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

Sports Mole previews the second leg of the League One playoff semi-final between Wycombe Wanderers and Fleetwood Town, including team news and predicted lineups.

Wycombe Wanderers welcome Fleetwood Town to Adams Park on the brink of claiming a place in the League One playoff final.

The Chairboys recorded a 4-1 triumph away from home on Friday night, edging them closer to a first ever promotion to the Championship.

Match preview

Wycombe Wanderers's David Wheeler celebrates scoring against Fleetwood Town on July 3, 2020© Reuters

Having edged into the League One playoffs courtesy of a 12-match unbeaten streak before football was suspended, Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton would have been confident of continuing that form on Friday night.

However, the occasion turned into a nightmare for the North-West outfit, who were perhaps fortunate to only lose by a 4-1 margin after having two players sent off and witnessing Wycombe missing a penalty.

Despite the setback, Barton remains optimistic that his team can produce a positive response, aware that Wycombe must find a way to avoid any complacency.

Nevertheless, it would be a monumental shock if Fleetwood were able to overturn a three-goal deficit on away territory, regardless of supporters not being present at Adams Park.

From Gareth Ainsworth's perspective, he was quick to urge caution as Wycombe prepare for the second of a potential triple-header which is arguably the most important in their history.

Like their opponents, Wycombe spent their fair share of time in non-league before establishing themselves as a professional club, and they now have the opportunity to move to the brink of a first ever appearance at the second tier.

Rather than complacency, an awareness of what could be achieved may hinder Wycombe during the next fixture unless Ainsworth can ensure that his players are in the right frame of mind.

Both managers will point to Northampton Town overturning a two-goal deficit away from home to defeat Cheltenham Town in the League Two playoff semi-finals as an example of what can occur when the stakes are so high.

While that turnaround will only sharpen Wycombe's focus, they will undoubtedly have to deal with an added attacking threat from the visitors, leading to the possibility of an early goal being able to change the course of this tie.

Wycombe Wanderers League One form: WLWWLW

Fleetwood Town League One form: WDWDDL

Team News

Fleetwood Town manager Joey Barton pictured in January 2020© Reuters

Fleetwood will be without Lewie Coyle and Paddy Madden after their dismissals on Friday night.

Having spent the majority of the campaign playing at left-back, Danny Andrew is the natural replacement for Coyle, while Madden's sending off came after he had been introduced as a substitute.

Kyle Dempsey is also pushing for a recall as Barton inevitably contemplates a change of tactics.

Barring any late injury issues, Wycombe boss Ainsworth may choose to stick with the same team which began the first leg in the North-West.

However, with no substitutions having made been until the 80-minute mark, it would not come as a surprise if he freshened up his side in at least one area of the pitch.

Wycombe Wanderers possible starting lineup:
Allsop; Grimmer, Stewart, Charles, Jacobson; Gape, Ofoborh; Wheeler, Bloomfield, Onyedinma; Samuel

Fleetwood Town possible starting lineup:
Cairns; Connolly, Souttar, Gibson; Burns, Coutts, Whelan, Coyle; Morris, Evans, McKay

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We say: Wycombe Wanderers 3-1 Fleetwood Town

With Fleetwood having little option to go on the attack, we expect plenty of goals on Monday evening. However, having already netted four in this tie, the majority of them could come from Wycombe, who will be hoping for a comfortable 90 minutes.

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Wycombe Wanderers boss Gareth Ainsworth pictured on September 7, 2019
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Ainsworth calm despite Wycombe's thumping first-leg playoff win

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