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Stockport start crucial run of games for Wycombe

Wycombe Wanderers face fellow strugglers Stockport County at Adams Park on Saturday in their 20th league game of the season.


The Hatters are currently 23rd in the table with 14 points from their opening 18 league games. They only trail the Chairboys on goal difference and currently have a game in hand over their Buckinghamshire relegation rivals.

In contrast, the clubs were promotion rivals just two seasons ago and Wycombe fans will need no reminder of the League Two play-off semi-final which Stockport eventually won 2-1 on aggregate after a tense battle on the field of play and a war of words between the two managers.

Jim Gannon, Stockport's manager at the time, has since taken over at Motherwell and former Liverpool, Everton and Birmingham City defender Gary Ablett is now in charge at Edgeley Park.

Things couldn't be much worse for Ablett at the moment with County having lost 6 of their last 7 games, their only win coming against Ryman League Tooting & Mitcham in the FA Cup 1st round.

Wycombe will no doubt view County's visit as a good chance to get back to winning ways but they should be wary of the fact that the Hatters have collected 12 of their 14 points against teams from the bottom half of the table and in Carl Baker they have a player who has already found the net 11 times this season.

The Hatters should be fresh coming into Saturday's game, not having played since 24th November after their Edgeley Park pitch was deemed unplayable for both their FA Cup 2nd round tie against Torquay United and their League game against Swindon Town.


The Chairboys are currently 22nd in the table with 14 points from their opening 19 league games.

Wycombe came back down to earth with a bump on Tuesday when their winning streak ran out of steam in Southampton.

After two heartening wins against Millwall and Brentford, the injury-hit Chairboys never looked like matching the Saints in a 1-0 defeat which could have been a lot worse and highlighted just how important the quality of their loanees has been to their recent mini-revival.

With Scott Davies, Gareth Ainsworth, Kevin Betsy and Tommy Doherty in a midfield anchored by an in-form John Mousinho while John Akinde spearheads the attack, you would bet on Wycombe giving anyone a run for their money going forward, but with three of them out injured on Tuesday it was a different matter and the Chairboys looked toothless and outclassed at St Mary's.

Hopefully, Davies and Akinde will be fit enough to start against the Hatters assuming manager Gary Waddock picks them, but the club have confirmed that Ainsworth will again be missing.

The other injury worries revolve around the defence. With Leon Johnson out for some time and the extent of Chris Westwood's injury unclear, it looks like the less than convincing Duberry - Oliver partnership will continue on Saturday, and with no tried and tested cover for either full-back position, Wycombe fans can only hope that Craig Woodman and Lewis Hunt make it through the crucial month of December unscathed.

And what a crucial month December is. With all five games between now and 2010 against sides who might be dragged back into the relegation scrap, Wycombe face a set of potential six-pointers which could determine whether next year is a thrilling battle to survive or merely a procession towards inevitable relegation.

With a difficult January on the horizon featuring home games against Norwich and Charlton along with trips to Leeds, Southend and Bristol Rovers, the Chairboys will be keen to bank as many points as possible this month, starting with all three against Stockport on Saturday.



Stockport's last five games (All Competitions)

LG1: Norwich (H).............Lost 3-1
FAC: Tooting (H).............Won 5-0
LG1: Walsall (A)..............Lost 2-0
LG1: Exeter (H)...............Lost 3-1
LG1: Colchester (A).........Lost 2-0



Wycombe's last five games (All Competitions)
LG1: Huddersfield (A).......Lost 6-0
FAC: Brighton (A) ...........Lost 2-0
LG1: Millwall (A)..............Won 2-0
LG1: Brentford (H)...........Won 1-0
LG1: Southampton (A)......Lost 1-0



Stockport Goal Stats (All Competitions)

Goals Scored (Total).........26
Goals Conceded (Total).....39

Goals Scored (Away)........13
Goals Conceded (Away)....19

Clean Sheets....4


Wycombe Goals Stats (All Competitions)

Goals Scored (Total).........24
Goals Conceded (Total).....44

Goals Scored (Home)........13
Goals Conceded (Home)....21

Clean Sheets....2


Stockport's Top Goal Scorers (All Competitions)

Carl Baker..................11
Nicholas Bignall.............3
David Poole..................2
Peter Thompson............2
Paul Turnbull.................2

Five other Stockport players have each scored 1 goal.


Wycombe's Top Goal Scorers (All Competitions)

Jon-Paul Pittman.........6
Matt Harrold...............6
Scott Davies...............3
Chris Zebroski............2

Seven other Wycombe players have each scored 1 goal.


Stockport Shooting (Top-3)

Carl Baker.............35 on-target....32 off-target.....0 against woodwork
Nicholas Bignall......16 on-target......9 off-target.....0 against woodwork
Greg Tansey............8 on-target....14 off-target.....0 against woodwork


Wycombe Shooting (Top-3)

Scott Davies...........11 on-target....15 off-target....3 against woodwork
Jon-Paul Pittman.....14 on-target....10 off-target....0 against woodwork
Matt Phillips............12 on-target......9 off-target....1 against woodwork


Shooting (Club)
Stockport.......125 on target....88 off target....0 against woodwork
Wycombe.......100 on target....84 off target....5 against woodwork


League Form Guide

All Games
Stockport......Pld: 18...W: 3...D: 5...L: 10...Pts: 14...Pts per game: 0.78
Wycombe......Pld: 19...W: 3...D: 5...L: 11...Pts: 14...Pts per game: 0.74


Against Top Half Opposition
Stockport........Pld: 9......Pts: 2....Pts per game: 0.22
Wycombe.......Pld: 11....Pts:..9....Pts per game: 0.81


Against Bottom Half Opposition
Stockport.........Pld: 9....Pts: 12...Pts per game: 1.33
Wycombe.........Pld: 8.....Pts: 5....Pts per game: 0.62


Last Five league Games
Stockport:..........LLLLL - 0 points
Wycombe:.......LLWWL - 6 points


Last Five League Games (Away)
Stockport:.........DWLLL - 4 points


Last Five League Games (Home)
Wycombe:..........LLDLW - 4 points


Previous Meetings

In 19 previous meetings there have been 10 wins for Stockport, 3 for Wycombe and 6 draws.

At Adams Park there have been 3 wins for Wycombe, 2 for Stockport and 4 draws.

1994/95 LG1: Wycombe 1 Stockport 1
1995/96 LG1: Wycombe 4 Stockport 1
1996/97 LG1: Wycombe 0 Stockport 2
2002/03 LG1: Wycombe 1 Stockport 4
2003/04 LG1: Wycombe 1 Stockport 0
2005/06 LG2: Wycombe 1 Stockport 1
2006/07 LG2: Wycombe 2 Stockport 0
2007/08 LG2: Wycombe 0 Stockport 0
2007/08 PLoff Wycombe 1 Stockport 1


The Man In The Middle

Saturday's referee is Darren Sheldrake from Surrey who's in his first season as a National List Referee and has never been in charge of a Wycombe game before. In his 12 matches so far this season, he's issued 29 yellow and 2 red cards.


Prediction

Home Win





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The Journalist

Writer: Len Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday December 3 2009

Time: 2:24PM

 

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