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Brentford and Wycombe - Two contrasting defences

Wycombe Wanderers travel to Brentford on Saturday for their 31st league game of the season.


The league table currently shows the Bees in 11th place with 37 points from 28 games, while the Chairboys occupy 23rd spot with 23 points from 30 games.

Brentford's home record is.......Won 6, Drawn 7, Lost 2.
Wycombe's away record is.......Won 2, Drawn 5, Lost 8.

The first nine times these clubs met at Griffin Park only seven goals were scored in total, but over the past two seasons the fixture has become a comparative goal fest, with Paul Lambert's Wycombe winning 3-1 in December 2007 and Peter Taylor's side drawing 3-3 with the Bees in a thrilling promotion battle only eleven months ago.

This weekend it's Gary Waddock's turn to take a Wycombe side to West London with the very thought of a goal fest likely to bring him out in a cold sweat after the Chairboys' defensive generosity handed Yeovil a 4-1 win at Adams Park last Saturday.

It was no coincidence that the second-half rout by the Glovers immediately followed the departure of Wycombe defender Adam Hinshelwood with a knee injury. Gary Waddock's only defensive signing so far, Hinshelwood was finding it difficult to get a game in League Two for Aldershot and yet when he arrived at Adams Park in early January he was clearly head and shoulders above anything Wycombe already had in central defence. When he left the pitch on Saturday, his defensive partner Chris Westwood and replacement Luke Oliver were immediately exposed for both pace and manoeuvrability which in turn exposed goalkeeper Scott Shearer who should have done better with a couple of the goals.

So all week, Wycombe fans have been hoping for news that Hinshelwood's injury was minor and wouldn't keep him out of Saturday's game, but when the news finally arrived, it was bad, and the central defender isn't likely to play again this month. Supporters now wait with bated breath to see how Waddock will deal with the situation.

While Wycombe worry about how to stop conceding goals, Brentford have been quietly rising up the table on the back of some solid defensive performances, with only Leeds and Colchester having conceded fewer league goals.

In mid November, when the Bees were only four points clear of the relegation zone and had conceded 9 goals in their last 4 games, they acted quickly by signing a highly rated young Polish goalkeeper on loan from Arsenal.

Since the arrival of Wojciech Szczesny, Brentford have conceded only 8 goals in their last 14 games, during which they've kept 6 clean sheets and haven't had more than a single goal scored against them in any one game. In the same period Wycombe have conceded 25 goals.

The Chairboys can however take heart from the fact that the most recent of their two clean sheets this season came against the Bees in November when a Matt Harrold penalty was enough to give them a 1-0 win. There was another penalty in the game, but Szczesny saved it.

In attack, Brentford have a similar record to Wycombe, with the Bees having scored 38 goals from 34 games in all competitions and the Chairboys 37 from 34.

There are however a posse of Brentford players who for various reasons would enjoy scoring against Wycombe on Saturday. This summer, Peter Taylor's transfer targets Sam Saunders and Ben Strevens chose to join the Bees rather than the Chairboys, while Carl Cort played several games on trial for the Blues before Taylor decided not to sign him and Andy Scott stepped in.

And then there's John Akinde. After scoring twice and generally terrorising the Bees in last season's 3-3 thriller at Griffin Park, the on-loan striker almost single handedly rescued the Chairboys' faltering promotion campaign with 7 goals in 11 appearances. Following a less successful spell at Adams Park earlier this season, Akinde is now on-loan at Brentford and must be licking his lips at the prospect of facing a Wycombe defence he knows all about.

Wycombe will take heart from the fact that some of their best results this season have come against sides from the top half of the table, not least the unexpected wins at Millwall and Bristol Rovers along with a fine 1-1 draw at Elland Road.


Brentford's last five games (All Competitions)

LG1: Carlisle (H)..............Won 3-1
FAC: Doncaster (H)...........Lost 1-0
LG1: Norwich (A)..............Lost 1-0
LG1: Southampton (H).....Drew 1-1
LG1: Gillingham (H)..........Won 4-0


Wycombe's last five games (All Competitions)

LG1: Leeds (A) ..............Drew 1-1
LG1: Charlton (H).............Lost 2-1
LG1: Southend (A)..........Drew 1-1
LG1: Bristol Rovers (A).....Won 3-2
LG1: Yeovil (H).................Lost 4-1


Brentford Goal Stats (34 games in all Competitions)

Goals Scored (Total).........38
Goals Conceded (Total).....36

Goals Scored (Home)........29
Goals Conceded (Home)....19

Clean Sheets....10


Wycombe Goal Stats (34 games in all Competitions)

Goals Scored (Total).........37
Goals Conceded (Total).....68

Goals Scored (Away)........16
Goals Conceded (Away)....33

Clean Sheets....2


Brentford's Top Goal Scorers (All Competitions)

Myles Weston............9
Charlie MacDonald.....8 (inc 2 pens)
Kevin O'Connor.........4 (inc 3 pens)
Carl Cort...................4
Ben Strevens.............3
Leon Legge................2
Ryan Dickson.............2
John Bostock..............2

Three other Brentford players have each scored 1 goal.


Wycombe's Top Goal Scorers (All Competitions)

Jon-Paul Pittman..........9 (inc 1 pen)
Matt Harrold................9 (inc 5 pens)
Scott Davies................4
Stuart Beavon.............2
Chris Zebroski.............2
Chris Westwood...........2

Nine other Wycombe players have each scored 1 goal.


Brentford Shooting (Top-3)

Sam Saunders...........21 on-target...20 off-target...4 against woodwork
Myles Weston............21 on-target...17 off-target...0 against woodwork
Charlie MacDonald.....19 on-target...19 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............16 on-target...17 off-target...2 against woodwork


Shooting (Club)

Brentford...............163 on target...128 off target...10 against woodwork
Wycombe..............156 on target...138 off target.....8 against woodwork



League Form Guide

All Games
Brentford....Pld: 28...W: 9...D: 10...L: 9.....Pts: 37...Pts per game: 1.32
Wycombe....Pld: 30...W: 5...D: 8.....L: 17...Pts: 23...Pts per game: 0.77


Against Top Half Opposition
Brentford......Pld: 13....Pts: 14....Pts per game: 1.07
Wycombe......Pld: 16....Pts: 15....Pts per game: 0.93


Against Bottom Half Opposition
Brentford.......Pld: 15....Pts: 23....Pts per game: 1.53
Wycombe.......Pld: 14....Pts: 8......Pts per game: 0.57


Last Five league Games
Brentford.........DWLDW - 8 points
Wycombe..........DLDWL - 5 points


Last Five League Games (Home)
Brentford.........DDWDW - 9 points


Last Five League Games (Away)
Wycombe..........LLDDW - 5 points



Previous Meetings

Altogether the two sides have met on 26 previous occasions with 9 wins for Wycombe, 7 for Brentford and 10 draws.

At Griffin Park there have been 7 draws, 3 wins for Brentford and 1 win for Wycombe.

1994/95 LG1: Brentford 0 Wycombe 0
1995/96 LG1: Brentford 1 Wycombe 0
1996/97 LG1: Brentford 0 Wycombe 0
1997/08 LG1: Brentford 1 Wycombe 1
1999/00 LG1: Brentford 0 Wycombe 0
2000/01 LG1: Brentford 0 Wycombe 0
2001/02 LG1: Brentford 1 Wycombe 0
2002/03 LG1: Brentford 1 Wycombe 0
2003/04 LG1: Brentford 1 Wycombe 1
2007/08 LG2: Brentford 1 Wycombe 3
2008/09 LG2: Brentford 3 Wycombe 3


The Man In The Middle

Saturday's referee is Carl Boyeson from East Yorkshire who became a National List Referee in 2002. His last Wycombe game was a 1-0 deafeat at Bradford in February 2009. So far this season he's issued 41 yellow and 3 red cards in 22 games.


Prediction

Without knowing who will play at the back for Wycombe this is a difficult one to predict. With a Shearer - Oliver - Westwood combination it looks like a home banker, but if the attack minded Waddock can finally tighten up the football league's leakiest defence, this is a game Wycombe are capable of winning.




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The Journalist

Writer: Len Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday February 11 2010

Time: 12:45PM

 

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