Wycombe Wanderers Preview v Charlton Athletic

After extending their unbeaten run to five matches at Northampton on Tuesday in the Checkatrade Trophy, Wycombe Wanderers go in search of their second league win of the season when they make the relatively short trip to Charlton. Scott Kashket’s wonder strike gave the Chairboys their first three points in the much-maligned competition, but they will want to start turning good performances into wins in League One against the Addicks. The South London club today appointed Lee Bowyer as their new permanent manager after six months of uncertainty in which he did impressively well given the circumstances at the Valley.

Team news

Wycombe made ten changes to their team for the trophy game at Sixfields, as Anthony Stewart was the only player to keep his place from the draw with Luton. Most notably, though, the Chairboys started with five forwards on the pitch – Scott Kashket, Fred Onyedinma, Paris Cowan-Hall, Nick Freeman and Alex Samuel. The two latter names played in midfield, and incredibly this attacking style resulted in a clean sheet with the likes on Charlie Fox, on his debut, and Curtis Thompson, in an unfamiliar right-back role impressing defensively. Gareth Ainsworth should revert to a similar eleven from the last league game though, but Scott Kashket could be inline to replace a misfiring Adebayo Akinfenwa in the front three. The Beast had a slightly improved performance against the Hatters, but Wanderers have played much better without him in the team this campaign. Craig Mackail-Smith should play in a central role with Kashket and Randell Williams the two most likely to play either side of him, although any number of players could be selected. Kashket played his first full ninety minutes since November 2016 on Tuesday, so is still a slight risk. The midfield three of Bryn Morris, Dominic Gape and Matt Bloomfield probably picks itself, while the defence should also stay the same with Anthony Stewart rested for the second half in midweek. There is still no news on the return of Nathan Tyson or Darius Charles from injury, and Wycombe now have three options in goal after the signing of 19 year old Cameron Yates on Monday.

Charlton lost on penalties to Wimbledon in their most recent outing, also in the Checkatrade Trophy after Bowyer made eleven changes to their starting team. However, significant names such as Ben Reeves, Jed Steer and Igor Vetokele all starred in front of just 1244 people. As there are international fixtures going on this week, the Addicks have two players missing for Wanderers’ visit, and they are both recent signings – Josh Cullen and Jamie Ward. They’ve been called up by Republic of Ireland U21s and Northern Ireland’s full squad respectively. Certainly two big misses for Lee Bowyer, who would have had the option to postpone the game if any more players were called upon by their nations. Tarique Fosu is suspended after being sent off in their last league game, a 2-1 win against Southend, while Patrick Bauer is suffering with a sickness bug and is touch and go for Saturday.

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: Scott Kashket

Previous meetings

Arguably the most famous meeting between the two sides came in December 2006 in a League Cup quarter-final clash which the Chairboys famously won 1-0 en route to a semi-final appearance against Chelsea. This is the only time Wycombe have got the better of Charlton though, with their other four meetings coming the last two times Wanderers have been in League One.

All of those games have seen both teams score, so we could be in for a entertaining encounter as both sides look to propel themselves up the League One table. Around 800 Chairboys fans will make the trip to the Valley hoping to see another example of why their side are very well equipped to achieve survival this season, if not more.


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