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Preview: Wycombe Wanderers v Rochdale

Preview: Wycombe Wanderers v Rochdale

Wycombe Wanderers take on Rochdale at Adams Park on Saturday afternoon in another crucial clash between two sides vying for an automatic promotion place.

Rochdale are currently 4th in League Two with 61 points from 37 games played, 26 of those points having been won away from home.

They are the division's top scorers and have bagged 21 more league goals than Wycombe so far this season.

Runners-up in last season's play-off final, Rochdale are making a concerted effort to go one better this time round and cement a place in the top three.

They enjoyed a fruitful February which saw them pick up 13 points from a possible 18 after away wins over Chester (2-0), Macclesfield (1-0) and Darlington (1-0), a home win over Grimsby (2-0), and a home draw against Morecambe (1-1). Dale's only defeat of the month was a 2-1 setback against league leaders Brentford at Spotland.

March has not been as kind to Dale so far and they suffered defeats at both Barnet (2-1) and Bury (2-1), before returning to Spotland and beating Bradford (3-0). Their most recent game was at home to Rotherham last Saturday, when they again came off second best with the Millers taking all three points after a 2-1 win.

Rochdale have kept 7 clean sheets in their 37 league games.

They have scored 64 league goals (27 away from home) and have conceded 45 (26 away from home).

15 different players have scored for Dale in all competitions.

Top Goal Scorers
Striker: Adam Le Fondre - 18
Midfielder: William Buckley - 10
Striker : Chris Dagnall - 8
Midfielder: Adam Rundle - 6

Wycombe Wanderers are currently 3rd in the league with 63 points from 36 games played, 34 of those points having been won on their home turf at Adams Park.

The Chairboys are 7 points behind leaders Brentford but have 2 games in hand.

Having led the league for so long, The Chairboys have had a lean time of it since the turn of the season, finding goals hard to come by and only winning 4 of their last 13 games.

However, things could be looking up. Last Saturday's top of the table clash with Brentford saw Wycombe come from behind twice before taking the lead in a thrilling game which eventually finished 3-3. This performance was exactly what the Chairboys' fans have been waiting to see from their team. There was a sense of urgency, a willingness to go forward in numbers when necessary and best of all, an end product to show for their efforts.

The introduction of on-loan striker John Akinde, whose superb 2 goal performance was so crucial on Saturday, could prove to be a masterstroke from manager Peter Taylor. The big striker will no doubt give opposition defences plenty to think about in the coming weeks.

The loss of Tommy Doherty through suspension is a blow for Wycombe. He has been the best player in a less than productive midfield this season. However, the signing of Chelsea starlet Lee Sawyer should help to soften the blow.

February saw Wycombe pick up 5 points from 4 games. They lost 1-0 at Bradford before bouncing back with an excellent 1-0 win at Dagenham, but could only round-off the month with successive goalless draws against in-form sides Rotherham and Morecambe.

So far this month a 2-0 win at home to Chester was followed by a 1-1 draw against a resurgent Chesterfield side, before the Chairboys went on their travels, losing 1-0 at Lincoln and sharing the spoils in Saturday's 3-3 goal fest at Brentford.

Wycombe have kept an impressive 18 clean sheets in their 36 league games and boast the best defensive record in the division.

They have scored 43 league goals (25 at home) and have conceded 25 (11 at home).

14 different players have scored for Wycombe in all competitions this season.

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

Current League Form

Since Mid-Season

Wycombe:. Played:-13, Points:-17, Average:-1.31 Pts per game.
Rochdale:...Played:-14, Points:-23, Average:-1.64 Pts per game

Last Five League Games
Wycombe: DWDLD - 6 points
Rochdale:...WLLWL - 6 points

Last Five Home Games
Wycombe: LWDWD - 8 points

Last Five Away Games
Rochdale: WWWLL - 9 points

Earlier this season Chris Zebroski scored the only goal of the game as the Chairboys took all three points at Spotland.

Last season, honours were even after both sides recorded 1-0 wins on their opponents' turf. Rochdale impressed Wycombe fans with their performance at Adams Park last season but had to rely on a 90th minute penalty to win the game. In the reverse fixture at Spotland a Leon Knight goal for the Chairboys was all that separated the sides.

Altogether the two sides have met on 11 occasions with 5 wins for Wycombe, 2 for Rochdale and 4 draws. There has only ever been 1 home win when the two teams have met but the visiting side has come out on top 6 times.

Previous Meetings

1993/94: Lg2 Rochdale. 2 Wycombe 2
1993/94: Lg2 Wycombe 1 Rochdale 1
2004/05: Lg2 Wycombe 0 Rochdale 3
2004/05: Lg2 Rochdale. 1 Wycombe 1
2005/06: Lg2 Rochdale. 1 Wycombe 2
2005/06: Lg2 Wycombe 3 Rochdale 0
2006/07: Lg2 Rochdale. 0 Wycombe 2
2006/07: Lg2 Wycombe 1 Rochdale 1
2007/08: Lg2 Wycombe 0 Rochdale 1
2007/08: Lg2 Rochdale. 0 Wycombe 1
2008/09: Lg2 Rochdale. 0 Wycombe 1

Only one home win ever.

Ref Watch

The Referee for this match is Mr. Clive Penton from Sussex.

Mr Penton has been a National List referee since 2001. His most recent Wycombe game was last season's 2-1 win over Wrexham at Adams Park, whilst his most recent Rochdale game was their impressive 4-2 win at Aldershot just 7 weeks ago. So far this season he has overseen 18 games and has issued 63 yellow cards and 5 reds.

Wycombe Team News

Lewis Hunt
is recovering from 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.

Tommy Doherty is suspended for this game.

Lee Sawyer is likely to make his debut.

Rochdale Team News

Chris Dagnall
could make his return following a 3 match suspension.

Will Buckley could return following a bout of tonsilitis.

Every game is important between now and the end of the season but some are more significant than others.

Following Wycombe's spirited performance against Brentford last Saturday, a win against Rochdale would keep the chasing pack at bay and instil a renewed sense of optimism in everyone at Adams Park.

A defeat would mean the Chairboys dropping into the play-off places for the first time since the end of August and they could even find themselves down as far as 6th place on Saturday evening.

No pressure then !


Wycombe 2 Rochdale 1

The Chairboys to win a nail-biting encounter.

Weekend Rivals Watch

Brentford (1st) are away to Dagenham (9th).

Gillingham (2nd) are away to Grimsby (23rd).

Bury (5th) are at home to Chester (22nd).

Exeter (6th) are away to Acrrington (19th).

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 19 2009
Time: 4:09PM


Wycombe to win this one
20/03/2009 15:24:00
Wycombe to win this one
20/03/2009 15:24:00
Its a defeat, but not the end of the world, who ever is in form at this time of the season will get promoted,
Buzz Lightyear
26/03/2009 04:16:00
Its a defeat, but not the end of the world, who ever is in form at this time of the season will get promoted,
Buzz Lightyear
26/03/2009 04:16:00
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League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Doncaster 32 19 7 6 64 23
2 Plymouth 31 19 4 8 61 17
3 Carlisle 32 15 13 4 58 11
4 Luton 32 14 11 7 53 18
5 Portsmouth 31 15 7 9 52 16
6 Exeter 32 15 5 12 50 16
7 Colchester 32 13 8 11 47 7
8 Mansfield 32 12 11 9 47 4
9 Stevenage 32 14 4 14 46 1
10 Wycombe 32 13 7 12 46 -1
11 Barnet 32 11 12 9 45 -2
12 Grimsby 32 12 8 12 44 0
13 Cambridge 31 12 7 12 43 3
14 Blackpool 31 10 12 9 42 12
15 Morecambe 31 12 6 13 42 -7
16 Crawley 31 11 6 14 39 -11
17 Yeovil 32 9 11 12 38 -7
18 Crewe 32 8 12 12 36 -11
19 Accrington 30 8 9 13 33 -10
20 Notts County 32 9 6 17 33 -21
21 Cheltenham 32 7 11 14 32 -10
22 Hartlepool 32 7 11 14 32 -18
23 Leyton Orient 32 8 5 19 29 -15
24 Newport 32 5 11 16 26 -15
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