A short trip down the M40 welcomes us back following the international break as we head to Wycombe Wanderers. The Chairboys took eight games to get off the mark in the Sky Bet Championship but have now taken seven points from their last four to keep pace with the sides around them. Ahead of Saturday's visit to Buckinghamshire, here's all the build-up to the game.
After confounding the critics who picked them for League One relegation last season by beating Oxford United in July's Play-Off final, Wycombe were once again many people's favourites for the drop ahead of embarking on their maiden second tier campaign.
The first seven games of the season, results-wise, did little to change those views as Gareth Ainsworth's side failed to pick up a point. However, the performances showed something different. Wanderers conceded injury-time winners to Rotherham United and Norwich City as well as having a legitimate equaliser against Millwall chalked off. In the EFL Cup, we needed penalties to see off their ten-men during the opening game of the campaign.
Their first point came from a home draw against Watford in late October before they picked up back-to-back wins over Sheffield Wednesday and Birmingham City. A 2-0 defeat to Nottingham Forest last time out ended that mini-run but they head into tomorrow's game just a point from safety.
Scott Kashket is Wycombe's leading scorer, netting three of their six league goals while at the other end of the pitch Ryan Allsop, Jack Grimmer, Anthony Stewart (pictured above), and Joe Jacobson form a consistent defensive unit.
Pontus Jansson is back in full training following a hamstring issue. Shandon Baptiste (knee) and Mads Roerslev (foot) are long-term absentees while Christian Norgaard (ankle) is nearing a return.
Wycombe have no new injury worries which means Gareth Ainsworth has a fully-fit squad to choose from, with Jason McCarthy and Dominic Gape coming through unscathed from two practice games during the break.
Following the re-introduction of the five subs rule, both teams will be able to name nine substitutes for tomorrow's game, with a maximum of five to be used.
Following a distinguished playing career at all four levels of English football with Preston, Wimbledon and QPR, Ainsworth began his coaching career with Wycombe in 2011, having earned legendary status in his final years as a player. The former QPR caretaker boss was handed the reins at Adams Park in September that year and steered the club away from relegation before hanging up his boots after his 600th career appearance against Port Vale.
Despite financial restraints, Ainsworth successfully kept Wanderers in the EFL the following season before guiding The Chairboys to the Play-Off final 12 months later. After 13th and 9th placed finishes, the 47-year-old clinched his first promotion as a manager in April 2018, following it up last term at Wembley, and is currently the second longest serving manager in the top four divisions.
He returns to the dugout tomorrow after a back injury forced him to miss the last three games.
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This weekend we’ll be donating all the iFollow income from the Wycombe game to help pay for Jamie Powell’s vital treatment at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston