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Preview: Wycombe Wanderers v Gillingham

Preview: Wycombe Wanderers v Gillingham


Wycombe Wanderers entertain Gillingham on Monday in their 22nd league game of the season.


The league table currently shows Wycombe in 3rd place with 37 points and Gillingham in 7th spot with 30 points.

Wycombe's Home Record...Won 5 - Drawn 3 - Lost 3 - Pts 18 (Rank 7)

Gillingham's Away Record...Won 3 - Drawn 3 - Lost 4 - Pts 12 (Rank 12)


With 2011 starting with a morale boosting 2-1 win over Cheltenham Town at Whaddon Road, the Blues will go into tomorrow's Bank Holiday clash with Gillingham in confident mood. Both sides are on a winning streak, the Gills with five in a row and ourselves one behind with four successive victories.

The sides only met two months ago when Gareth Ainsworth and Kevin Betsy gave the Chairboys an extremely comfortable 2-0 win at the Priestfield. Andy Hessenthaler's men have improved considerably since then though and will pose a real threat. They climbed into the play-off places with a 1-0 win over Stevenage on New Year's Day and are now just seven points behind the Blues.

They are still hit by a number of injuries but some of their more important players have returned to fitness and will be available for the meeting at Adams Park. The current Gills squad features a whole host of ex-Chairboys including goalkeepers Alan Julian and Lance Cronin, defenders Matt Lawrence and John Nutter and midfielders Chris Palmer and Danny Spiller. The biggest threat will come from the strike duo of the bulky Adebayo Akinfenwa and the pacey Cody McDonald. The latter was a transfer target for ex-boss Peter Taylor whilst he was at Adams Park before being snapped up from Dartford by Norwich City.

Far more important of course is our own squad, and again they showed great character after a tough holiday period to come from a goal down to claim all three points against one of their bogey sides. It's the first ever victory over the Robins in the Football League and the first time Wycombe have scored two goals at Whaddon Road in a Football League match. It is also the first time since 1991/92 that the Blues have taken three points on both Boxing Day and New Year's Day.

Manager Gary Waddock faces the dilemma of whether to stick with a winning formula and name an unchanged line-up or twist with two games in three days and make changes to freshen things up. He has new loan-signing Scott Donnelly available for the game as well as Lewis Montrose and of course striker Scott Rendell, who showed immense character to return to action on New Year's Day.

Wycombe have lost just one of their last eight meetings with the Kent side and it's statistics like those that make me nervous. (editor's note: Benny is writing this section!) The last three league wins have all come despite poor first half displays which have seen the opposition enjoy the upper hand before much improved second half performances from the Blues. It's an oft-repeated footballing cliché that winning when not playing well is a sign of a good team. It certainly shows character and this side has it in abundance. We might need a strong 90 minutes to see off the Gills this time though.


Gillingham's last five games (All Competitions)

LG2: Oxford (A)...............Won 1-0

LG2: Barnet (A)...............Won 2-1

LG2: Macclesfield (A).......Won 4-2

LG2: Port Vale (H)...........Won 3-0

LG2: Stevenage (H).........Won 1-0



Wycombe's last five games (All Competitions)

LG2: Torquay (H).............Lost 1-3

FAC: Chelmsford (H)........Won 3-1

LG2: Bury (H)..................Won 1-0

LG2: Hereford (H)............Won 2-1

LG2: Cheltenham (A).......Won 2-1




Gillingham Goal Stats (24 games in all Competitions)

Goals Scored (Total)..........Lg: 29...Cups: 1...Total: 30

Goals Conceded (Total)......Lg: 28...Cups: 6...Total: 34

Goals Scored (Away).........Lg: 17...Cups: 1...Total: 18

Goals Conceded (Away).....Lg: 19...Cups: 4...Total: 23

Clean Sheets.....................Lg: 8....Cups: 1...Total: 9



Wycombe Goal Stats (26 games in all Competitions)

Goals Scored (Total)...........Lg: 32...Cups: 11...Total: 43

Goals Conceded (Total).......Lg: 23...Cups: 10...Total: 33

Goals Scored (Home)..........Lg: 17...Cups: 7.....Total: 24

Goals Conceded (Home)......Lg: 14...Cups: 9.....Total: 23

Clean Sheets......................Lg: 8.....Cups: 1.....Total: 9



Gillingham's Top Goal Scorers - (All Competitions)

Cody McDonald.........8

Adebayo Akinfenwa...7 (inc 1 pen)

Chris Palmer.............5 (inc 1 pen)

Chris Whelpdale........3

Two other players have each scored two goals.

Three other players have each scored one goal.



Wycombe's Top Goal Scorers - (All Competitions)

Scott Rendell............9 (inc 4 pens)

Kevin Betsy..............6

Gareth Ainsworth......5

Stuart Beavon..........5

Andy Sandell............5

Ben Strevens...........4

Matt Bloomfield........3

Two other players have each scored two goals.

Two other players have each scored one goal



Gillingham Shooting (Top-3) - All Competitions

Cody McDonald......22 on-target....21 off-target....1 against woodwork

Adeb'o Akinfenwa...17 on-target....24 off-target....3 against woodwork

Chris Palmer..........11 on-target....19 off-target....1 against woodwork



Wycombe Shooting (Top-3) - All Competitions

Kevin Betsy...........14 on-target...26 off-target...1 against woodwork

Gareth Ainsworth....12 on-target...19 off-target...2 against woodwork

Stuart Beavon........13 on-target...11 off-target...1 against woodwork



Shooting (Club) - League Games Only

Gillingham....107 on target..123 off target...5 against w'work (Rank-7)

Wycombe......87 on target...109 off target...8 against w'work (Rank-18)



League Form Guide

All Season


Gillingham......Pld: 21...W: 8.....D: 6...L: 7...Pts: 30...Pts per game: 1.43

Wycombe.......Pld: 21...W: 10...D: 7...L: 4...Pts: 37...Pts per game: 1.76



Last Five league Games

Gillingham....WWWWW - 15 points (Rank-1)

Wycombe.........LLWWW - 9 points (Rank-6)



Last Five League Games (Away)

Gillingham......DLWWW - 10 points (Rank-5)



Last Five League Games (Home)

Wycombe.......DWLWW - 10 points (Rank-5)



Against Top Half Opposition

Gillingham.....Pld: 10...Pts: 10...Pts per game: 1.00...(Rank-14)

Wycombe......Pld: 9....Pts: 16...Pts per game: 1.78...(Rank-2)



Against Bottom Half Opposition

Gillingham....Pld: 11...Pts: 20....Pts per game: 1.82...(Rank-6)

Wycombe.....Pld: 12...Pts: 21....Pts per game: 1.75...(Rank-8)



Previous Meetings

In 20 previous meetings there have been 7 wins for Gillingham, 6 for Wycombe and 7 draws.

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


1932/33 FAC: Wycombe 2 Gillingham 4

1993/94 LG2: Wycombe 1 Gillingham 1

1995/96 FAC: Wycombe 1 Gillingham 1

1996/97 LG1: Wycombe 1 Gillingham 1

1997/98 LG1: Wycombe 1 Gillingham 0

1998/99 LG1: Wycombe 0 Gillingham 2

1999/00 LG1: Wycombe 1 Gillingham 0

2008/09 LG2: Wycombe 1 Gillingham 0

2009/10 LG1: Wycombe 3 Gillingham 0



The Man In The Middle

Monday's referee is Phil Crossley from Kent who was promoted to the National List of Referees in 2002. He took charge of two Wycombe games last season - the 3-2 defeat at Gillingham and the goalless draw at home to Carlisle. During the current campaign he's issued 6 red and 49 yellow cards in 18 games.



Prediction

Wycombe 1 Gillingham 1



Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Len
Date:Sunday January 2 2011
Time: 1:02PM

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