though. And I’m OK with that.

We’re entering that portion of the season that’ll set us up for the really hardcore cold snap – you know, the three month period when you’re going to need a real reason to get out of your pouffe. Some seasons we sign Joe Cole and smash the league leaders leaving us gagging for the next game; other years we’re forced to endure Mark Venus’ impression of a slightly more pissed off Tony Mowbray and it’s made all the more tricky to get motivated.

This time around, I’m very relaxed about the season, and am proper chilled about our chances this afternoon.

That said, we are definitely going to win 100-0.

How are they getting on?

They’re pretty much copying us. The only difference being they’ve scored and conceded a normal amount for a team in their position, while we’re the freaks of the league with an obscenely strong defence and strange inability to make clear dominance pay.

Before the weekend Stanley were on a lovely run, but a defeat at home to Luton was not the best preparation for a game against another promotion challenger. Admittedly we’re only a quarter through the season, but they’ve come up against two top eight teams so far and failed to win either. I’m not one to throw negative vibes into the cosmos (I probably am) but maybe we can pretend that’s some sort of indication of their actual ability?

Being kinder, they’re the fourth highest scorers in the league this year so you have to think our defence will be in for one of its toughest tests to date.

Who could cause us trouble?

Billy Key and Kayden Jackson are doing bits right now. Clearly I have no real idea what that means, but I sense it’s a positive statement in young persons’ vernacular and that is exactly the sentiment I’m trying to convey. An obligatory sniff around Sideways Sammy’s match preview informs us that they’ve scored 13 goals between them this season. Bits indeed.

Mind you, Key has only scored in one game in a month, so there’s the hint of flagging form. He’s still got eight altogether, which is ruddy good for mid-October.

Elsewhere, midfielder Janoi Danocien has featured prominently this season and leads the yellow card count, which is always an indicator of a battling so-n-so, clumsy sod, or just a cheating bastard. Whatever he may be – chances are you’ll notice him.

Sky Blues team news

After an impressive trip to Japan, Le Duck returns to the squad full of confidence. Sure, he’s likely to be knackered and jet-lagged, but he also going to be brimming with belief after a couple of international goals, so expect him to jump straight back into the team. Quite what this midweek excursion will do for his energy levels, nobody quite knows, but he’ll offer a boost to those that failed to breathe life into last weekend’s 0-0 against Barnet.

He’ll also act as a straight replacement for McNulty or Biamou up front. Personally, I see more threat and cohesion between a Nazon/Biamou combo and that would be what I’d go for. We all know McNulty is a favourite of Robins though, and is someone that seems to showcase plenty of quality in training, so Mark may well be tempted to find a way to get him and Nazon up front together. I’m not averse to it, but there’s a more tried and tested duo available and I’d much prefer to stick with that.

If Robins is feeling particularly cheeky he may even bring Vincenti back into the team in place of Kelly-Evans. I’d be mindful of that. After last week’s fairly tame attacking display, I struggle to understand how deviating too much from the eleven that was looking so good before the changes enforced by Nazon’s break.

I’d stick with the team below. It’s certainly been the most exciting-looking lineup we can reference so far:

Probable lineup vs Accrington Stanley (A) – 14/10/17

Prediction

In lieu of any discernible meaning that can be inferred from my predictions, I’ve decided to offer you some insight into what other punters are thinking.

The chaps at Oddschecker have provided me with the following info regarding expectations for this week’s game:

Coventry have seen the biggest percentage of bets placed on a single game result in all divisions of English football this weekend. A massive 76.46% of bets have been on the Sky Blues to win against Accrington. In comparison, just 9.38% of bets have been on Accrington to win.

Not being particular betting-inclined, I don’t quite know what this all means. It seems to suggest that of all the matches going on this weekend, we’re the biggest favourites to win, with the highest percentage of bets being thrown our way. For an away game, that’s pretty staggering.

I say “away” game, but the fan numbers are looking pretty decent yet again. I don’t quite know where you lot find the cash to make all these journeys, but we’re likely to outnumber the home support for this one, which is magnificent.

For that reason, I’m in. One City win please, barkeep.

Accrington 1 – 2 Coventry

Image credit: Robert Wade [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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