Preview: Plymouth Argyle vs Wycombe Wanderers

Home Park. A ground where Wycombe Wanderers have fared rather well in recent years, unbeaten in their last six visits to the Devon club, including a play-off semi-final victory and a 1-0 win with their goalkeeping coach in the net for most of the game. The long trip will be hoped to become the scene of the Chairboys’ first league win of the season, and they may fancy themselves with Plymouth also having picked up just a solitary point so far in League One.

Wanderers found themselves two down inside twenty minutes against Bristol Rovers at the weekend, and couldn’t salvage anything from the game despite Scott Kashket’s late consolation. The diminutive striker may be in the frame to start against Argyle, although he said in an interview that he’s still not 100% fit. This could make way for Nick Freeman, who has impressed off the bench so far this season.

Despite an impressive win at Ashton Gate in the Carabao Cup, Derek Adams’ side haven’t really got going so far in the league, going down to an Amadou Bakayoko penalty at the Ricoh on Saturday. A brilliant spell of form in the second half of last season nearly led the Pilgrims to the play-offs after a poor start in 2017-18, and they will hope for similar this time around, albeit a much shorter opening spell of winless matches.

Team news

The Blues will most likely make two or three changes to the eleven that started at the weekend – Craig Mackail-Smith and Matt Bloomfield both had uninspiring performances so should be replaced by Freeman and Sam Saunders respectively. Bryn Morris and Marcus Bean are also in contention to come into the side in the place of Curtis Thompson, who somewhat controversially was given man of the match on Saturday by match sponsor Alan Parry. The misfiring Adebayo Akinfenwa should keep his place in the eleven, but he will have to start taking his chances soon or the return of Nathan Tyson and Paris Cowan-Hall from injury could mean a drop to the bench for the Beast. Darius Charles is seemingly still sidelined, so the back four will probably remain the same, although none of them barring maybe Jason McCarthy performed that well against the Pirates. Anthony Stewart would be favourite to come in the team should Gareth Ainsworth feel that a change is required.

Plymouth made nine summer signings, and they all came early in the window. The most notable addition from a Wycombe perspective was full-back Tafari Moore, who spent the second half of last season at Adams Park. He joined on a free from Arsenal. The only player they paid a fee for was Ashley-Smith Brown from Manchester City, while Conor Grant and Calum Dyson both arrived from another top-flight club, Everton. Sonny Bradley and Luke McCormick were two or the more notable outgoings from Home Park, and they joined Luton and Swindon respectively. Derek Adams is not pleased with the fact that his side have conceded three penalties in three league games so far this campaign, so could opt for some defensive changes on Tuesday night. Tafari Moore has played 270 minutes in all competitions and will be expected to start against his former club, and Joel Grant could also be in contention. The Pilgrims started with Freddie Ladapo as the sole striker against Coventry in their last outing, but gave him more support as the game progressed in the shape of Ruben Lameiras and Ryan Taylor. This could be something Adams looks to employ, especially as they are at home against Wanderers.

Predicted eleven

GK: Ryan Allsop

LB: Joe Jacobson

CB: Adam El-Abd

CB: Jason McCarthy

RB: Michael Harriman

CM: Dom Gape

CM: Marcus Bean

CM: Sam Saunders

LW: Randell Williams

CF: Adebayo Akinfenwa

RW: Nick Freeman

Previous meetings

As mentioned earlier, Wycombe have a very good recent record at Home Park, having not lost there since 2007. However, the overall comparison is dead even with the 26 meetings since the first in 1994 ending with 9 wins apiece and 8 draws. The last game between the two sides came at Adams Park in March of last year, when Nathan Blissett sealed a point for League One-bound Argyle. Before that, a dramatic 3-3 draw in Devon on Boxing Day thanks to a late curler from Myles Weston and the infamous clean sheet from Barry Richardson in early 2016.

Goals from Paul Hayes, Aaron Amadi-Holloway and Steven Craig gave the Chairboys the upper hand in the play-offs in 2015 and three late goals sealed a 3-0 away win at Home Park in September 2014. Gareth Ainsworth will be hoping for a repeat of one of these performances as Wanderers and Argyle both go searching for their first league win of the season.


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