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Preview: Wycombe Wanderers v Northampton Town


Wycombe Wanderers entertain Northampton Town on Saturday in their 42nd league game of the season.


The league table currently shows Wycombe in 3rd place with 69 points from 41 games and Northampton in 21st spot with 43 points from 41 games

North'pton Away Record...Won 2 - Drawn 8 - Lost 10 - Pts 14 (Rank-22)

Wycombe Home Record...Won 10 - Drawn 5 - Lost 5 - Pts 35 (Rank-8)


Five games stand between the Chairboys and another crack at league one, and with difficult trips to Torquay and Bury on the horizon, it's vital that they make the most of their three games at Adams Park.

On paper, this looks the easiest of the remaining fixtures, but if that doesn't fill you full of fear and trepidation, you probably haven't been following Wycombe for long.

Yes, a home game against the Cobblers should be just what the doctor ordered, but at this stage of the season promotion contenders sometimes freeze and relegation-threatened strugglers often develop a siege mentality and discover hidden depths.

Bottom club Stockport were the last visitors to Adams Park, and this game is similar in that Wycombe are strong favourites to beat a side that hasn't won away from home since mid-December.

In fact, Northampton haven't won any of their last fifteen games home or away and have only collected 9 points out of the last possible 45. They parted company with manager Ian Sampson on 2nd March and appointed Gary Johnson in his place, but the former Bristol City boss has so far failed to turn the tide with 3 draws and 5 defeats in his first 8 games in charge.

13th at the beginning of February, the Cobblers now find themselves languishing in 21st spot, just two points above the relegation zone and in real danger of dropping out of the football league for the first time since they joined in 1922.

Their danger-man up-front is Shaun Harrad who was purchased from Burton Albion during the January transfer window. Harrad scored 13 goals for the Brewers in the first half of the season, including one against Wycombe in October, but while his departure appears to have hurt Burton, his 4 goals for Northampton haven't been enough to lift them clear of danger.

Hopefully, the Blues will play without fear and overcome the Cobblers in the same way they did Stockport. Confidence should certainly be high. They're on a five-game unbeaten run, and Saturday's fightback from 2-0 down to earn a 2-2 draw at Oxford would have further boosted their morale.

Team selection should be interesting this week. If Stuart Beavon, Matt Bloomfield and Gareth Ainsworth are all fit to play, manager Gary Waddock has some tricky decisions to make.

Jon-Paul Pittman made a strong case for a starting spot with an eye-catching performance on Saturday, but how can you drop Stuart Beavon. He may not score as often as he should, but they're all guilty of that, and he gives opposition defenders a torrid time every week. Perhaps the answer is a Pittman-Beavon partnership, but Scott Rendell is unlikely to be sacrificed.

Andy Sandell must surely return to the left-back position, but who plays in midfield is anybody's guess. Kevin Betsy looks far more effective on the right (or in a free role), but that's Gareth Ainsworth's patch. Lewis Montrose and Stuart Lewis give central midfield some bite, but Scott Donnelly did well against Oxford and no-one will fight harder for promotion than club stalwart Matt Bloomfield.

Who would be a manager.


Here are all the stats......


Northampton's last five games (All Competitions)

LG2: Bradford (A)..........Drew 1-1

LG2: Torquay (H)...........Drew 2-2

LG2: Accrington (A).........Lost 1-3

LG2: Burton (A).............Drew 1-1

LG2: Bury (H).................Lost 2-4



Wycombe's last five games (All Competitions)

LG2: Shrewsbury (A)......Drew 1-1

LG2: Morecambe (A)........Won 3-0

LG2: Stockport (H)...........Won 2-0

LG2: Hereford (A)...........Drew 0-0

LG2: Oxford (A)..............Drew 2-2



Northampton Goal Stats (48 games in all Competitions)

Goals Scored (Total)..........Lg: 53...Cups: 13...Total: 66

Goals Conceded (Total)......Lg: 64...Cups: 15...Total: 79

Goals Scored (Away).........Lg: 17...Cups: 11...Total: 28

Goals Conceded (Away).....Lg: 33...Cups: 15...Total: 48

Clean Sheets.....................Lg: 7....Cups: 2.....Total: 9



Wycombe Goal Stats (47 games in all Competitions)

Goals Scored (Total)...........Lg: 59...Cups: 11...Total: 70

Goals Conceded (Total).......Lg: 46...Cups: 11...Total: 57

Goals Scored (Home)..........Lg: 31...Cups: 7.....Total: 38

Goals Conceded (Home)......Lg: 22...Cups: 10...Total: 32

Clean Sheets......................Lg: 15...Cups: 1.....Total: 16



Northampton's Top Goal Scorers - (All Competitions)

Leon McKenzie.............9 (inc 2 pens)

Billy Mckay..................8

Andrew Holt.................8

Michael Jacobs.............8

John Johnson...............7

Kevin Thornton.............7 (inc 1 pen)

Shaun Harrad...............4 (inc 1 pen)

Dean Beckwith.............3

Abdul Osman...............3

Northampton have benefitted from one own-goal.

Three other players have each scored two goals.

Two other players have each scored one goal.



Wycombe's Top Goal Scorers - (All Competitions)

Scott Rendell...........16 (inc 8 pens)

Gareth Ainsworth.....10

Kevin Betsy..............7

Andy Sandell............7

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

Ben Strevens............5

Lewis Montrose.........4

Jon-Paul Pittman.......4

Matt Bloomfield.........3

Three other players have each scored two goals.

Three other players have each scored one goal



Northampton Shooting (Top-3) - All Competitions

Michael Jacobs.......34 on-target...30 off-target...4 against woodwork

Billy Mckay............27 on-target...24 off-target...3 against woodwork

Kevin Thornton......18 on-target...17 off-target...1 against woodwork



Wycombe Shooting (Top-3) - All Competitions

Kevin Betsy............24 on-target...47 off-target...2 against woodwork

Gareth Ainsworth....23 on-target...36 off-target...3 against woodwork

Stuart Beavon........24 on-target...27 off-target...2 against woodwork



Shooting (Club) - League Games Only

North'p'ton..174 on target...177 off target...10 against w'work (Rank-22)

Wycombe....176 on target...243 off target...18 against w'work (Rank-10)



Most Assists

Northampton - Michael Jacobs....9

Wycombe - Kevin Betsy.............7



League Form Guide

All Season


North'pton..Pld: 41...W: 9.....D: 16...L: 16...Pts: 43...Pts per game: 1.05

Wycombe...Pld: 41...W: 19...D: 12...L: 10...Pts: 69...Pts per game: 1.68



First-half of the season

North'pton....Pld: 23...W: 7.....D: 7...L: 9...Pts: 28...Pts per game: 1.22

Wycombe.....Pld: 23...W: 11...D: 7...L: 5...Pts: 40...Pts per game: 1.74



Second-half of the season

North'pton....Pld: 18...W: 2...D: 9...L: 7...Pts: 15...Pts per game: 0.83

Wycombe.....Pld: 18...W: 8...D: 5...L: 5...Pts: 29...Pts per game: 1.61



Last Five league Games

Northampton......DDLDL - 3 points (Rank-22)

Wycombe........DWWDD - 9 points (Rank-8)



Last Five League Games (Away)

Northampton......DLDLD - 3 points (Rank-19)



Last Five League Games (Home)

Wycombe.........LWDLW - 7 points (Rank-11)



Against Top Half Opposition

Northampton....Pld: 21...Pts: 18...Pts per game: 0.86...(Rank-21)

Wycombe.........Pld: 20...Pts: 26...Pts per game: 1.30...(Rank-6)



Against Bottom Half Opposition

Northampton....Pld: 20...Pts: 25...Pts per game: 1.25...(Rank-23)

Wycombe.........Pld: 21...Pts: 43...Pts per game: 2.05...(Rank-2)



Previous Meetings

In 20 previous meetings there have been 6 wins for Northampton, 4 for Wycombe and 10 draws.

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


1993/94 LG2: Wycombe 1 Northampton 0

1997/98 LG1: Wycombe 0 Northampton 0

1998/99 LG1: Wycombe 1 Northampton 2

2000/01 LG1: Wycombe 1 Northampton 0

2001/02 LG1: Wycombe 2 Northampton 1

2002/03 LG1: Wycombe 1 Northampton 1

2004/05 LG2: Wycombe 0 Northampton 1

2005/06 LG2: Wycombe 1 Northampton 1

2005/06 FAC: Wycombe 1 Northampton 3

2009/10 JPT: Wycombe 2 Northampton 2



The Man In The Middle

Saturday's referee is Phil Crossley from Kent who was promoted to the National List of Referees in 2002. His last Wycombe game was the 1-0 win over Gillingham at Adams Park earlier this season. During the current campaign he's issued 7 red and 84 yellow cards in 32 games.



Prediction

Wycombe 2 Northampton 1




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The Journalist

Writer: Len Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday April 15 2011

Time: 1:41AM

 

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