Preview: Wycombe Wanderers v Chester City
Wycombe Wanderers will try to get their faltering promotion challenge back on track at Adams Park on Tuesday evening when they host Chester City in the first of two successive home games in the space of five days.
Chester City are currently 21st in the table with 27 points from 34 games played, 10 of those points having been won away from home.
If Wycombe fans think their team is currently going through a bad patch they should spare a thought for Chester. The last time the Seals won was 13 games ago on Boxing Day.
In their last 12 games they have been beaten 8 times and have managed to draw on 4 occasions. This gives them a remarkably poor 4 points from the last possible 36.
February began for Chester with defeats to two of Wycombe's promotion rivals. Rochdale beat them 2-0 at the Deva Stadium before Brentford eased past the Seals 3-0 at Griffin Park. Further defeats were to follow away at Morecambe (3-1) and Shrewsbury (1-0), before Chester staged a mini-revival by drawing at home to Exeter (0-0) and finally coming from 2 goals behind to draw 2-2 at home against Dagenham on Saturday.
Chester have kept 5 clean sheets in their 34 league games.
The Seals have scored 33 league goals (12 away from home) and have conceded 60 (38 away from home).
11 different players have scored for Chester so far this season and their top marksman is Ryan Lowe with 13 goals in all competitions. Kevin Ellison is next in the Seals' scoring charts with 7 goals to his name.
Wycombe Wanderers are currently 3nd in the league with 58 points from 32 games played, 30 of those points having been won on their home turf at Adams Park.
The Chairboys are currently 4 points behind league-leaders Brentford but have 1 game in hand.
Having been top for so long, Wycombe were finally passed by Brentford at the beginning of February and have now been overtaken by Rochdale following Saturday's results.
With only 4 wins in their last 14 games, the Chairboys' early season form has deserted them. During this period Wycombe have also drawn 6 times and tasted defeat on 4 occasions to give them a disappointing 18 points out of the last possible 42.
A tally of only 11 goals scored during the last 14 games gives a good indication of where Wycombe's problems lie.
The saving grace for the Chairboys is the fact that their defence has only conceded 12 goals during the same period.
February saw Wycombe pick up 5 points from a possible 12. A 1-0 defeat at Bradford was followed by a 1-0 win at Dagenham before they played out successive goalless draws at home to Rotherham and then away at Morecambe last Saturday.
Saturday's clean sheet was the Chairboys third in a row to take their total to 17 from 32 league games.
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 Chris Zebroski who has found the net 6 times. New striker Jon-Paul Pittman is already off the mark with a fine goal against Dagenham but fellow newcomer Stuart Beavon is yet to open his account.
Current League Form
Last Five League Games
Wycombe: WLWDD - 8 points
Chester:.... LLLDD - 2 points
Last Five Home Games
Wycombe: DWLWD - 8 points
Last Five Away Games
Chester: DLLLL - 1 point
Earlier this season Wycombe won 2-0 at the Deva Stadium thanks to an opportunist goal from John Mousinho and a penalty from Scott McGleish.
Last Season the teams drew 2-2 in Chester with Sergio Torres and John Sutton on target for the Chairboys. The return fixture at Adams Park finished 1-0 to Wycombe with McGleish again on the score-sheet.
Altogether the two sides have met on 13 occasions with 9 wins for Wycombe, 2 for Chester and 2 draws.
Previous Meetings at Adams Park
1993/94: Lg2 Wycombe 1 Chester 0
1994/95: Lg1 Wycombe 3 Chester 1
2004/05: Lg2 Wycombe 4 Chester 2
2005/06: Lg2 Wycombe 3 Chester 3
2006/07: Lg2 Wycombe 1 Chester 0
2007/08: Lg2 Wycombe 1 Chester 0
The Referee for this match is Mr R.L. Shoebridge.
Mr Shoebridge is in his third season as a Football League referee and has been in charge of Wycombe matches on three previous occasions: The 3-1 home defeat to Lincoln in September 2006. The 1-0 win at Bradford in September 2007 and finally the 1-0 defeat at home to Dagenham in January 2008. So far this season he has overseen 27 games and has issued 54 yellow cards and 3 reds.
Wycombe Team News
Lewis Hunt will be out for a few more weeks with a broken bone in his foot.
Chris Zebroski is available for selection following his recent suspension.
If Wycombe's promotion credentials are genuine they need to be taking all three points from games like this, but don't expect relegation threatened Chester to make it easy for them.
Wycombe 1 Chester 0
1st placed Brentford are away to 22nd placed Grimsby.
2nd placed Rochdale are away to 20th placed Barnet.
4th placed Bury are at home to 12th placed Chesterfield.
5th placed Exeter are away to 7th placed Shrewsbury
6th placed Gillingham are away to 24th placed Luton