MX23RW : Monday, September 27 10:38:58| >> :120:48517:48517:
Jul 3, 2020 at 7.30pm UK at Highbury Stadium
FleetwoodFleetwood Town
WycombeWycombe Wanderers
Evans (4' pen.)
Connolly (45+2'), Madden (84')
Coyle (33'), Madden (84')
FT(HT: 1-3)
Ofoborh (2'), Cairns (6' og.), Wheeler (45+3'), Samuel (57')
Jacobson (30')

Preview: Fleetwood Town vs. Wycombe Wanderers - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Friday's League One playoff semi-final first leg between Fleetwood Town and Wycombe Wanderers, including team news and predicted lineups.

Four months on from their most recent outings, Fleetwood Town and Wycombe Wanderers meet at Highbury Stadium on Friday in the first leg of their League One playoff semi-final.

Wycombe finished third in the table after clubs voted to end the season early and settle each position on a points-per-game basis, while Fleetwood claimed sixth place.

Match preview

Fleetwood Town manager Joey Barton pictured in January 2020© Reuters

Wanderers were arguably the big winners of the League One campaign being ended 11 games early as they were eighth in the division at the time of the coronavirus-enforced shutdown.

However, they replaced Peterborough United in the playoffs thanks to their superior points-per-game record, having played one game fewer than the Posh.

The Chairboys had been top of the division for a while around the turn of the year, only to slip down the table following a run of five wins from 11 matches.

Finishing in the playoffs is a superb achievement for Gareth Ainsworth, though, having transformed his side from League Two relegation candidates to League One promotion hopefuls.

Ainsworth will now be looking to maintain Wanderers' upwards momentum by guiding them into the second tier following a 16-year absence.

Wycombe Wanderers boss Gareth Ainsworth pictured on September 7, 2019© Reuters

Wycombe's form on their travels has been pretty poor, however, having lost six of their last seven away from Adams Park, where the second leg will take place on Monday.

Fleetwood will therefore be looking to lay down a marker at Highbury, albeit without any of their supporters in attendance, with Joey Barton's side unbeaten in 12 at home.

No wonder, then, that Barton is "supremely confident" his side can overcome Wycombe and book a place in the final, which is scheduled to take place at Wembley on July 13.

Town have been in and around the playoffs for the vast majority of the season, but they only marginally edged out Peterborough to secure a place in the end-of-season lottery.

Now they are just three games away from booking a place in the Championship for the first time in their history, an achievement that will see Barton go down in club folklore.

Fleetwood's League One form: WWDWDD

Wycombe's League One form: LWLWWL

Team News

David Wheeler pictured for Wycombe Wanderers in February 2020© Reuters

The prolonged gap between games means that Fleetwood have a fully-fit squad to choose from on Friday.

Wes Burns was a second-half substitute against Portsmouth on March 10 but is in contention to return to the side for this huge clash, possibly in the place of Josh Morris.

Wycombe are unable to call upon full-back Jason McCarthy as he has returned to parent club Millwall since their most recent outing - a 3-1 loss to Doncaster Rovers on February 29.

Adebayo Akinfenwa has featured in 32 of Wanderers' 34 league games this term and is expected to lead the line against Fleetwood, with Alex Samuel and David Wheeler providing support.

Fleetwood possible starting lineup:
Eastham; Coyle, Gibson, Souttar, Andrew; Connolly, Whelan, Coutts; Burns, Evans, McKay

Wycombe possible starting lineup:
Allsop; Jombati, Charles, Stewart, Jacobson; Freeman, Gape, Thompson; Samuel, Akinfenwa, Wheeler

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We say: Fleetwood 2-1 Wycombe

Fleetwood took four points off Wycombe during the regular season and boast the joint-best home record in League One this term, so we are backing Barton's men to take a slender lead into next week's reverse fixture.

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Fleetwood Town manager Joey Barton pictured in January 2020
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Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton "supremely confident" heading into Wycombe clash

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