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

Blues aim to build as they enter crucial period


Wycombe Wanderers travel to Carlisle United on Saturday for their 21st league game of the season.

The league table currently shows Wycombe in 23rd place with 16 points and Carlisle in 7th spot with 32 points, both sides having played 20 games.


Carlisle's Home Record......W 4 - D 2 - L 3 - Pts 14...Ppg 1.56 (Rank-9)

Wycombe's Away Record...W 2 - D 2 - L 6 - Pts 8.....Ppg 0.80 (Rank-20)


For only the fourth time this season, Wycombe have an opportunity to build on a victory in their previous league game.

On the other three occasions they failed to gain momentum, and each success was followed by three defeats in a row.

Should the same unthinkable fate befall the Blues in their three games between now and the end of the year, even their most optimistic fans will be mentally preparing themselves for the drop come May.

Yes, it's difficult to avoid the feeling that the next three games will shape the rest of the campaign.

The outcome is likely to determine whether Wycombe are fighting a losing battle in the second half of the season as they were two years ago, or whether they've given themselves a realistic chance of survival this time round.

Saturday's long trip to Carlisle is more daunting than the home games against Exeter and Stevenage, but let's not forget that Wycombe unexpectedly collected all three points from their last marathon trek to Hartlepool in October.

The most encouraging thing about last Saturday's crucial victory over Chesterfield was the fact that the Blues scored three goals for a second consecutive week.

The most worrying thing was the ease with which the Spireites scored two goals of their own to add to the four Wycombe conceded the week before.

Immediately after Saturday's match, Blues' boss Gary Waddock said: "We've been looking for a centre forward for a long time, and you address that area of the field and then we've conceded goals last week and this week."

While Waddock is quite right to be pleased with loan signing Marcello Trotta and his fruitful partnership with fellow striker Stuart Beavon, the defensive problems he refers to are nothing new.

The Blues have the worst defensive record in the entire division in two categories - keeping just one clean sheet all season and conceding the opening goal in 14 of their 20 league games.

Another unenviable stat is conceding more than a single goal in 10 league games, 9 of which they've lost.

Hopefully the dynamic duo of Beavon and Trotta will keep finding the net until such time as Waddock and his players finally crack this defending lark.

High-flying Carlisle have played only 9 home games as opposed to 16 away games in all competitions so far this season.

Their record at Brunton Park is a decent one, featuring victories over Bournemouth, Stevenage, Sheffield Wednesday and Colchester, draws with Brentford and Oldham, and early-season defeats at the hands of Notts County, Franchise and Hartlepool.

The Cumbrians are unbeaten at home since September and have picked up three wins and two draws from their last five appearances in front of their own fans.

**This week's useless bonus stat** Don't ask me why, but I was thinking...Wycombe were only in front for three minutes at Franchise and Stuart Beavon's stoppage time winner on Saturday meant they were leading for only a matter of seconds.

So how long have the Blues actually spent in the lead during league games this season?

Well, here's the answer. Not including stoppage time, Wycombe have played for 30 hours. In that time they've spent 14 hours and 6 minutes losing, 10 hrs 36 mins drawing, and 5 hrs 18 mins winning (mainly thanks to Orient, Hartlepool & Sheff Utd which account for 3 hrs 34 minutes between them).


Here are some better stats…


Carlisle's last five games (All Competitions)

FAC: Alfreton (A)............Won 4-0

Lg1: Sheff Utd (A)............Lost 0-1

Lg1: Colchester (H).........Won 1-0

FAC: Charlton (A)............Lost 0-2

Lg1: Scunthorpe (A)........Won 2-1



Wycombe's last five games (All Competitions)

Lg1: Notts County (A).......Drew 1-1

FAC: Fleetwood (A)............Lost 0-2

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

Lg1: Franchise (A)..............Lost 3-4

Lg1: Chesterfield (H)..........Won 3-2



Carlisle Goal Stats (25 games in all Competitions)

Goals Scored (Total)............Lg: 27...Cups: 7...Total: 34

Goals Conceded (Total)........Lg: 29...Cups: 8...Total: 37

Goals Scored (Home)...........Lg: 14...Cups: 0...Total: 14

Goals Conceded (Home).......Lg: 16...Cups: 0...Total: 16

Clean Sheets.......................Lg: 6.....Cups: 1...Total: 7



Wycombe Goal Stats (25 games in all Competitions)

Goals Scored (Total)..............Lg: 23...Cups: 8.....Total: 31

Goals Conceded (Total)..........Lg: 34...Cups: 13...Total: 47

Goals Scored (Away).............Lg: 12...Cups: 0.....Total: 12

Goals Conceded (Away).........Lg: 18...Cups: 2.....Total: 20

Clean Sheets.........................Lg: 1.....Cups: 0.....Total: 1



Carlisle's Top Goal Scorers - (All Competitions)

Lee Miller...................8

James Berrett.............5 (inc 1 pen)

Francisco Zoko...........4

Liam Noble.................4

Jon-Paul McGovern.....3

Rory Loy....................3 (inc 1 pen)

Five other players have each scored 1 goal.



Wycombe's Top Goal Scorers - (All Competitions)

Stuart Beavon..........11

Scott Donnelly...........5 (inc 2 pens)

Joel Grant.................3

Two other players have scored 2 goals.

Seven other players have each scored 1 goal.



Carlisle Shooting (Top-3) - All Competitions

Rory Loy...............18 on-target...27 off-target...2 against woodwork

Liam Noble............24 on-target...19 off-target...1 against woodwork

Lee Miller..............18 on-target...22 off-target...1 against woodwork



Wycombe Shooting (Top-3) - All Competitions

Stuart Beavon........27 on-target.....5 off-target...0 against woodwork

Joel Grant..............14 on-target...13 off-target...0 against woodwork

Scott Donnelly........13 on-target...11 off-target...0 against woodwork



Shooting (Club) - League Games Only

Carlisle.........119 on target...128 off target...9 against w'work (Rank-2)

Wycombe........79 on target....93 off target...3 against w'work (Rank-23)



Most Assists

Carlisle - Berrett & Miller.........5

Wycombe - Andy Sandell.........3



League Form Guide

All Season


Carlisle.........Pld: 20...W: 9...D: 5...L: 6.....Pts: 32...Pts per game: 1.60

Wycombe......Pld: 20...W: 4...D: 4...L: 12...Pts: 16...Pts per game: 0.80



Last Five league Games

Carlisle.........DDLWW - 8 points (Rank-10)

Wycombe........LDLLW - 4 points (Rank-17)



Last Five League Games (Home)

Carlisle.......WDWDW - 11 points (Rank-6)



Last Five League Games (Away)

Wycombe.........LWLDL - 4 points (Rank-18)



Against Top Half Opposition

Carlisle.........Pld: 9.....Pts: 13...Pts per game: 1.44...(Rank-6)

Wycombe......Pld: 10...Pts: 5.....Pts per game: 0.50...(Rank-21)



Against Bottom Half Opposition

Carlisle..........Pld: 11...Pts: 19...Pts per game: 1.73...(Rank-11)

Wycombe.......Pld: 10...Pts: 11...Pts per game: 1.10...(Rank-20)



Previous Meetings

In 12 previous meetings there have been 5 wins for Wycombe, 3 for Carlisle and 4 draws.

At Brunton Park the tally is 2 wins for the Chairboys, 2 for the Cumbrians and 2 draws.

1993/94 Lg2: Carlisle 2 Wycombe 2

1993/94 Lg2: Wycombe 2 Carlisle 0

1993/94 P'off Carlisle 0 Wycombe 2

1993/94 P'off Wycombe 2 Carlisle 1

1995/96 Lg1: Carlisle 4 Wycombe 2

1995/96 Lg1: Wycombe 4 Carlisle 0

1997/98 Lg1: Wycombe 1 Carlisle 4

1997/98 Lg1: Carlisle 0 Wycombe 0

2005/06 Lg2: Wycombe 1 Carlisle 1

2005/06 Lg2: Carlisle 0 Wycombe 1

2009/10 Lg1: Carlisle 1 Wycombe 0

2009/10 Lg1: Wycombe 0 Carlisle 0



The Man In The Middle

Saturday's referee is Geoff Eltringham from Sunderland who was promoted to the National List of Referees in 2009. His one and only Wycombe game was last season's 1-0 defeat at Bradford City. So far this season he's issued 3 red and 41 yellow cards in 19 games.



Prediction

Carlisle 2 Wycombe 1




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The Journalist

Writer: Len Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday December 15 2011

Time: 12:37PM

 

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