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Preview: Southend United v Wycombe Wanderers

Wycombe Wanderers travel to Southend United on Saturday for their 28th league game of the season.


Southend are currently 14th in the table with 29 points from 25 games.

Their home record this season is Won 5, Drawn 3, Lost 4

Although they currently occupy a mid-table position, the Shrimpers are by no means out of danger and sit only three points clear of the relegation zone.

In some good news for Wycombe, Southend's 17 goal marksman Lee Barnard has today moved to Southampton, with Saints' striker Matthew Paterson moving in the other direction.

Losing Barnard could prove problematic for the Shrimpers, whose next highest goalscorer, Francis Laurent, has found the net just 3 times this season.

Wycombe are likely to come up against former loanees Franck Moussa and Anthony Grant on Saturday at Roots Hall, a 12,392 capacity stadium which was built in 1952 and which the Chairboys have visited three times before, winning on each occasion.

The Shrimpers have been managed by Steve Tilson since 2003 and have finished 6th and 8th in League One over the last two seasons.

Southend January Transfer Dealings

In
Jean-Yves M'Voto (Sunderland - Loan extension)
Scott Spencer (Unattached - Free)
Matthew Paterson (Southampton)

Out
Lee Barnard (Southampton)
Kevin Betsy (Wycombe - Free)
Alex Revell (Wycombe - Loan)


Wycombe Wanderers are currently in 23rd place with 19 points from 27 games.

While recent improved performances have offered a glimmer of hope that Wycombe may yet make a fight of it before the end of the season, the sobering fact remains that they sit seven points below safety and have played two or three games more than all the sides they need to overtake in order to avoid relegation.

With manager Gary Waddock still a relative newcomer to the Chairboys' hot-seat and currently trying to mould his own team by scouring bargain basements in search of suitable reinforcements, Wycombe are still a team in transition as they attempt to claw their way to safety.

Their goalkeeper and defence have only managed to keep 2 clean sheets in 31 games this season and despite the steadying influence of new signing Adam Hinshelwood, still look short of what's required to keep out the predators found at this level.

Today's signing of keeper Steve Arnold at the expense of erstwhile number-two Jamie Young appears to be a long term strategy and is unlikely to make any difference this season, while the Chairboys are also short of cover in both full back positions and could probably do with another quick central defender to play alongside Hinshelwood.

Midfield has been the only area Wycombe have looked comfortable in so far this season, but with regular starters Tommy Doherty and Scott Davies both leaving the club last week, it quickly became a priority for Waddock to replace them and he's done so with the signings of Dean Keates and Josh Payne, along with a bid for Aldershot's Scott Donnelly.

In attack, now that Waddock is regularly starting Jon-Paul Pittman, Wycombe at least have a striker on the pitch who scores goals, and that fact, coupled with encouraging performances from Stuart Beavon in a position just behind the front men, seems to have given the Chairboys more of an attacking threat in recent games. However, despite finally signing Southend striker Alex Revell on loan, Wycombe still look short of goalscorers, a fact that Waddock is no doubt trying to rectify, albeit, it seems, on a tight budget.

Wycombe January Ins and Outs

In
Adam Hinshelwood (Aldershot - Free)
Kevin Betsy (Southend - Free)
Dean Keates (Unattached - Free)
Steve Arnold (Unattached - Free)
Alex Revell (Southend - Loan)
Josh Payne (West Ham - Loan)

Out
Chris Zebroski (Torquay - Undisclosed)
Tommy Doherty (Released)
Jamie Young (Released)
Scott Davies (Loan expired)
John Akinde (Loan Expired)



Southend's last five games (All Competitions)

LG1: Hartlepool (H)...........Won 3-2
LG1: Exeter (A).................Lost 1-0
LG1: Colchester (H)...........Lost 2-1
LG1: Orient (A).................Won 2-1
LG1: Huddersfield (A)........Lost 2-1


Wycombe's last five games (All Competitions)

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


Southend Goal Stats (29 games in all Competitions)

Goals Scored (Total).........32
Goals Conceded (Total).....43

Goals Scored (Home)........15
Goals Conceded (Home)....15

Clean Sheets....5


Wycombe Goals Stats (31 games in all Competitions)

Goals Scored (Total).........32
Goals Conceded (Total).....61

Goals Scored (Away)........12
Goals Conceded (Away)....30

Clean Sheets....2


Southend's Top Goal Scorers (All Competitions)

Lee Barnard.................17 (inc 4 pens)
Francis Laurent..............3
Franck Moussa...............2

Nine other Southend players have each scored 1 goal.


Wycombe's Top Goal Scorers (All Competitions)

Jon-Paul Pittman.........9 (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.


Southend Shooting (Top-3)
Lee Barnard............33 on-target...20 off-target....1 against woodwork
Franck Moussa........23 on-target...19 off-target....1 against woodwork
Alan McCormack.......8 on-target...26 off-target....2 against woodwork


Wycombe Shooting (Top-3)

Scott Davies...........19 on-target...24 off-target...4 against woodwork
Jon-Paul Pittman.....21 on-target...17 off-target...1 against woodwork
Matt Phillips............15 on-target...17 off-target...2 against woodwork


Shooting (Club)
Southend.............138 on target...135 off target...9 against woodwork
Wycombe.............137 on target...123 off target...8 against woodwork



League Form Guide

All Games
Southend....Pld: 25...W: 8...D: 5...L: 12....Pts: 29...Pts per game: 1.16
Wycombe....Pld: 27...W: 4...D: 7...L: 16....Pts: 19...Pts per game: 0.70


Against Top Half Opposition
Southend.....Pld: 13....Pts: 13....Pts per game: 1.00
Wycombe.....Pld: 15....Pts: 13....Pts per game: 0.86


Against Bottom Half Opposition
Southend......Pld: 12....Pts: 16....Pts per game: 1.33
Wycombe......Pld: 12....Pts: 6......Pts per game: 0.50


Last Five league Games
Southend...........WLLWL - 6 points
Wycombe............LLLDL - 1 point


Last Five League Games (Home)
Southend..........WWLWL - 9 points


Last Five League Games (Away)
Wycombe..........WLLLD - 4 points



Previous Meetings

Wycombe have won four of the six previous meetings between the two sides and have been victorious every time they've played at Roots Hall.

Earlier this season, the two sides drew 1-1 at Adams Park with Matt Harrold opening the scoring for Wycombe and Jean-Francois Christophe levelling for Southend.


1997/98 LG1: Wycombe 4 Southend 1
1997/98 FLT: Southend 0 Wycombe 1
1997/98 LG1: Southend 1 Wycombe 2
2004/05 LG2: Southend 1 Wycombe 2
2004/05 LG2: Wycombe 0 Southend 1
2009/10 LG1: Wycombe 1 Southend 1



The Man In The Middle
Saturday's referee is Dean Whitestone from Northamptonshire who joined the National List of Referees in 2005. His last Wycombe game was the 1-0 defeat at Southampton earlier this season. So far this campaign he's issued 41 yellow cards and 1 red in 16 games.


Prediction

Score Draw






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The Journalist

Writer: Len Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday January 22 2010

Time: 1:12AM

 

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