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Preview: Brentford v Wycombe

Preview:  Brentford v Wycombe

Wycombe Wanderers travel to Griffin Park on Saturday to take on Brentford in a top of the table clash knowing that a defeat would almost certainly put paid to their chances of winning the League Two title.

Brentford are currently top of League Two with 69 points from 36 games played, 38 of those points having been won on their home turf at Griffin Park.

Having been in the mix all season, the Bees have surged to the top of the table after a sustained run of good form which has seen them average just over two points per game since the turn of the season.

Their recent form is even better with 6 wins and 2 draws in their last 8 games.

Brentford boast the second best defensive record in the division having only conceded 3 more goals than the Chairboys and they come into this game on the back of 4 straight clean sheets.

The Bees have only suffered one defeat at home this season and that was at the hands of 3rd placed Rochdale as long ago as the 1st November.

In the last 4 weeks Brentford have enjoyed home wins over Port Vale (2-0), Bury (1-0) and Barnet (1-0), while on their travels they have defeated Rochdale (2-1) and Grimsby (1-0) but couldn't find a way past Rotherham (0-0).

The Bees have kept 17 clean sheets in their 36 league games.

They have scored 49 league goals (29 at home) and have conceded only 25 (9 at home).

Top Goal Scorers
Striker: Charlie MacDonald - 18
Midfielder: Marcus Bean - 9
Midfielder: Glenn Poole - 7
Striker: Nathan Elder - 7
Striker: Jordan Rhodes - 6

With 16 goals from just two of their midfielders, the Bees clearly demonstrate exactly what Wycombe have been lacking this season.

Striker Nathan Elder suffered a horrific eye injury last Saturday and is out for the rest of the season, but Brentford have acted quickly to bring in cover, with Sam Williams joining on-loan from Aston Villa.

Apart from the obvious threat posed by top scorer Charlie MacDonald, Jordan Rhodes is the man to watch out for. Brought in on-loan from Ipswich Town in January, Rhodes has scored his 6 goals in only 12 starts for the Bees.

Wycombe Wanderers are currently 2nd in the league with 62 points from 35 games played, 28 of those points having been won on their travels away from Adams Park.

The Chairboys are 7 points behind leaders Brentford but have 1 game in hand.

Tuesday's defeat at Lincoln City has left Wycombe looking over their shoulders as the chasing pack close in on their automatic promotion place.

They were top for months but indifferent form since the turn of the season has seen the Chairboys win 4, lose 4, and draw 4, to give them a modest haul of 16 points from their last 12 games.

In the last 4 weeks Wycombe have drawn with Rotherham (0-0), Morecambe (0-0) and Chesterfield (1-1), beaten Chester (2-0) and Dagenham (1-0) but suffered defeats at Bradford (1-0) and Lincoln City (1-0).

The Chairboys have kept 18 clean sheets in their 35 league games.

They have scored 40 league goals (15 away from home) and have conceded 22 (11 away from home).

Top Goal Scorers
Striker: Matt Harrold - 12
Midfielder: Chris Zebroski - 6
Striker: Jon-Paul Pittman - 3
Midfielder: Matty Phillips - 3

(Three other players have scored 3 goals for Wycombe this season but have all since left the club).

Jon-Paul Pittman has looked a very good signing and his 3 goals have been scored in only 6 starts. However, he doesn't see enough of the ball and it might be worth playing him out wide to utilise his speed and creativity.

Striker John Akinde has been brought in on-loan from Bristol City this week to help end the Chairboys' goal drought, but doubts remain over Wycombe's current ability to create enough chances whoever they play up-front.

Current League Form

Since Mid-Season

Brentford:..Played:-13, Points:-27, Average:-2.08 Pts per game.
Wycombe: Played:-12, Points:-16, Average:-1.33 Pts per game

Last Five League Games
Brentford: WWWDW - 13 points
Wycombe: DDWDL - 6 points

Last Five Home Games
Brentford: DWWWW - 13 points

Last Five Away Games
Wycombe: DLWDL - 5 points

Earlier this season the two sides cancelled each other out in a goalless draw at Adams Park.

Last season's meetings between the two sides resulted in six points for the Chairboys. An unmemorable encounter at Adams Park was decided by the only goal of the game, a dubious late penalty converted by Jermaine Easter. The return match at Griffin Park on Boxing Day was one of the most enjoyable Wycombe performances of last season. Over a thousand travelling supporters saw Wycombe come back from 1-0 down at half-time to win 3-1, courtesy of goals from Torres, McGleish and Sutton.

Altogether the two sides have met on 24 occasions with 8 wins for Wycombe, 7 for Brentford and 9 draws.

Previous Meetings at Griffin Park

1994/95: Lg1 Brentford 0 Wycombe 0
1995/96: Lg1 Brentford 1 Wycombe 0
1996/97: Lg1 Brentford 0 Wycombe 0
1997/98: Lg1 Brentford 1 Wycombe 1
1999/00: Lg1 Brentford 0 Wycombe 0
2000/01: Lg1 Brentford 0 Wycombe 0
2001/02: Lg1 Brentford 1 Wycombe 0
2002/03: Lg1 Brentford 1 Wycombe 0
2003/04: Lg1 Brentford 1 Wycombe 1
2007/08: Lg2 Brentford 1 Wycombe 3

Not exactly a historical goal-fest.

Ref Watch

The Referee for this match is Mr. Paul Taylor from Hertfordshire

Mr Taylor has been a National List referee since 1990. His most recent Wycombe game was last season's 2-2 draw with Peterborough United at Adams Park. So far this season he has overseen 27 games and has issued 98 yellow cards and 8 reds.

Wycombe Team News

Lewis Hunt will be out for a few more weeks with a broken bone in his foot.

David McCracken is doubtful with a groin injury.

Stuart Beavon is out for a few weeks with a groin injury

Marek Stech is likely to be in the squad.

Brentford Team News

Nathan Elder is out with an eye injury.

A few weeks ago this fixture looked like being a battle between the division's top two sides with the League title possibly at stake. However, Wycombe's poor form since mid-season has taken some of the shine off this match and the chasing pack probably view it as just another tough assignment for the Chairboys as they desperately try to cling on to their automatic promotion place.

There is another view though. If Wycombe can upset the form book and win at Brentford they would only be 4 points behind with a game in hand and the confidence boost might see them finish the season as impressively as they started it.

Either way, this game will tell Wycombe fans a lot about the character of their team. Win it and they could still be league champions. Lose it and they disappear back into the pack after having been favourites for so long.

Wycombe's largest away following of the season will be there to watch.


Brentford 0 Wycombe 1

I live in hope.

Weekend Rivals Watch

Rochdale (3rd) are at home to Rotherham (17th).

Bury (4th) are away at Lincoln (12th)

Gillingham (5th) are at home to Shrewsbury (8th)

Bradford (6th) are away at Exeter (7th).

For the very latest League Two odds

Free £15 bet when you spend £5 on The New Football Pools

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Date:Thursday March 12 2009
Time: 4:59PM


Still looking good for promtion, fingers crosses.
Buzz Lightyear
14/03/2009 08:03:00
Still looking good for promtion, fingers crosses.
Buzz Lightyear
14/03/2009 08:03:00
3-2 to yourselves as i type. But you have just had a man sent off. Can you hold on????
14/03/2009 16:36:00
3-2 to yourselves as i type. But you have just had a man sent off. Can you hold on????
14/03/2009 16:36:00
nah i think it will end up even at 3 - 3
15/03/2009 01:19:00
nah i think it will end up even at 3 - 3
15/03/2009 01:19:00
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League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
C Portsmouth 46 26 9 11 87 39
P Plymouth 46 26 9 11 87 25
P Doncaster 46 25 10 11 85 30
4 Luton 46 20 17 9 77 27
5 Exeter 46 21 8 17 71 19
6 Carlisle 46 18 17 11 71 1
7 Blackpool 46 18 16 12 70 23
8 Colchester 46 19 12 15 69 10
9 Wycombe 46 19 12 15 69 5
10 Stevenage 46 20 7 19 67 4
11 Cambridge 46 19 9 18 66 8
12 Mansfield 46 17 15 14 66 4
13 Accrington 46 17 14 15 65 3
14 Grimsby 46 17 11 18 62 -4
15 Barnet 46 14 15 17 57 -7
16 Notts County 46 16 8 22 56 -22
17 Crewe 46 14 13 19 55 -9
18 Morecambe 46 14 10 22 52 -20
19 Crawley 46 13 12 21 51 -18
20 Yeovil 46 11 17 18 50 -15
21 Cheltenham 46 12 14 20 50 -20
22 Newport 46 12 12 22 48 -22
R Hartlepool 46 11 13 22 46 -21
R Leyton Orient 46 10 6 30 36 -40
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