Wycombe Wanderers Preview v Oxford United

Five home games without a win – a run that Wycombe Wanderers will want to change this weekend when they host second from bottom Oxford United. Despite four of those games being draws, it has been a slightly underwhelming start to the Adams Park season for the Chairboys, and Gareth Ainsworth will be desperate to get the first three points in front of the Wanderers faithful.

Wycombe’s last outing was a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Charlton Athletic, in another game where they perhaps didn’t quite get what they deserved. The team will have learnt a lot from the game though  and will be aiming to put that into place against the Us in front of a 6000-plus crowd in South Buckinghamshire. Karl Robinson’s men seemingly were having a revival after easing past Burton Albion for their first win of the season and taking a point from the Stadium of Light, but a defeat at home to Coventry City last weekend has further dampened the mood at the Kassam Stadium.

Team news

Gareth Ainsworth has said that he is very close to having a clean bill of health to choose from for the first time this season. It could mean a first place in the matchday squad in 2018-19 for Nathan Tyson and Darius Charles, although this game will probably come too soon for those two. Compared to last year’s promotion campaign, Adebayo Akinfenwa has been ineffectual in League One as of yet. Ainsworth has dropped him once already, which led to an outstanding away win at Bradford City, where ‘The Beast’ was used well as an impact sub. The manager should be considering doing the same thing and utilising Craig Mackail-Smith as the central striker, potentially with Randell Williams in behind the Scotsman. Scott Kashket is probably the favourite to be the third forward to start, although Nick Freeman, Paris Cowan-Hall and Fred Onyedinma are all in with a shout. Matt Bloomfield should have recovered from concussion, so should line-up with Bryn Morris and Dominic Gape, with the usual back line and goalkeeper.

1800 Oxford fans will descend on Adams Park on Saturday hoping to see the Yellows pick up their first three points on the road this year. They will be boosted by the return of Gavin Whyte from international duty, who incredibly scored just seconds after coming on for debut for Northern Ireland as they defeated Israel 3-0. Samir Carruthers and Simon Eastwood are also edging closer to a return to first-team action. The Us also have ex-Wycombe man John Mousinho in their ranks.

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

ST: Craig Mackail-Smith

RW: Scott Kashket

Previous meetings

Wycombe have the slight advantage in the head to head between these two sides, with ten wins in comparison to Oxford’s eight with the spoils being shared on six occasions. The most recent meeting was a momentous one for the Yellows as they sealed promotion to League One with a 3-0 win over the Chairboys. In fact, the last five games have alternated between the pair, so that would mean a first home victory of the season for the Chairboys if it continued.


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