Date: 22nd March 2018 at 7:58pm
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Wycombe Wanderers entertain Port Vale on Saturday in their 39th league game of the season.

The Chairboys claimed all three points with a 3-2 win at Crawley Town on Wednesday evening.

Goals from Nathan Tyson, Adebayo Akinfenwa and Sido Jombati were enough to clinch a second consecutive away win for Wanderers, who beat Barnet 2-0 at the Hive four days earlier.

Gareth Ainsworth’s side have now collected more points on the road (35) than they have at Adams Park (34), and can proudly boast the best away record in the division.

Wednesday’s victory also propelled the Blues into the automatic promotion places with 69 points, 14 points more than they had at the same stage last season.

Wanderers have also matched their points total for the whole of last season with eight games still to play.

Having taken only one point from their last three home games, the Chairboys will be keen to consolidate their position with victory over a struggling Vale side who have won none of their 13 games in 2018.

Sounds straightforward, but the last time Wanderers hosted a relegation struggler they were 4-0 down after 52 minutes. So, seasoned Wycombe-watchers will be taking nothing for granted and hoping the players show as much energy and commitment as they did on Wednesday night.

Should Wycombe win, they will climb to 2nd in the table and put pressure on both Luton Town, who face Martin Allen’s Barnet later that evening, and Notts County who don’t play until the following day.

Ainsworth made two changes to his starting line-up against the Red Devils.

Marcus Bean and Nathan Tyson were both handed recalls in a switch to a 4-4-2 diamond formation. They replaced Craig Mackail-Smith, who dropped to the bench and Nick Freeman, who missed out through injury.

Luke O’Nien will be assessed ahead of this weekend’s clash with the Valiants after being forced off with a knock at Crawley.

Nick Freeman will be hoping to return after missing out with a groin strain, but Dan Scarr has missed the last two games with an ankle injury and remains doubtful.

Michael Harriman is back in training after breaking his leg in September and is now working on building up his fitness.

It is hoped that Anthony Stewart (calf) and Sam Saunders (knee) will return before the end of the season.

Port Vale were beaten 1-0 by Exeter City in a re-arranged league clash at Vale Park on Tuesday.

They went into the game on the back of a 2-2 draw at home to Stevenage at the weekend.

The Valiants are in dreadful form and have won none of their 13 games in 2018, drawing 7 and losing 6.

Neil Aspin’s side are currently 20th in the table with 38 points, 7 points clear of the drop, but having played two games more than 23rd placed Chesterfield.

Aspin made two changes to his starting line-up against the Grecians.

Loanee Kyle Howkins made a welcome return after recovering from a swollen knee, while Tyrone Barnett was also handed a recall. They replaced Joe Davis and loanee Marcus Harness who both dropped to the bench.

Dan Turner was recalled to the bench with loanee Donovan Wilson missing out for family reasons.

Vale currently have six loan players on their books and can only name a maximum of five in any matchday squad. Zak Jules was the man to miss out again.

Aspin has no new injury concerns ahead of this weekend’s trip to Adams Park. Wilson will be hoping to return after missing out in midweek, while Antony Kay is back in training following hernia surgery and will be assessed.

Leading goalscorer Tom Pope won’t be fit until after Easter following hernia surgery.

Adam Yates (facial reconstruction surgery) and Kjell Knops (long-term knee injury) aren’t expected to play again this season.

Here are some stats…

Port Vale Away Record……..W 4…..D 5…L 10…Pts 17 – Ppg 0.89 (Rank-17)

Wycombe Home Record……W 10…D 4…L 5…..Pts 34 – Ppg 1.79 (Rank-9)

League positions & comparison with last season

Port Vale (4 points worse off – 1 division lower)

After 38 games this season Vale are 20th in Lg2 with 38 points

After 38 games last season they were 21st in Lg1 with 42 points

Wycombe (14 points better off)

After 38 games this season the Chairboys are 3rd with 69 points

After 38 games last season they were 10th with 55 points

Port Vale’s last five games (All Competitions)

Lg2: Newport (H)……………..Drew 0-0

Lg2: Grimsby (A)………………Drew 1-1

Lg2: Barnet (A)…………………Drew 1-1

Lg2: Stevenage (H)…………..Drew 2-2

Lg2: Exeter (H)…………………..Lost 0-1

Wycombe’s last five games (All Competitions)

Lg2: Morecambe (H)………….Lost 2-4

Lg2: Coventry (H)……………….Lost 0-1

Lg2: Cambridge (H)………….Drew 1-1

Lg2: Barnet (A)………………….Won 2-0

Lg2: Crawley (A)………………..Won 3-2

Port Vale Goal Scorers – (All Competitions)

Pope…………………….16 (inc 3 pens)

Montano……………….6

Tonge…………………..4

Worrall…………………4

Forrester………………3

Turner…………………..3

Whitfield……………….3

Barnett………………….2

Harness………………..2

Kay……………………….2

Gunning………………..1

Hannant………………..1

Pugh……………………..1

Reeves…………………..1

Regis……………………..1

Smith…………………….1

Wilson…………………..1

Own Goals…………….1

Wycombe Goal Scorers – (All Competitions)

Adebayo Akinfenwa………..18

Craig Mackail-Smith………..10

Paris Cowan-Hall…………….8

Luke O’Nien……………………8

Nathan Tyson…………………7

Joe Jacobson…………………..6 (inc 4 pens)

Eberechi Eze…………………..5

Nick Freeman…………………4

Marcus Bean…………………..2

Matt Bloomfield………………2

Sido Jombati……………………2

Sam Saunders…………………2

Josh Umerah…………………..2

Will De Havilland…………….1

Michael Harriman…………..1

Dan Scarr………………………..1

Dayle Southwell………………1

Anthony Stewart……………..1

Own goals……………………….1

Wycombe Assists – (All Competitions)

Adebayo Akinfenwa………..15

Craig Mackail-Smith………..8

Nathan Tyson…………………5

Paris Cowan-Hall…………….4

Joe Jacobson…………………..4

Luke O’Nien…………………….4

Nick Freeman………………….3

Dominic Gape…………………3

Michael Harriman…………..3

Sam Saunders…………………3

Matt Bloomfield………………2

Eberechi Eze……………………2

Dan Scarr………………………..2

Scott Brown……………………1

Marcus Bean…………………..1

Sido Jombati……………………1

Nathan McGinley…………….1

Jack Williams……………………1

Port Vale Goal Stats (46 games in all Competitions)

Goals Scored (Total)………..Lg: 41…Cups: 12…Total: 53

Goals Conceded (Total)……Lg: 54…Cups: 12…Total: 66

Goals Scored (Away)………..Lg: 20…Cups: 3…..Total: 23

Goals Conceded (Away)……Lg: 30…Cups: 7…..Total: 37

Clean Sheets……………………Lg: 8…..Cups: 3…..Total: 11

Failed to Score…………………Lg: 13…Cups: 1…..Total: 14

Wycombe Goal Stats (45 games in all Competitions)

Goals Scored (Total)………..Lg: 73…Cups: 9…..Total: 82

Goals Conceded (Total)……Lg: 54…Cups: 14…Total: 68

Goals Scored (Home)………Lg: 40…Cups: 7…..Total: 47

Goals Conceded (Home)….Lg: 30…Cups: 13…Total: 43

Clean Sheets……………………Lg: 9…..Cups: 2…..Total: 11

Failed to Score…………………Lg: 7…..Cups: 2…..Total: 9

Wycombe – miscellaneous stats

Shots on-target (for)………….Lg: 219…Cups: 40…Total: 259

Shots on-target (against)……Lg: 142…Cups: 34…Total: 176

Shots off-target (for)………….Lg: 296…Cups: 53…Total: 349

Shots off-target (against)……Lg: 227…Cups: 40…Total: 267

Corners (for)………………………Lg: 208…Cups: 45…Total: 253

Corners (against)………………..Lg: 175…Cups: 34…Total: 209

Ave possession (for)……………Lg: 51.03%…..Cups: 50.14%

Ave possession (against)……..Lg: 48.97%…..Cups: 49.86%

Shooting comparison (league only)

Wycombe………shots on target – 219 (per game: 5.76) – (Rank-1)

Port Vale……….shots on target – 138 (per game: 3.63) – (Rank-23)

League Form Guide

All Season

Port Vale…….Pld: 38…W: 9…..D: 11…L: 18…Pts: 38…Pts per game: 1.00

Wycombe……Pld: 38…W: 20…D: 9…..L: 9…..Pts: 69…Pts per game: 1.82

Last Five league Games

Port Vale………….DDDDL – 4 points (Rank-18)

Wycombe………..LLDWW – 7 points (Rank-10)

Last Five League Games (Away)

Port Vale…………..LLLDD – 2 points (Rank-22)

Last Five League Games (Home)

Wycombe……….WWLLD – 7 points (Rank-16)

First 45 mins v Second 45 mins – Performance Comparison

First 45 mins

Wycombe…….W: 17…D: 12…L: 9…..Gf: 35…Ga: 22…Pph: 1.66

Second 45 mins

Wycombe…….W: 14…D: 13…L: 11…Gf: 38…Ga: 32…Pph: 1.45

Discipline *

Port Vale……..5 Red Cards…62 Yellow Cards

Wycombe…….1 Red Card…..71 Yellow Cards

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

Joe Jacobson………………9 yellow

Luke O’Nien……………….6 yellow – 1 red

Scott Brown……………….5 yellow

Paris Cowan-Hall………..5 yellow (inc 1 Checkatrade)

Adam El Abd………………5 yellow

Sam Saunders……………5 yellow

Matt Bloomfield…………4 yellow

Adebayo Akinfenwa……3 yellow

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

Tafari Moore……………..1 yellow

From FA website *

Previous Meetings

In 15 previous meetings there have been 6 wins for Wycombe, 3 for Port Vale and 6 draws.

At Adams Park the tally is 4 wins for the Blues, 1 for Vale and 2 draws.

2000/01 LG1: Wycombe 0 Port Vale 1

2001/02 LG1: Wycombe 3 Port Vale 1

2002/03 LG1: Wycombe 3 Port Vale 1

2003/04 LG1: Wycombe 2 Port Vale 1

2008/09 LG2: Wycombe 4 Port Vale 2

2010/11 LG2: Wycombe 1 Port Vale 1

2012/13 LG2: Wycombe 1 Port Vale 1

Boss v Boss

In their managerial careers, Gareth Ainsworth and Neil Aspin have never clashed before.

Port Vale’s record last season

Home….W:10…D:6…..L:7…..GF:32 – GA:31 – Pts:36

Away…..W:2…..D:7…..L:14…GF:13 – GA:39 – Pts:13

Total……W:12…D:13…L:21…GF:45 – GA:70 – Pts:49

Final position: 21st in League One

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 Lee Swabey from Devon who was promoted to the National List of Referees in 2015.

His last Wycombe game was a 0-0 draw at Crawley Town in August 2015.

During the current campaign he’s issued 1 red and 43 yellow cards in 13 appearances.

Prediction

Wycombe 3 Port Vale 1