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Match Preview: Brighton v Wycombe

Match Preview:  Brighton v Wycombe

Wycombe Wanderers travel to Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday for their sixth League One fixture of the season.


Brighton are currently 23rd in the table with just 2 points from their opening 5 league games.

The Seagulls are yet to win and have the worst goal-difference in the division which currently stands at - 9, mainly due to a 7-1 drubbing at the hands of Huddersfield Town on 18th August.

Their two home games so far this season have resulted in defeats at the hands of Walsall and Stockport County.

Last season they finished 16th in League One with 52 points, the season before they were 7th with 69 points and the year before that 18th with 53 points.

Currently resident at the Withdean Stadium which is designed primarily for athletics, Brighton are constructing a new stadium at Falmer which will open in time for the 2011/12 season.

Managed by Russell Slade since March 2009, the Seagulls overhauled their playing squad in the summer, with 18 players leaving the club and 12 joining.

Their most notable signing is striker Liam Dickinson whose winning goal for Stockport County broke the Chairboys' hearts in the 2007/08 League Two play-off semi-final. They have also recruited midfielder Gary Dicker who played for County in the same game.



Seagulls on target

Only two players have scored for Brighton so far this season, Liam Dickinson and Nicky Forster who each have two goals to their name.


Brighton's season so far

LG1: Walsall (H)............Lost 1-0
Ccp: Swansea (A))........Lost 3-0
LG1: Brentford (A).......Drew 0-0
LG1: Huddersfield (A)....Lost 7-1
LG1: Stockport (H)........Lost 4-2
LG1: Millwall (A)..........Drew 1-1



Brighton summer signings

Elliott Bennett (Wolves) Midfielder
Andrew Crofts (Gillingham) Midfielder
Arron Davies (Nottingham Forest) Midfielder - on-loan
Gary Dicker (Stockport County) Midfielder
Liam Dickinson (Derby County) Striker
Alan Navarro (Milton Keynes Dons) Midfielder
Graeme Smith (Motherwell) Goalkeeper
Jamie Smith (Crystal Palace) Midfielder
Matt Thornhill (Nottingham Forest) Midfielder - on-loan
James Tunnicliffe (Stockport County) Defender
Jake Wright (Crawley Town) Defender
Mark Wright (Franchise) Midfielder - (Since sold-on to Bristol Rovers)




The Chairboys are currently 20th in the table with 4 points from 5 league games.

After a tough start to life back in League One which included games against Charlton, Leeds and Norwich, Wycombe recorded their first win of the season against Bristol Rovers last Saturday.

Having struggled to score goals last season, the Chairboys seem to have rectified that problem only to find themselves leaking goals at the other end.

With a new-look defensive line-up still getting to know each other, eight of the eleven league goals they've conceded so far have come from set-pieces, much to the chagrin of manager Peter Taylor who's been frantically trying to solve the problem in training.

After exiting both cup competitions at the first round stage, Wycombe only have the league to concentrate on for the next two months and will be hoping to put their difficult start behind them and start collecting points as the League One table begins to take shape.

Tuesday's deadline-day signing of winger Kevin Betsy from Southend United is a welcome boost for Wycombe fans who fondly remember him torturing opposition full-backs during his previous spell with the club.

Wycombe have however undoubtedly missed the presence of influential Midfielder Tommy Doherty who was injured in the pre-season friendly against QPR. The good news is he's back in training although it's unlikely he will be ready to start Saturday's game against the Seagulls.



Chairboys on target

Four different players have scored for Wycombe in all competitions this season and their top marksman is Jon-Paul Pittman with 4 goals. Chris Zebroski and Matt Harrold have 2 goals apiece.


Wycombe's season so far

LG1: Charlton (A)..........Lost 3-2
Ccp: Peterborough (H)...Lost 4-0
LG1: Leeds (H)..............Lost 1-0
LG1: Southend (H).......Drew 1-1
LG1: Norwich (A)...........Lost 5-2
LG1: Bristol Rovers (H)..Won 2-1
JPT: Northampton (H)...Drew 2-2



Head-to-head League form


Brighton:.....Pld-5, W-0, D-2, L-3, Pts-2, GF-4, GA-13, Clean Sheets-1
Wycombe:...Pld-5, W-1. D-1, L-3, Pts-4. GF-7. GA-11. Clean Sheets-0


Previous Meetings In Brighton

1994/95: LGc Brighton 2 Wycombe 1
1994/95: LG1 Brighton 1 Wycombe 1
1995/96: LG1 Brighton 1 Wycombe 2
2001/02: FLT: Brighton 2 Wycombe 1
2001/02: LG1 Brighton 4 Wycombe 0
2003/04: LG1 Brighton 4 Wycombe 0

4 wins for Brighton, 1 win for Wycombe and 1 draw.


The Man In The Middle

Saturday's referee is Gavin Ward from Surrey. His most recent Wycombe game was the 1-1 draw with Exeter City at Adams Park on Boxing Day of last year.



It's a bit early in the season to talk about six-pointers, but a win here could pull the Chairboys away from the relegation zone and rekindle dreams of a successful campaign. A defeat on the other hand would merely fuel the fear that it's going to be a season of struggle near the foot of the table.

Brighton of course will be thinking exactly the same thing.

The Seagulls are still gelling as a team and after steadying the ship with a draw at Millwall last weekend, will no doubt be going all out to record their first win of the season and open their account at the Withdean.


Prediction

Brighton 1 Wycombe Wanderers 2


The Chairboys to start climbing the table.

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Writer:Len
Date:Thursday September 3 2009
Time: 3:19PM

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