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A daunting trip for Wycombe

Wycombe Wanderers face runaway leaders Leeds United at Elland Road on Saturday in their 26th league game of the season.


Leeds are currently eight points clear at the top of the table and come into Saturday's game having just beaten Manchester United 1-0 at Old Trafford in the FA Cup third round.

The Elland Road outfit have only lost twice in all competitions so far this season, a 1-0 defeat to Liverpool in the Carling Cup and a 2-1 setback at Millwall the only blots on an otherwise impressive landscape.

The last time they lost at home in the league was almost exactly a year ago on the 10th January 2009.

Top marksman Jermaine Beckford has scored 20 goals from open play so far this season, but has recently handed in a transfer request and is attracting interest from several clubs. It's possible he could be sold by Saturday but with Wycombe's luck, he'll put himself in the shop window again and score a hat-trick.

Leeds have been managed by Yorkshireman Simon Grayson since Boxing Day 2008. In his playing days Grayson was predominantly a defender who began his career at Leeds but is best known for making well over 100 appearances for both Leicester City and Blackpool, before moving into management with the Seasiders and masterminding their promotion to the Championship.

The opportunity to visit Elland Road would no doubt have attracted a healthy Wycombe following if it weren't for the uncertain weather, and those who do brave the elements will find themselves in a 39,460 capacity stadium which was originally built in 1897 and was most recently renovated in 2006.

Fallen giants of English football, Leeds are currently competing in League One for the third consecutive season. In 2007/08 they finished 5th and beat Carlisle in the play-off semi final, before losing 1-0 to Doncaster Rovers in the final at Wembley. Last season, they finished 4th but couldn't get past Millwall in the semi final, losing 2-1 on aggregate.


Wycombe Wanderers are currently struggling at the wrong end of the table in 23rd place with just 18 points from 25 games, 6 points from safety and with all their relegation rivals having at least one game in hand.

Their last three outings have all ended in disappointment, but after heavy defeats at the hands of Yeovil and Brighton, there were definite signs of improvement against Norwich last weekend when the Chairboys responded to criticism and battled hard to frustrate the Canaries before eventually conceding the only goal of the game.

Those searching for hope of a shock result on Saturday can always point to Wycombe's solitary away win so far this season at The New Den which ended Millwall's eight month unbeaten home record. Alternatively they could consider the fact that historically the Chairboys frequently rise to the occasion, and even the current crop have gained 12 of their 18 points against teams from the top half of the table.

In team news, Kevin Betsy has returned to Southend and Bristol City have recalled striker John Akinde, but Scott Davies' loan has been extended to cover the next two games. New signing Adam Hinshelwood is fit to play after suffering cramp during his debut last Saturday, but Leon Johnson is still recovering from a hip operation..



Leeds' last five games (All Competitions)

JPT: Accrington (H)...........Won 2-0
LG1: Southampton (H)......Won 1-0
LG1: Hartlepool (H)...........Won 3-1
LG1: Stockport (A)...........Won 4-2
FAC: Man Utd (A).............Won 1-0


Wycombe's last five games (All Competitions)

LG1: Carlisle (A) .............Lost 1-0
LG1: Oldham (H)............Drew 2-2
LG1: Yeovil (A)................Lost 4-0
LG1: Brighton (H)............Lost 5-2
LG1: Norwich (H).............Lost 1-0



Leeds Goal Stats (33 games in all Competitions)

Goals Scored (Total).........64
Goals Conceded (Total).....19

Goals Scored (Home)........39
Goals Conceded (Home)....12

Clean Sheets....17


Wycombe Goals Stats (29 games in all Competitions)

Goals Scored (Total).........30
Goals Conceded (Total).....58

Goals Scored (Away)........11
Goals Conceded (Away)....29

Clean Sheets....2


Leeds' Top Goal Scorers (All Competitions)

Jermaine Beckford.......20
Robert Snodgrass..........7
Bradley Johnson............7
Luciano Becchio.............5
Neil Kilkenny.................4
Mike Grella....................4
Tresor Kandol................4
Max Gradel....................3
Jonathan Howson...........2

Seven other Leeds players have each scored 1 goal.


Wycombe's Top Goal Scorers (All Competitions)

Jon-Paul Pittman.........7 (inc 1 pen)
Matt Harrold...............7 (inc 4 pens)
Scott Davies...............4
Chris Zebroski............2
Chris Westwood..........2

Eight other Wycombe players have each scored 1 goal.


Leeds Shooting (Top-3)

Jermaine Beckford....63 on-target...49 off-target...10 against woodwork
Robert Snodgrass.....37 on-target...35 off-target....5 against woodwork
Bradley Johnson.......27 on-target...26 off-target....5 against woodwork


Wycombe Shooting (Top-3)

Scott Davies...........18 on-target...23 off-target...4 against woodwork
Jon-Paul Pittman.....18 on-target...14 off-target...0 against woodwork
Matt Phillips............15 on-target...16 off-target...2 against woodwork


Shooting (Club)
Leeds..................256 on target...171 off target...19 against woodwork
Wycombe............130 on target...112 off target....7 against woodwork



League Form Guide

All Games
Leeds.........Pld: 23...W: 17...D: 5...L: 1......Pts: 56...Pts per game: 2.43
Wycombe...Pld: 25...W: 4.....D: 6...L: 15....Pts: 18...Pts per game: 0.72


Against Top Half Opposition
Leeds..........Pld: 10....Pts: 21....Pts per game: 2.10
Wycombe....Pld: 13....Pts: 12....Pts per game: 0.92


Against Bottom Half Opposition
Leeds...........Pld: 13....Pts: 35....Pts per game: 2.69
Wycombe.....Pld: 12....Pts: 6......Pts per game: 0.50


Last Five league Games
Leeds..........DDWWW - 11 points
Wycombe.........LDLLL - 1 point


Last Five League Games (Home)
Leeds..........WWDWW - 13 points


Last Five League Games (Away)
Wycombe:........LWLLL - 3 points



Previous Meetings

2009/10 LG1: Wycombe 0 Leeds 1


A Luciano Becchio goal after 61 minutes was enough to settle the only previous meeting between the two clubs at Adams Park earlier this season.



The Man In The Middle
Saturday's referee is David Webb from County Durham who became a National List Referee in 2008 and has never taken charge of a Wycombe game before. So far this season he's issued 54 yellow cards and 1 red in 16 games.



Prediction

Home Win




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The Journalist

Writer: Len Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday January 7 2010

Time: 2:49PM

 

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