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Match Previews

Wycombe Preview

Andy Phillips previews the Easter Monday trip to Wycombe Wanderers.

1 April 2018

Lee Blease
Michael Jolley

Town visit Wycombe Wanderers on Easter Monday as they look to build on the point they earned on Good Friday.

The goalless draw with Stevenage on Friday did extend the gap between to the Mariners and the relegation zone to four points and after their first clean sheet, Michael Jolley will be looking to go one better in another very tough looking away fixture.

With Wycombe currently on track to earn automatic promotion in third place, they will be looking to extend the gap between themselves and the chasing pack so Town's defence will likely have to put in another strong performance.

Town waiting on fitness of Wilks and Dembele

Town will be waiting on the fitness of both Siriki Dembele and Malik Wilks, who both went off with injuries on Friday afternoon so it will be a case of wait and go with both of those players.

The side were boosted by the return of Luke Summerfield against Stevenage so he is likely to play a part again, whilst Ben Davies, Karleigh Osborne and Jamille Matt, Simeon Jackson will all be doubts as they continue their recoveries.

Wycombe boss Gareth Ainsworth has hinted at changes for the clash, so the likes of former Town loanee Paris Cowan-Hall and midfielder Nick Freeman could be in with a chance. They will also assess the injury status of defender Tafari Moore, who came off with a hamstring injury at Notts County on Friday.

Wycombe six games away from promotion

It has been a terrific season for Wycombe so far, and they are only six games away from automatic promotion and a return to League One for the first time in the same number of years. 

After a ninth placed finish last campaign, boss Gareth Ainsworth kept faith in most of his experienced squad and that has paid dividends so far, with the Chairboys' goalscoring threat being their biggest strength so far this campaign.

They have scored 73 goals in the league this campaign, a record that is only bettered by Luton Town, although those goals have dried up slightly in the last two games with consecutive goalless draws at home to Port Vale and then away at Notts County last campaign.

Experienced striker Adebayo Akinfenwa has again been the main man for the side, hitting 18 goals so far this campaign and he has been a constant thorn in the side of Town over the years, so the Mariners defence will have to use all of their knowhow to keep the infamous forward quiet on the day.

Earlier in the season

The two sides met back in August in an entertaining encounter, where Wycombe came away from Blundell Park with a 3-2 victory.

A first half goal from Akinfenwa and a penalty from Joe Jacobson put the Chairboys in control in a poor first half from Town but they came out in the second half with much more content.

Mitch Rose's penalty and JJ Hooper's strike came either side of the Mariners being reduced to ten men after Danny Collins was sent off for a second bookable offence, before Akinfenwa struck again 15 minutes from time to with a late header to settle things.

Managers in summary

Michael Jolley: ''I need to see Dave Moore and the sports scientist to get an understanding of what the condition of the players is and how ready they are to play in another game on Monday against Wycombe. The picture will emerge over time, we got a point on the board against Stevenage and what's important is that we hold our nerve. There's still six opportunites to take three points this season, that's 18 points so we have to try and get as many of those as we can. I'm still positive about that and believe we can do it.''

Gareth Ainsworth: ''“I went with experience against Notts County. These boys have done it before, they know how to perform in these types of games and they know how to win promotion, so we set up for a real battle and that’s what we got. It might be different against Grimsby. We had plenty of firepower on the bench and we’re going into the game looking for the three points, because we know that if we can keep clean sheets and start scoring freely again then nobody can stop us. Easter Monday could be big for us, we want to finish the weekend with a win, and we’ll need the fans right behind us once again


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