Let’s not bury the lead here, this is a meaningless game in an already pretty meaningless competition, the only thing at stake is whether we play home or away in the next round.
Mark Venus has promised changes from what was already an under-strength team that faced Morecambe on Sunday. Callum Maycock and Jack McBean both proved themselves to be competent at first-team level and are likely to start this game. I would imagine Cian Harries will get a chance to impress the manager, with Kyle Spence, Devon Kelly-Evans and George Thomas also likely to be rewarded for some impressive form at under-23 level.
Last Time We Met
Back when we last played Wycombe – and in this very competition – we were a couple of days away from the grand homecoming game at the Ricoh Arena and the then-Johnstone’s Paint Trophy still had a shred of relevance to it. Josh McQuoid scored the only goal in what was a terrible game and the main thing of note to come from that September evening was that nine of our players who ended the game came through the academy (well, actually eight because Kyle Spence was signed from Crystal Palace)
How Are They Doing?
Wycombe went on from our last meeting to make the League Two play-off final, only to lose in a penalty shoot-out to Southend. Since then, Gareth Ainsworth’s side have seemed to have lost that competitive edge that made them one of the toughest teams to play against in the fourth-tier. While the effort has rarely gone amiss, a lack of creativity and goals saw Wycombe finish 13th last season and now has them sitting perilously in 21st position in League Two.
The main players of note for the Chairboys come in defence, where the commanding centre-back Aaron Pierre and hard-working right-back Michael Harriman are players who could and should be playing at a higher-level. Left-back Joe Jacobson has his moments too, especially when delivering a dead ball. There’s also the world-famous Adebayo Akinfenwa up top who is a fairly effective League Two striker but struggles to last 90 minutes these days.
Wycombe’s small squad makes it harder for Gareth Ainsworth to rotate his side in the same way Mark Venus will be able to with ours. It could prove to be a case of men against boys, or it could be age versus youthful exuberance. With little at stake, Wycombe may not be as compelled to impose themselves physically on us as they might otherwise have been. I reckon we’ll win 2-0.