On Saturday in League One, Accrington Stanley will visit Derby County in an effort to surpass the Rams and move into the top half of the standings.
After 12 games, Stanley are in 13th place, one point behind Saturday’s opponents at the Wham Stadium, who have only won once away from home this year.
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John Coleman’s team has enjoyed an even start to the season, winning, drawing, and losing four games thus far. However, a brief, three-game winning streak was snapped by Plymouth Argyle past weekend.
Accrington was very much involved in the game at Plymouth and had numerous opportunities to contain their aggressive hosts, but they lacked the finishing touch.
They average more than 15 shots per game but have only scored 14 league goals thus far, so it is not uncommon for them this season either.
After a rough start to the season, Stanley has improved recently. Prior to their winning streak, they had lost six straight games. They could move up to 8th with a victory this weekend.
Following Derby’s humiliating relegation from the Championship last season, fans might have expected them to adjust to life in League One more easily.
Paul Warne took over as manager after Liam Rosenior departed the team three weeks ago, and he led the team to victory in his first game at Cambridge United.
The fact that his team lost to Port Vale last weekend meant that he had a bitter first experience at Pride Park.
James Collins, who gave the Rams the lead in the first five minutes before being dismissed in the second half after Ellis Harrison had leveled the score from the penalty spot, went from being the hero to the villain. Eight minutes after the player was dismissed, James Wilson scored to give Vale the three points and move Derby up to tenth place.
It should not be surprising that Derby has not yet reached its potential after the turbulent summer and the influx of numerous new players, but they have not been doing too badly either, especially defensively, where they have only given up 11 times, which is the joint-third-best record in the division.
They might move up to the top six and a playoff spot with a victory on Saturday.
It won’t be simple, but it won’t take long for Derby’s high-profile additions to start working as a team. The away side should be able to secure a win here.