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Match Previews

PREVIEW | Wycombe Wanderers next up at Rodney Parade

6 September 2017

The Chairboys currently occupy 4th place in EFL League 2, their sixth season in the division, after three wins, a draw and a defeat so far this campaign. Of their previous five seasons, they have reached the play-offs on one occasion, as-well as surviving on the final day in 2014. Last season, they finished in 9th place, just a solitary point from the final play-off spot.

Here, you can find all the facts and statistics ahead of this League 2 encounter at Rodney Parade…

         

Recent league and cup form

The Chairboys began the season with a steady 2-2 draw at home to league new-boys Lincoln City – Joe Jacobson and Luke O’Nien on the scoresheet.

A Carabao Cup exit to Fulham swiftly followed, before a first league win came at Port Vale. A double from Adebayo Akinfenwa and a Paris Cowan-Hall strike saw them into a comfortable 3-0 lead after 25 minutes, eventually winning the game 3-2.

They then suffered their first league defeat of the campaign, as they suffered a 4-2 loss at home to Notts County – Jacobson scoring again, with Nick Freeman netting his first of the season.

Another double from Akinfenwa helped the Chairboys return to winning ways at Grimsby, Jacobson also netting in the 3-2 victory.

The Chairboys were then humbled with a 5-1 defeat to Bristol Rovers in the Checkatrade Trophy, before securing a further victory in their last game.

A trio of goals in the opening 37 minutes saw them sweep aside Forest Green 3-1, leaving them in 4th place ahead of their visit to Rodney Parade.

 

Interesting facts

Fitness and the correct substitutions could be crucial to the Exiles securing victory this weekend, with Wycombe seemingly struggling in second-halves of matches.

In fact, they have lost six of the seven second-halves they have played, scoring just three goals and conceding a huge thirteen.

They are currently the joint top scorers in League 2 with 13, but have the third worst defensive record after conceding 11. 

That defensive record is the worst of the top 17 teams, as the side have failed to keep a clean-sheet in any competition thus far this campaign.

Off the field, Wycombe’s Joe Jacobson has been nominated for August’s League 2 player of the month, alongside County’s Frank Nouble.

 

Summer transfer window

In comparison to other League 2 clubs, Wycombe had a relatively low-key transfer window.

Only three players made permanent moves to the Adams Park outfit, with a further four joining on loan.

However, the players that the club have brought in possess a huge pedigree at this level.

First, Egyptian international Adam El-Abd moved from Shrewsbury Town. The 32-year-old, capped seven times by his country, has already been made captain of the club.

Nathan Tyson re-joined the club from Kilmarnock, before veteran Craig Mackail-Smith signed for the club.

The 33-year-old Scottish international has amassed an incredible 177 goals from 562 games during his career, including over 100 at Peterborough United, making him their current record goal-scorer.

Of the seven departures, previous club captain Paul Hayes is the most notable.

Hayes, who scored a double in the 4-3 FA Cup defeat at Tottenham Hotspur last season, left the Chairboys via mutual consent last week, after scoring 27 goals in three seasons.

 

Team-News

Wycombe have a few injury headaches ahead of their trip to Rodney Parade.

Prolific goal-scorer Scott Kashket is expected to miss the game with a hip / groin injury, of which no timescale has been set for his return.

One who is definitely out is midfielder Sam Saunders, who has been ruled out for up to a month with an unspecified injury picked up in training last week.

Summer arrival Nathan Tyson will face a late fitness test following a calf strain.

Deadline day signing Dan Scarr could be in-line for a debut, with fellow loan arrival Ebere Eze also pushing for a place up-front.

Chairboys manager Gareth Ainsworth named an unchanged team between the two wins against Grimsby and Forest Green so a similar side is expected at Rodney Parade.

 

Team vs Forest Green:

Brown, Harriman, Stewart, El-Abd (C), Jacobson, O’Nien, Gape, Bloomfield, Cowan-Hall, Akinfenwa, Mackail-Smith

  

One to watch – Adebayo Akinfenwa

Age: 35

Position: Striker  

Goals this season: 4

Selected previous clubs: Swansea City, Northampton Town, Gillingham, AFC Wimbledon

The self-proclaimed ‘Beast’ has certainly lived up to his name thus far this campaign, netting four goals already.

All of those strikes have come on the road, with Akinfenwa scoring a double at both Port Vale and Grimsby Town.

Those goals have come following a good debut season with the Chairboys, scoring 18 from 51 appearances in all competitions.

Prior to joining Wycombe, Akinfenwa had his best time with Northampton Town and AFC Wimbledon. He scored 74 goals over two spells with the Cobblers and 23 with the Dons.

He also scored 21 goals for Swansea City during their time in League 1.

 

Manager – Gareth Ainsworth

Ainsworth has been in the dugout for the Chairboys since a caretaker spell in September 2012.

At the time, Ainsworth was also a player for the club, hanging up his boots in April 2013 to focus on management. He is, however, still registered as a player in the event of a few injuries at the club.

Wycombe is currently his only managerial position, besides a caretaker spell at QPR, and he has taken charge of 265 games with the club. Of those games, he has won 40% of them, suffering 92 defeats in the process.

Before turning to management, Ainsworth had his most successful playing days with Wycombe and QPR.

He did play 10 games in the Premiership with Wimbledon, but struggled for game time and moved to QPR in 2003.

He made 152 appearances for them, scoring 21 goals. Wycombe then came calling in 2009, who he has made 116 appearances for, with the potential for more should injuries arise within the team.

 

Previous meetings

The two teams have remarkably only met on nine previous occasions.

The first of those came in 1973, an FA Cup first round meeting, which Wycombe won 3-1.

Since then, the other eight meetings have come since County’s promotion to League 2. And it is the Exiles who have the superior league record, with 5 wins and 3 defeats. There has never been a draw between the two sides.

County did the double over Wycombe in the 2013/14 season. A Boxing Day success at Adams Park came courtesy of a Mike Flynn lob, with a 2-0 victory coming at Rodney Parade.

In 2014/15, both teams secured away victories. Wycombe won 2-0 at Rodney Parade on the opening day of the season before County exacted revenge at Adams Park – a Yan Klukowski double securing a 2-1 victory.

County did the double over Wycombe again in 2015/16, the first of which was John Sheridan’s first win since taking over at County, a 2-0 success coming at Adams Park.

A solitary Scott Boden goal gave County all three points again in early March, as the Exiles took a huge step to securing their League 2 survival.

Last season, the Chairboys secured their own double over County. A stoppage time free-kick from Sido Jombati saw them halt a run of three successive league wins for County, before completing the double with a 2-1 home win.

 

Officials

Referee: Ben Toner

Assistant Referee 1: Andrew Hendley  

Assistant Referee 2: Joe Clark

Fourth Official: Paul Hobday

Toner is currently in his 3rd season as a Football League referee having previous officiated in the Conference and Blue Square Premier.

Last season, Toner refereed 36 matches, giving out 121 yellows and five reds.

This game will be his first of the season as referee, being fourth official so far. It is also his first game as a referee since 29th April, and will be the first time he has officiated at Rodney Parade.

 

County connection

Toner has refereed County on three previous occasions, with a mixture of results.

Last season, Toner was the man in the middle for the 1-0 defeat to Grimsby Town, Warren Feeney’s final game in charge of the Exiles. Five yellow cards were given out on that day, three of which to County - Scot Bennett, Ben Tozer and Jon Parkin the offenders.

The remaining games came in the 2015/16 season. The first of those was another defeat for County, a 1-0 reverse to Hartlepool United. No bookings were awarded to County that day, with one for the home-side.

The other game was a much better result for County – a 3-0 success over Portsmouth at Fratton Park. Gary Roberts was sent off for the home-side for a second bookable offence, with three other Pompey players booked.

Mark Byrne and Tommy O’Sullivan were shown yellow cards that day for County.

 

Other League 2 fixtures that day (all 3pm kick-offs unless stated)

Mansfield Town vs Grimsby Town (1pm kick-off)

Accrington Stanley vs Carlisle United

Barnet vs Cambridge United

Colchester United vs Crawley Town

Coventry City vs Port Vale

Crewe Alexandra vs Chesterfield

Forest Green Rovers vs Exeter City

Luton Town vs Swindon Town

Notts County vs Morecambe

Stevenage vs Lincoln City

Yeovil Town vs Cheltenham Town

  

Can’t make the match?

You can follow along on social media using @NCAFCLive on Twitter, or via the club’s official Facebook and Instagram pages.

Don’t forget – if you reside outside of the UK, you can watch the game live by subscribing to County’s iFollow service. Commentary by Charlie Brown and Richard can also be found at the Match Centre.


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