Date: 15th February 2018 at 8:24pm
Written by:

Wycombe Wanderers travel to Cheltenham Town on Saturday for their 33rd league game of the season.

The Chairboys snatched all three points with a last-minute winner in a 3-2 victory over Swindon Town at Adams Park on Tuesday.

It was a game that encapsulated everything that is admirable about the physical and mental strength of Wanderers’ top scorer Adebayo Akinfenwa.

Battling through the usual shirt-tugging and close personal attention of a host of defenders, the big man missed a couple of chances, but never let his head drop for a moment, even when his spectacular diving header after 76 minutes was chalked off for no apparent reason.

The reward for his trademark strength and perseverance was a bullet-headed winner in the 89th minute that took the roof off Adams Park and left a posse of Swindon players bereft on the turf.

It was Akinfenwa’s 15th goal of the season and Wycombe’s 72nd in all competitions.

In the league, Wanderers have scored 63 and conceded 46 after 32 games.

By comparison, in the play-off season of 2014/15, they had scored 45 and conceded 27 at the same stage.

The contrasting stats show that Gareth Ainsworth’s current side are a different animal altogether compared to the squad that reached Wembley a few years ago.

The total number of goals in their league games has risen 51%, goals scored are up 40% and the only fly in the ointment is a 70% increase in goals conceded.

It’s also interesting to note that Wanderers have had the highest number of shots on target in League Two this season (183), 13 more than league leaders Luton Town who come 2nd with 170.

Somewhat surprisingly, this weekend’s opponents Cheltenham Town come 3rd in the rankings with 167 goalbound efforts.

Tuesday’s win leaves Wanderers 3rd in the table with 59 points, 13 points more than they had at the same stage last season.

Ainsworth made two changes to his starting line-up against the Robins, with Luke O’Nien and Craig Mackail-Smith replacing Nathan Tyson and Matt Bloomfield.

The Blues’ boss has no newly reported injury concerns ahead of this weekend’s trip to Whaddon Road.

Scott Kashket has picked up a thigh strain and is unlikely to feature.

Sam Saunders and Sido Jombati are reportedly close to a return.

Anthony Stewart has missed the last two months with calf injury, while Michael Harriman continues his rehabilitation after breaking as leg in September.

Cheltenham Town were beaten 1-0 by play-off chasers Lincoln City at Sincil Bank on Tuesday.

The Robins have won just 2 of their last 10 league matches and lie 15th in the table with 39 points, 4 points more than they had at the same stage last season.

Manager Gary Johnson made two changes to his starting line-up against the Imps.

Nigel Atangana and loanee Elijah Adebayo were handed recalls at the expense of Sanmi Odelusi and Brian Graham who both dropped to the bench.

Taylor Moore and Danny Wright both returned to the bench after serving three-match bans.

Matt Bower was left out of the 18-man squad whilst Jake Andrews missed out following the birth of his child.

Johnson has no newly reported injury concerns ahead of this weekend’s visit from the Chairboys.

The Robins currently have seven loan players on their books but can only name a maximum of five in any matchday squad.

Andrews is set to return but fellow loanee Joe Morrell remains doubtful with a groin strain and will be assessed.

Jordan Cranston (hamstring surgery) and Jordan Forster (ruptured Achilles) both remain sidelined, while Jaanai Gordon will miss the rest of the season with an anterior cruciate knee ligament injury.


Here are some stats…


Cheltenham Home Record….W 7 – D 4 – L 5 – Pts 25 – Ppg 1.56 (Rank-14)

Wycombe Away Record……….W 7 – D 5 – L 4 – Pts 26 – Ppg 1.63 (Rank-3)


League positions & comparison with last season

Cheltenham (4 points better off)

After 33 games this season the Robins are 15th with 39 points

After 33 games last season they were 19th with 35 points


Wycombe (13 points better off)

After 32 games this season the Chairboys are 3rd with 59 points

After 32 games last season they were 10th with 46 points


Cheltenham’s last five games (All Competitions)

Lg2: Mansfield (A)…………….Lost 2-3

Lg2: Barnet (H)………………..Drew 1-1

Lg2: Grimsby (A)……………..Drew 1-1

Lg2: Port Vale (H)……………..Won 5-1

Lg2: Lincoln (A)…………………Lost 0-1


Wycombe’s last five games (All Competitions)

Lg2: Crewe (A)………………….Won 3-2

Lg2: Luton (A)…………………..Won 3-2

Lg2: Carlisle (H)………………..Won 4-3

Lg2: Exeter (A)…………………Drew 1-1

Lg2: Swindon (H)………………Won 3-2


Cheltenham Goal Scorers – (All Competitions)

Eisa……………………………..17

Dawson……………………….6

Graham……………………….5

Wright………………………….5

Winchester…………………..4

Boyle……………………………3

Grimes…………………………3

Pell………………………………3 (inc 1 pen)

Adebayo………………………2

Atangana……………………..1

Hinds……………………………1

Holman………………………..1

Morrell…………………………1

Odelusi………………………..1

Sellars………………………….1

Storer…………………………..1

Own goals……………………1


Wycombe Goal Scorers – (All Competitions)

Adebayo Akinfenwa………..15

Craig Mackail-Smith………..10

Paris Cowan-Hall…………….7

Luke O’Nien……………………7

Nathan Tyson…………………6

Eberechi Eze…………………..5

Joe Jacobson…………………..5 (inc 3 pens)

Nick Freeman…………………3

Marcus Bean…………………..2

Matt Bloomfield………………2

Sam Saunders…………………2

Josh Umerah…………………..2

Will De Havilland…………….1

Michael Harriman…………..1

Sido Jombati……………………1

Dan Scarr………………………..1

Dayle Southwell………………1

Anthony Stewart……………..1


Wycombe Assists – (All Competitions)

Adebayo Akinfenwa………..13

Craig Mackail-Smith………..6

Paris Cowan-Hall…………….4

Joe Jacobson…………………..4

Nathan Tyson…………………4

Nick Freeman………………….3

Dominic Gape…………………3

Michael Harriman…………..3

Sam Saunders…………………3

Matt Bloomfield………………2

Eberechi Eze……………………2

Luke O’Nien…………………….2

Dan Scarr………………………..2

Marcus Bean…………………..1

Sido Jombati……………………1

Nathan McGinley…………….1

Jack Williams……………………1


Cheltenham Goal Stats (39 games in all Competitions)

Goals Scored (Total)………..Lg: 46…Cups: 10…Total: 56

Goals Conceded (Total)……Lg: 48…Cups: 14…Total: 62

Goals Scored (Home)………Lg: 25…Cups: 4…..Total: 29

Goals Conceded (Home)….Lg: 19…Cups: 10…Total: 29

Clean Sheets……………………Lg: 8…..Cups: 0…..Total: 8

Failed to Score…………………Lg: 8…..Cups: 1…..Total: 9


Wycombe Goal Stats (39 games in all Competitions)

Goals Scored (Total)………..Lg: 63…Cups: 9…..Total: 72

Goals Conceded (Total)……Lg: 46…Cups: 14…Total: 60

Goals Scored (Away)………..Lg: 26…Cups: 2…..Total: 28

Goals Conceded (Away)……Lg: 22…Cups: 1…..Total: 23

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

Failed to Score…………………Lg: 6…..Cups: 2…..Total: 8


Wycombe – miscellaneous stats

Shots on-target (for)………….Lg: 183…Cups: 40…Total: 223

Shots on-target (against)……Lg: 128…Cups: 34…Total: 162

Shots off-target (for)………….Lg: 259…Cups: 53…Total: 312

Shots off-target (against)……Lg: 197…Cups: 40…Total: 237

Corners (for)………………………Lg: 181…Cups: 45…Total: 226

Corners (against)………………..Lg: 150…Cups: 34…Total: 184

Ave possession (for)……………Lg: 51.28%…..Cups: 50.14%

Ave possession (against)……..Lg: 48.72%…..Cups: 49.86%


Shooting comparison (league only)

Wycombe…….shots on target – 183 (per game: 5.72) – (Rank-1)

Cheltenham…shots on target – 167 (per game: 5.06) – (Rank-3)


League Form Guide

All Season

Cheltenham….Pld: 33…W: 10…D: 9…L: 14…Pts: 39…Pts per game: 1.22

Wycombe……..Pld: 32…W: 17…D: 8…L: 7…..Pts: 59…Pts per game: 1.84


Last Five league Games

Cheltenham………..LDDWL – 5 points (Rank-15)

Wycombe………WWWDW – 13 points (Rank-1)


Last Five League Games (Home)

Cheltenham………..LDLDW – 5 points (Rank-22)


Last Five League Games (Away)

Wycombe……….LWWWD – 10 points (Rank-1)


First 45 mins v Second 45 mins – Performance Comparison

First 45 mins

Wycombe…….W: 14…D: 10…L: 8…Gf: 30…Ga: 18…Pph: 1.63

Second 45 mins

Wycombe…….W: 12…D: 11…L: 9…Gf: 33…Ga: 28…Pph: 1.47


Discipline *

Cheltenham….5 Red Cards…57 Yellow Cards

Wycombe…….1 Red Card…..65 Yellow Cards

Marcus Bean………………9 yellow (inc 1 Checkatrade)

Joe Jacobson………………8 yellow

Luke O’Nien……………….6 yellow – 1 red

Adam El Abd………………5 yellow

Sam Saunders……………5 yellow

Scott Brown……………….4 yellow

Adebayo Akinfenwa……3 yellow

Matt Bloomfield…………3 yellow

Paris Cowan-Hall………..3 yellow (inc 1 Checkatrade)

Dominic Gape…………….3 yellow

Craig Mackail-Smith……3 yellow

Dan Scarr…………………..3 yellow (inc 1 Checkatrade)

Anthony Stewart………..3 yellow

Sido Jombati………………2 yellows

Dayle Southwell…………2 yellow

Nathan Tyson…………….2 yellow

Will de Havilland……….1 yellow

From FA website *


Previous Meetings

In 38 previous meetings there have been 13 wins for Wycombe, 11 for Cheltenham and 14 draws.

At Whaddon Road the tally is 6 wins for the Chairboys, 5 for the Robins and 6 draws.

1980/81 FAT: Cheltenham 0 Wycombe 1

1985/86 GLg: Cheltenham 4 Wycombe 2

1987/88 Con: Cheltenham 2 Wycombe 2

1988/89 Con: Cheltenham 0 Wycombe 1

1989/90 Con: Cheltenham 1 Wycombe 1

1990/91 Con: Cheltenham 1 Wycombe 0

1991/92 Con: Cheltenham 2 Wycombe 1

2002/03 FLT: Cheltenham 1 Wycombe 2

2002/03 Lg1: Cheltenham 0 Wycombe 0

2004/05 Lg2: Cheltenham 1 Wycombe 1

2005/06 Lg2: Cheltenham 2 Wycombe 1

2005/06 Poff: Cheltenham 0 Wycombe 0

2010/11 Lg2: Cheltenham 1 Wycombe 2

2012/13 Lg2: Cheltenham 4 Wycombe 0

2013/14 Lg2: Cheltenham 1 Wycombe 1

2014/15 Lg2: Cheltenham 1 Wycombe 4

2016/17 Lg2: Cheltenham 0 Wycombe 1


Boss v Boss

In their managerial careers, Gareth Ainsworth and Gary Johnson have clashed 5 times.

The current tally is 2 wins for Ainsworth, 1 for Johnson and 2 draws.


Cheltenham’s record last season

Home….W:8…..D:7…..L:8…..GF:27 – GA:25 – Pts:31

Away…..W:4…..D:7…..L:12…GF:22 – GA:44 – Pts:19

Total……W:12…D:14…L:20…GF:49 – GA:69 – Pts:50

Final position: 21st in League Two


Wycombe’s record last season

Home…W:11…D:6….L:6…..GF:29 – GA:21 – Pts:39

Away….W:8…..D:6….L:9…..GF:29 – GA:32 – Pts:30

Total….W:19…D:12…L:15 – GF:58 – GA:53 – Pts:69

Final position: 9th in League Two


The Man In The Middle

Saturday’s referee is Gavin Ward from Surrey who was promoted to the National List of Referees in 2007.

Earlier this season he took charge of Wycombe`s 2-0 home defeat to Fulham and their 3-1 win at Cambridge United.

During the current campaign he’s issued 4 red and 93 yellow cards in 34 appearances.


Prediction

Cheltenham 1 Wycombe 2