Preview: Wycombe v Rotherham
Wycombe Wanderers entertain Rotherham at Adams Park on Monday evening as we enter the final third of the League Two season.
Rotherham may be languishing in the bottom half of the table but that's only because of the 17 point deduction imposed on them at the start of the season. If you gave them back their 17 points they would consider themselves to be promotion contenders only 10 points behind the leaders and with 3 games in hand on Brentford and 2 games in hand on Wycombe.
Despite starting on -17 and unlike Bournemouth and Luton who also suffered points deductions, the Millers have been able to comfortably pull away from the bottom of the table and have 29 points on the board from 28 games played.
On Tuesday evening Rotherham went out of the JP Trophy at the semi final stage when Scunthorpe United won 1-0 at the Don Valley Stadium to give themselves a 3-0 aggregate score. Recent league encounters have seen the Millers lose 1-0 at Darlington before bouncing back with two successive 2-0 home wins over Macclesfield and Gillingham.
The Millers have scored 36 league goals (15 away from home) and have conceded 28 (16 away from home).
15 different players have scored for Rotherham so far this season and their top marksman is former Wycombe loanee Reuben Reid with 9 goals in all competitions. Drew Broughton is next in the Millers' scoring charts with 7 goals to his name.
Wycombe Wanderers are currently 2nd in the league with 56 points from 30 games played, 29 of those points having been won on their home turf at Adams Park.
Recent fears among their supporters that Wycombe were embarking on yet another post-Christmas slump may have been a little premature. Two wins out of the last three league games isn't bad and a key 1-0 win at Dagenham on Tuesday made up for the disappointment of losing by the same score at Bradford three days earlier. Add to that the introduction to the squad of strikers Jon-Paul Pittman and Stuart Beavon and suddenly a new wave of optimism and expectation has been created as we enter the final third of the season. Expectations often turn into disappointment but in the case of Pittman, his overall performances so far and his brilliantly taken goal on Tuesday have only fanned the flames. Monday evening will almost certainly see Pittman making his home debut and he could be joined by new arrival Stuart Beavon who will be keen to emulate Pittman's fine start to his Chairboys career. Beavon comes to Wycombe with glowing testimonials from supporters of his former club Weymouth and if he's as good as they say he is, perhaps Wanderers fans will enjoy the climax to the season for once.
Wycombe have scored 37 league goals (22 at home) and have conceded 20 (10 at home).
13 different players have scored for Wycombe in all competitions and the top marksman is Matt Harrold with 12 goals. Next highest scorer is the suspended Chris Zebroski who has found the net 6 times. New striker Jon-Paul Pittman got off the mark with a superb goal against Dagenham on Tuesday in only his 2nd appearance for the club. Another new marksman, Stuart Beavon may make his debut on Monday and will no doubt be keen to get off the mark as early as he can.
Current League Form
Last Five League Games
Wycombe: LDWLW - 7 points
Rotherham: WLLWW - 9 points
Last Five Home Games
Wycombe: DDWLW - 8 points
Last Five Away Games
Rotherham: LWWLL - 6 points
Earlier this season the two sides played out a goalless draw at the Don Valley Stadium.
Last Season the two sides drew 1-1 at Millmoor in January, with Scott McGleish netting a 2nd half equaliser for the Blues. A month later at Adams Park, Wycombe ran out 1-0 winners courtesy of defender David McCracken's only goal so far in a Wycombe shirt.
Altogether, the two clubs have met on 11 previous occasions with Rotherham winning 4, Wycombe winning 3 and the games being drawn on 4 occasions.
Previous Meetings at Adams Park
1994/95: Lg1 Wycombe 2 Rotherham 0
1995/96: Lg1 Wycombe 1 Rotherham 1
1996/97: Lg1 Wycombe 4 Rotherham 2
2000/01: Lg1 Wycombe 0 Rotherham 1
2007/08: Lg2 Wycombe 1 Rotherham 0
The Referee for this match is Mr Dean Whitestone.
Mr Whitestone is 31 yrs old and is in his 4th season as a Football League referee. The last time we saw him in charge at Adams Park was on the opening day of last season when Wycombe lost 1-0 to Accrington Stanley. So far this season he has overseen 27 games and has issued 71 yellow cards and 5 reds.
Wycombe Team News
Lewis Hunt will be out for a few more weeks with a broken bone in his foot.
Chris Zebroski is suspended for this game.
Stuart Beavon could make his debut after joining from Weymouth on Thursday.
This won't be easy. Rotherham are a good side with the 5th best defensive record in the division having only conceded 8 more league goals than Wycombe so far this season. Neither side were able to score in the game at Rotherham and Monday's game has all the makings of a tight encounter that could be settled by a single strike.
Wycombe 1 Rotherham 0