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Preview: Wycombe Wanderers v Exeter City

Preview: Wycombe Wanderers v Exeter City

Wycombe Wanderers travel to the West Country on Monday to take on Exeter City in a crucial match between two sides still battling for an automatic promotion place.


With only 5 points separating the top 5 teams, the race for promotion is still wide open and neither side will want to allow the other to take all three points from Monday's clash at St James Park.



Exeter are currently 4th in the table with 69 points from 42 games, 40 of those points having been won on their home turf.

Having been out of the Football League since 2003, Exeter earned their place back last season when they defeated Cambridge United in the Conference play-off final.

If their fans were expecting a season of consolidation this time round, they will have been pleasantly surprised by their side's consistent performances which have given them a great chance of achieving back-to-back promotions.

The Grecians' points tally from home games is only bettered by Shrewsbury Town and Brentford and with 7 wins in their last 8 matches at St James Park, it looks like the Chairboys will have to be at their best to take anything from Monday's crucial encounter.

The addition to their squad in March of Stuart Fleetwood on loan from Charlton Athletic is beginning to pay dividends for the Grecians. The 2007/08 Blue Square Premier golden boot winner and player of the season is beginning to find his his feet in League Two and has scored 3 goals in the last 2 games.


Recent Games
Accrington (Away).......2-1 Loss
Rochdale (Away).........2-2 Draw
Port Vale (Home).........1-0 Win
Dagenham (Home)......2-1 Win
Brentford (Away).........1-1 Draw



Exeter Goal Stats.

Total Goals Scored.....60
Home Goals Scored....33

Total Goals Conceded....48
Home Goals Conceded...23

Clean Sheets....12

15 different players have scored for the Grecians in all competitions.

Top Goal Scorers
Striker: Adam Stansfield.....10
Defender: Matthew Gill.........8
Striker: Marcus Stewart........7
Striker: Craig McAllister........7
Defender: Dean Moxey.........5





Wycombe Wanderers are currently 2nd in the league with 71 points from 41 games played, 32 of those points having been won away from home.

The Chairboys are 2 points behind league-leaders Brentford having played the same number of games, and sit 2 points ahead of Monday's opponents Exeter having played 1 game less.

Having led the league for so long this season, poor results since the turn of the year had threatened to make this another disappointing campaign for the club after several collapses in their recent history had given them the unwanted reputation of perennial chokers.

It seemed the Chairboys couldn't buy a win after a barren run of 4 draws and 2 defeats in 6 consecutive games, 4 of which were played on their home turf at Adams Park.

Manager Peter Taylor however, was insistent that one win would change everything and that once they got it, his team were capable of going on to win several more and putting their faltering promotion campaign back on track.

Last Tuesday Wycombe got that all-important victory. They put their nerves behind them and battled hard to record an impressive 2-1 win at Darlington, and then, true to their manager's words, the Chairboys followed it up on Saturday with a crucial 1-0 win over promotion rivals Gillingham.

The back-to-back wins have put Wycombe in a very strong position. With a game in hand over most of their rivals at the top, promotion is firmly in their own hands and a win at 4th placed Exeter on Monday would take them a significant step closer to a return to League One after 5 years in the basement.

Peter Taylor's recent loan signings could prove to be the turning point in Wycombe's fortunes this season. Striker John Akinde has already proved his worth with 5 goals in only 6 appearances, while the now match-fit Lee Sawyer is looking increasingly like the long sought after 'missing link' in the Chairboys' midfield.


Recent Games
Rochdale (Home).......1-0 Loss
Shrewsbury (Home)...1-1 Draw
Barnet (Home)...........1-1 Draw
Darlington (Away)......2-1 Win
Gillingham (Home).....1-0 Win



Wycombe Goal Stats.

Total Goals Scored.....48
Away Goals Scored....20

Total Goals Conceded....29
Away Goals Conceded...15

Clean Sheets....19

15 different players have scored for the Chairboys in all competitions.

Top Goal Scorers
Striker: Matt Harrold.........12
Midfielder: Chris Zebroski...7
Striker: John Akinde...........5
Striker: Jon-Paul Pittman....3
Midfielder: Matty Phillips.....3





Form Guide


Since Mid-Season

Exeter:.........Played:-19, Points:-33, Average:-1.74 Pts per game
Wycombe:....Played:-18, Points:-25, Average:-1.39 Pts per game.



Last Five League Games
Exeter:........LDWWD - 8 points
Wycombe:...LDDWW - 8 points


Last Five Home Games
Exeter:...WLWWW - 12 points


Last Five Away Games
Wycombe:..WDLDW - 8 points


Against Other Top-Six Sides
Exeter:..........Played - 9, Won - 3, Drawn - 4, Lost - 2, Points-13
Wycombe:.....Played - 9, Won - 3, Drawn - 5, Lost - 1, Points-14




Earlier this season the two sides drew 1-1 at Adams Park with a second-half goal from Exeter's Manny Panther cancelling out Matt Harrold's 6th minute penalty.

Altogether the two sides have met on 2 occasions with 1 win for Wycombe and 1 draw.


Previous Meetings

FL Trophy....2000/01 : Wycombe 1 Exeter 0
League Two 2008/09 : Wycombe 1 Exeter 1





Ref Watch

The Referee for this match is Mr. Clive Oliver from Northumberland
.

Mr. Oliver has been a National List Referee since 2004. His last Wycombe match was almost exactly a year ago when the Chairboys drew 2-2 at MK Dons. So far this season he's refereed 30 games and has issued 74 yellow cards and 6 reds.





Wycombe Team News

Gary Holt
is doubtful.

Matt Harrold is doubtful

Leon Johnson is out injured.




If Wycombe are as brave as they were against Darlington last Tuesday, there's no reason why they can't take all three points. If they sit back like they did in the second-half against Gillingham yesterday, it could be a different story.


Prediction

Exeter 0 Wycombe 1


The Chairboys to make it three wins in a row.





Weekend Rivals Watch

Brentford (1st)
are away to Bournemouth (21st).

Bury (3rd) are away to Darlington (13th).

Rochdale (5th) are away to Shrewsbury (8th).

Gillingham (6th) are at home to Dagenham (10th).






For the very latest League Two odds

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

Writer:Len
Date:Sunday April 12 2009
Time: 3:37PM

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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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