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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Blues search for a cutting edge against the Blades


Wycombe Wanderers entertain Sheffield United on Saturday in their 9th league game of the season.

The league table currently shows Wycombe in 22nd place with 5 points from 8 games and the Blades in 2nd spot with 20 points from 9 games.

Sheffield Utd's Away Record......Won 2 - Drawn 2 - Lost 0 - Pts 8
PPG 2.00 (Rank-6)

Wycombe's Home Record..........Won 0 - Drawn 1 - Lost 2 - Pts 1
PPG 0.33 (Rank-23)


Last Five league Games

Sheffield Utd.....WWDLW - 10 points (Rank-7)

Wycombe...............LLLLL - 0 points (Rank-23)


The Chairboys will be hoping a return to home comforts will bring a change of fortunes. They host Sheffield United for the very first time at Adams Park. It should be an occasion full of excitement and hope but is likely to be more of trepidation and fear.

Manager, players and supporters alike all left Prenton Park last weekend feeling bereft. Another blank had been recorded in a 2-0 defeat to Tranmere Rovers, the fifth in succession and should the Blues fail to breach the Blades back-line, they will set a new club record of six league games without a goal.

The last time the net bulged and the Wanderers fans could jig in delight at the sight of a league goal was back at Brisbane Road, courtesy of a Joel Grant header. That was also the last time a league victory was celebrated and 490 'pointless' minutes (not including added-on time) of play have passed since then.

Gary Waddock faces one of his toughest spells in charge of the Chairboys and despite expressions of frustration at recent performances, team selections and substitutions the vast majority of supporters recognise he is still the best man to end the sides' downward spiral and lead us to League One safety. In Waddock We Trust as the kids like to say these days.

There could be a trio of players available again to make that team selection a little more tricky. Winger Kevin Betsy is back having missed the defeat to Tranmere with a broken wrist. Midfielder John Halls has also recovered from an achilles problem and is available for selection.

Striker Stuart Beavon has been sorely missed since taking a blow to the head against Brentford but the prognosis is hopeful and his return could be the catalyst for a much-improved showing. Defender Dave Winfield and striker Matt McClure remained sidelined through injury.

There is likely to be an element of pantomime at the weekend with some visiting fans ready to perpetuate the stereotype of football fans as both fickle and hypocritical. Whilst Spurs fans could be seen fawning all over Emmanuel Adebayor last weekend having previously heaped abuse on his shoulders, Blades fans will be giving Gareth Ainsworth the bird.

He has been cast in the role of villain following an incident that happened almost 14 years ago. On 22nd November 1997 whilst playing for Port Vale he was involved in a tenth minute challenge with Dane Whitehouse. The United midfielder, aged 27 at the time, suffered a serious knee injury from which he was unable to recover and was forced to retire in 2000.

As anyone who watches football knows, these incidents sadly do occur from time-to-time, especially when players are as committed as both Ainsworth and Whitehouse. Yet whilst the Blades fans shriek their disgust at Ainsworth they conveniently forget the actions of their own captain Chris Morgan.

On 8 November 2008 he threw an elbow into the head of then Barnsley player Iain Hume which fractured the striker's skull. He had to undergo emergency surgery due to life-threatening injuries. Ironically Morgan has not played since October 2010 due to injury. Perhaps those visiting fans ought to be reminded of the saying: 'Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.'

With almost 2,000 away fans set to fill the Hillbottom Road end this weekend, there will certainly be a lively atmosphere and hopefully it will be one in which our players will thrive. Led by our talisman in Ainsworth, it could be exactly the kind of game we need to shake off our recent woes and go and give League One a reminder that whilst we might be down at the moment, we are far from out.



Sheffield Utd's last five games (All Competitions)

JPT: Burton (A)..................Won 2-1

Lg1: Bury (H).....................Won 4-0

Lg1: Scunthorpe (A)..........Drew 1-1

Lg1: Huddersfield (H)..........Lost 0-3

Lg1: Colchester (H)............Won 3-0



Wycombe's last five games (All Competitions)

Lg1: Huddersfield (A)...........Lost 0-3

JPT: Bristol Rovers (H).........Won 3-1

Lg1: Brentford (H)................Lost 0-1

Lg1: Yeovil (A).....................Lost 0-1

Lg1: Tranmere (A)................Lost 0-2



Sheffield Utd Goal Stats (12 games in all Competitions)

Goals Scored (Total).........Lg: 17...Cups: 4...Total: 21

Goals Conceded (Total).....Lg: 7.....Cups: 5...Total: 12

Goals Scored (Away)........Lg: 5.....Cups: 4...Total: 9

Goals Conceded (Away)....Lg: 2.....Cups: 5...Total: 7

Clean Sheets....................Lg: 5.....Cups: 0...Total: 5



Wycombe Goal Stats (11 games in all Competitions)

Goals Scored (Total)..........Lg: 5.....Cups: 7...Total: 12

Goals Conceded (Total)......Lg: 12...Cups: 8...Total: 20

Goals Scored (Home).........Lg: 1.....Cups: 7...Total: 8

Goals Conceded (Home).....Lg: 4.....Cups: 8...Total: 12

Clean Sheets.....................Lg: 0.....Cups: 0...Total: 0



Sheffield Utd's Top Goal Scorers - (All Competitions)

Richard Cresswell......4 (inc 1 pen)

Chris Porter..............3

Matthew Lowton........2

Ched Evans..............2

Erik Tonne................2

Stephen Quinn..........2

Six other players have each scored 1 goal.



Wycombe's Top Goal Scorers - (All Competitions)

Stuart Beavon...........4

Joel Grant.................2

Scott Donnelly...........2 (inc 1 pen)

Four other players have each scored 1 goal.



Sheffield Utd Shooting (Top-3) - All Competitions

Ched Evans...............10 on-target...3 off-target...1 against woodwork

Richard Cresswell........8 on-target...5 off-target...0 against woodwork

Chris Porter................6 on-target...7 off-target...1 against woodwork



Wycombe Shooting (Top-3) - All Competitions

Scott Donnelly...........7 on-target...8 off-target...0 against woodwork

Joel Grant.................6 on-target...7 off-target...0 against woodwork

Andy Sandell.............3 on-target...7 off-target...1 against woodwork



Shooting (Club) - League Games Only

Sheff Utd..........51 on target...51 off target...5 against w'work (Rank-7)

Wycombe.........22 on target...37 off target...2 against w'work (Rank-24)



Previous Meetings

2002/03: LgCp: Sheffield United 4 Wycombe 1



The Man In The Middle

Saturday's referee is James Linington from the Isle of Wight who was promoted to the National List of Referees in 2008. Last season he took charge of Wycombe's 2-0 win at Gillingham and their controversial 1-1 draw at Shrewsbury Town. So far this season he's issued 0 red and 31 yellow cards in 10 games.



Prediction

Len Wycombe 0 Sheffield United 2

Benny Wycombe 0 Sheffield United 0




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The Journalist

Writer: Benny Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday September 22 2011

Time: 12:16PM

 

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