Preview: Wycombe v Barnet
Wycombe Wanderers take on Barnet at Adams Park on Tuesday evening in a League Two fixture.
Barnet are currently 21st in the league with 22 points from 28 games played. Their away record is better than their home record and the Bees have won 14 of their 22 points on their travels. This is despite the fact that they have conceded an average of almost 2 goals per game when they have played away from Underhill.
At first glance, the Bees current form looks pretty dire and they didn't manage to win any of their 5 games in January. All their matches were tight though, with draws against Dagenham, Accrington and Shrewsbury sandwiched between a 1-0 defeat at Bury and a 2-1 setback at Exeter. By all accounts Barnet have actually been playing quite well recently against some difficult opponents and only their inability to take their chances has prevented them from hauling in a few more points.
The Bees have scored 29 league goals (19 away from home) and have conceded 52 (29 away from home).
13 different players have scored for Barnet so far this season and their top marksmen are John O'Flynn with 9 goals and Albert Adomah with 7. Adomah looks a good player and he gave Wycombe problems at Underhill earlier in the season. Another player to watch out for is veteran striker Paul Furlong who joined the Bees on loan in January and has already scored 2 goals in just 5 appearances.
Wycombe Wanderers are the league leaders and enjoy a 4 point lead over 2nd placed Brentford although their rivals do have a game in hand. The Chairboys have 53 points from 28 games played, 29 of those points having been won on their home turf at Adams Park.
January was a month of ups and downs for Wycombe. It began with a fine 2-1 home win over fellow high fliers Bury but went downhill rapidly when they lost two games in succession. Having only tasted defeat once in their first 23 games, it came as a shock to the system for Chairboys' fans when they were beaten 1-0 at home by lowly Grimsby and then went down 3-1 at relegation strugglers Bournemouth. However, slowly but surely the ship is being steadied following the storm and a solid 0-0 draw at Macclesfield last Tuesday was followed at the weekend by a narrow 2-1 win over Accrington Stanley.
Wycombe have scored 36 league goals (22 at home) and have conceded 19 (10 at home).
12 different players have scored for Wycombe in all competitions and the top marksman is Matt Harrold with 12 goals. Next highest scorer is Chris Zebroski who has found the net 6 times, while on-loan teenager Angelo Balanta, departed defender Mike Williamson and last season's top scorer Scott McGleish all have 3 goals to their name.
Current League Form
Last Five League Games
Wycombe: WLLDW - 7 points
Barnet:..... LDDDL - 3 points
Last Five Home Games
Wycombe: DDWLW - 8 points
Last Five Away Games
Barnet: DWLDL - 5 points
Earlier this season the two sides drew 1-1 at Underhill with Chris Zebroski grabbing a second-half equaliser for the Blues.
Last season Barnet won 2-1 at Underhill, scoring two goals in the last 13 minutes after a rare John Sutton goal had given the Chairboys the lead. The return match at Adams Park on New Year's Day finished in a disappointing goalless draw.
Previous Meetings at Adams Park
League Two 2007/08 : Wycombe 0 Barnet 0
League Two 2006/07 : Wycombe 1 Barnet 1
League Two 2005/06 : Wycombe 1 Barnet 0
League Cup 2001/02 : Wycombe 3 Barnet 1
FA Cup RD2 1996/97 : Wycombe 3 Barnet 2
The Referee for this match is Mr. S. J. Bratt
Mr. Bratt was in charge when Wycombe drew 0-0 at Bury earlier this season and issued yellow cards to Doherty, McGleish and Zebroski. He has been the man in the middle for 21 games so far this campaign and has shown 56 yellow cards and 4 reds.
Wycombe Team News
Lewis Hunt will be out for several more weeks with a broken bone in his foot.
Barnet Team News
Kenny Gillet is suspended for this game.
With three tough away games against Darlington, Bradford and Dagenham coming up next for Wycombe, this game against Barnet could be seen as the Chairboys' best opportunity to take all three points in the near future. Wycombe being Wycombe though, it would surprise nobody if they lost this one and went on to win a couple of the tougher games on paper.
Realistically however, if we hope to remain top of the table at the end of February we probably need to start the month off by winning this game.
I'm tempted to predict a low scoring draw against traditionally awkward opponents but I'll go for the optimistic approach.
Wycombe 1 Barnet 0