Preview: Wycombe Wanderers v Luton Town

After going three games unbeaten, Wycombe Wanderers host Luton Town on Saturday hoping to match the performance that saw them beat that Hatters 3-2 at Kenilworth Road in January. However, Gareth Ainsworth’s Chairboys will not want a repeat of an equally-dramatic 2-1 defeat in the home game with Luton, which saw Wanderers snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

A 4-3 penalty shoot-out victory over Forest Green Rovers on Tuesday handed Wycombe a home tie with Norwich City, which is arguably winnable with the Canaries struggling under Daniel Farke. However, Ainsworth may have preferred a money-spinning away tie or a more winnable home one. Town, on the other hand, have had a week’s rest since their last outing, which was a 3-2 home win against Shrewsbury to take them into the top half of the fledgling League One table. This game was somewhat overshadowed by a bizarre Lee Angol goal in which goalkeeper James Shea seemed to think a free-kick had been given so inexplicably dropped the ball.

The Chairboys will leapfrog Luton in the league standings with three points in Buckinghamshire at the weekend, but the sell-out away following will be hoping that their side will continue their incredible 12-game unbeaten run in the Chilterns.

Team news

Gareth Ainsworth made his eighth and ninth signings of the window on Thursday with the additions of Charlie Fox on loan from QPR, who impressed in a short trial period at Adams Park in July. This was quickly overshadowed though by the re-signing of former Chairboys star Fred Onyedinma from Millwall. The pacy winger scored eight times in 25 games at his last spell in South Bucks. Neither of these two will be too likely to start with Ainsworth likely to opt with a similar team that beat Bradford last weekend. Scott Kashket’s goal in the cup has fired him into serious contention, and he could replace Michael Harriman in the forward line. Yves Ma-Kalambay, Darius Charles and Nathan Tyson are all still sidelined, although the latter may be out for a while after the signing of Onyedinma. Wanderers now have a multitude of attacking options, with Nick Freeman and Paris Cowan-Hall among those unmentioned who will be fighting for a place. Charlie Fox will also provide competition for starting places in the backline with Adam El-Abd still out injured.

The Hatters are hoping to see Danny Hylton and Alan Sheehan return from injury ahead of Saturday’s short journey to Adams Park. Luke Berry is also close to a comeback, although his condition is slightly more serious. Both Town ‘keepers Marek Štěch and James Shea have played so far this season, but Shea’s error in the last game could see the Czech stopper start.

Predicted eleven

GK: Ryan Allsop

LB: Joe Jacobson

CB: Sido Jombati

CB: Anthony Stewart

RB: Jason McCarthy

CM: Dom Gape

CM: Matt Bloomfield

CM: Bryn Morris

LW: Randell Williams

CF: Craig Mackail-Smith

RW: Michael Harriman

Previous meetings

In 25 encounters, Luton have the significant upper-hand with 11 wins to 5 triumphs for the Chairboys with the spoils being shared on 9 occasions. The last four meetings have all seen both teems score, which included a 4-1 win for Town in Bedfordshire and the aforementioned dramatic games last season.

Both newly-promoted teams have a degree of momentum going into the game at Adams Park and both managers will be aiming to collect all three points. It is sure to be a close game in front of a bumper crowd as League One football returns to High Wycombe once more.


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