Meet the opposition: Patchy form, well-trusted manager - and Mystic Meg!

Signage welcomes you to the Wham Stadium, home of Accrington Stanley during the EFL Cup, Second Roun

Town visit Accrington tonight - Credit: PA

STANLEY NOT SO HANDY

Ipswich Town travel to Accrington Stanley tonight looking to continue their decent run of form.

Accrington Stanley's Joe Pritchard clears the ball during the Sky Bet League One match at The Wham S

Accrington Stanley's Joe Pritchard clears the ball. Stanley's form has been patchy of late. - Credit: PA

The manager-less Blues will be up against a Stanley side who have been faltering of late. They only have one League One win in their last seven and sit 18th in the current last-six game form guide. Town are up to sixth in that.

And victories over Hull and then Doncaster have pushed Town to the edge of the play-offs. They are on the same number of points as Stanley (47). Both have played 29 games, Stanley sit in seventh - Town in eighth.

Accrington Stanley manager John Colemanduring the Sky Bet League One match at the Wham Stadium, Accr

Accrington Stanley manager John Coleman - Credit: PA

CAUTIOUS COLEMAN

Stanley are enjoying life in League One, their first-ever stay in this third tier following promotion in 2018, and their manager John Coleman is part of the furniture at the Crown Ground.

Coleman is thriving in his second stint as Stanley boss, having brought success to the Lancashire club over an initial 13-year period between 1999 and 2012, including three promotions to propel them into the Football League in 2006.

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He and his assistant, Jimmy Bell, did leave in 2012 for nearby Rochdale, but both returned in 2014 and have continued to oversee tremendous success at Accrington, including promotion to League One.

Town manager Paul Lambert reminding then referee to keep an eye on his watch in the final moments of

Despite no Paul Lambert, John Coleman does not think it will make a difference to the Blues. - Credit: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

Talking ahead of tonight's game, and the fact Paul Lambert has left the Suffolk club, Coleman said:  "I think whoever takes charge at Ipswich will have been part of the coaching staff so I don’t think it will make much difference to the way they play.

“Ipswich are on a good run of form. There are good times and bad times to play any teams but we have to get back to getting our own form right and not worry about the opposition too much.

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“When we get it right, we are as good as anybody and we have proved that against the top teams."

Gwion Edwards has helped fire Ipswich Town towards the top of the League One table. Can the Blues ki

Gwion Edwards will be out of contract in the summer - and Ipswich do not have an extension option to take up. Photo: Steve Waller - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

LAST TIME THEY MET

Freddie Sears and Gwion Edwards were on the target for Town the last time these two teams met.

It was in October last year that Town won 2-0 at Portman Road. The win, Town’s fifth in six games, kept Ipswich top of the table at the time, and a point clear of Hull.

Freddie Sears scored against Accrington - he's a striker too! Picture: STEVE WALLER

Freddie Sears scores against Accrington earlier in the season - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

This was the Town team that day, with the interesting note that the back four and keeper that October afternoon are the same back four and keeper who have re-invigorated Town's recent good form: - Holy; Chambers, Wilson, Nsiala, Kenlock; Dozzell, Huws (Nolan, 74), Bishop; Judge (Bennetts, 84), Edwards, Sears (Simpson, 90). Subs: Cornell, McGuinness, Woolfenden, Lankester.

Jon Nolan gets consolation from his manager after he was shown a red card at Lincoln City. Picture P

Jon Nolan gets consolation from his manager after he was shown a red card at Lincoln City. Picture Pagepix

NAUGHTY BOYS!

Both Accrington and Ipswich have the rather unenviable record of being two teams with some of the highest red card stats in League One this season.

While neither are in the same ballpark as Lee Bowyer's Charlton Athletic (six), Town on five and Accrington on four, are both high up the red card League One rankings! Will all 22 stay on the pitch tonight?

Accrington Stanley's Dion Charles celebrates scoring their side's first goal of the game during the

Accrington Stanley's Dion Charles celebrates scoring against Lincoln earlier in the season. He has 13 League One goals. - Credit: PA

NON-LEAGUE TO LEADING SCORER

Dion Charles is proving a hot-shot for Stanley this season - having spent most of his career in non-league.

The Preston-born attacker started his career with Blackpool. After leaving the Tangerines in 2014, he had spells with AFC Fylde, Skelmersdale, Fleetwood Town, Halifax Town and Southport, predominantly staying around the north-west and - apart from Fleetwood - in non-league.

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However, after impressing at Southport, Accrington plucked him from the National League and threw him into League One action. That was in 2019. So far, their decision has been a masterstroke.

He is currently sitting in fifth place in the League One goalscorer charts with 13 goals.

Mystic Meg, who works with Ms Turner on the National Lottery show, arriving for the wedding receptio

Born in Accrington, Mystic Meg! - Credit: PA

DID YOU KNOW?

Margaret Anne Lake, who is best known by her stage name Mystic Meg, was born in Accrington in 1942.

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