MX23RW : Monday, August 10 22:26:08| >> :60:1685:1685:

The talking points ahead of Monday's League One playoff final

The talking points ahead of Monday's League One playoff final
© Reuters
Oxford and Wycombe will battle it out at Wembley.

Oxford and Wycombe meet at Wembley on Monday evening with a place in next season's Sky Bet Championship at stake.

The U's secured their trip to the home of football with a nail-biting 5-4 semi-final penalty shootout victory over Portsmouth following a 2-2 aggregate draw, while the Chairboys saw off Fleetwood 6-3 over two legs.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at some of the talking points surrounding the game.

Old boys or first-timers?

Oxford's eventful recent past has seen the club play in each of England's top four divisions and even endure a four-year spell outside the English Football League. The U's have not plied their trade in the second tier since they were relegated from the old Division One at the end of the 1998-99 season. Wycombe, who were only admitted to the Football League in 1993, have never progressed past League One and victory at Wembley would represent a high-point in the club's 133-year existence.

Wembley wins and woes

Oxford captain Malcolm Shotton kisses the Milk Cup after his team's 3-0 victory over QPR
Oxford captain Malcolm Shotton kisses the Milk Cup after his team's 3-0 victory over QPR (PA)

Both Oxford and Wycombe have experienced both joy and agony at the home of English football. As a first division side, the U's lifted the 1986 Milk Cup beneath the famous Twin Towers following a 3-0 victory over QPR, and were similarly successful when they returned in May 2010, beating York 3-1 in the Blue Square Premier play-off final. However, their last two visits – they played Barnsley in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy final in 2016 and Coventry in the Checkatrade Trophy final 12 months later – ended in disappointment. The Chairboys tasted success at Wembley in both the FA Amateur Cup and the FA Trophy before their elevation to the Football League and won the 1994 Division Three play-off final against Preston under Martin O'Neill. However, Ainsworth's side lost 7-6 on penalties to Southend in 2015 in the League Two play-off final having conceded a 120th-minute equaliser.

Form guide

Wycombe's Adebayo Akinfenwa was sent off the last time the sides met
Wycombe's Adebayo Akinfenwa was sent off the last time the sides met (Mike Egerton/PA)

Ainsworth's men will head into the game having been elevated from eighth position in the League One table when the season drew to a premature close to third on points per game, in the process leapfrogging Oxford, Portsmouth, Fleetwood, Peterborough and Sunderland, who had all played one more game. The U's have enjoyed the upper hand of their recent encounters, James Henry's strike securing a 1-0 win in December following Adebayo Akinfenwa's early dismissal at the Kassam Stadium, while a late Josh Ruffles strike snatched a 2-1 victory in the corresponding fixture last season after a 0-0 draw at Adams Park, where Karl Robinson's men also enjoyed a 3-0 Checkatrade Trophy success.

Man for the big occasion

As a manager, Robinson has a knack for getting the best out of his teams when the spotlight is on them. His MK Dons side beat Premier League Norwich 4-0 in the Carling Cup in August 2011 and famously Manchester United by the same score in the same competition three seasons later. Oxford also proved too good for top-flight opposition once again earlier this season when they dumped West Ham out of the EFL Cup with another 4-0 scoreline.

Dressed to kill?

Wycombe manager Gareth Ainsworth could dress to impress at Wembley
Wycombe manager Gareth Ainsworth could dress to impress at Wembley (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Ainsworth is not a conventional football manager. The 47-year-old, who has suggested his band 'The Cold Blooded Hearts' may record a celebratory song if Wycombe win at Wembley, has caught the eye with his choice of attire on the sidelines and is not planning to tone things down for the big day. He said: "I always try to come out with something against the grain and I've got a couple of pairs of cowboy boots that, you never know, might just grace the turf of Wembley."

ID:406238:
Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Wycombe Wanderers manager Gareth Ainsworth celebrates on July 6, 2020
Read Next:
Wycombe boss Ainsworth hoping to 'rewrite the history books'
>
Latest Sports Video
Sports Mole Logo
Enter your email address to subscribe to Sports Mole's free daily transfer newsletter! Sent twice a day during the transfer window.

rhs 2.0
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CLiverpool38323385335299
2Manchester CityMan City382639102356781
3Manchester UnitedMan Utd391813867373067
4Chelsea392061370571366
5Leicester CityLeicester381881267412662
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs3816111161471459
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves381514951401159
8Arsenal381414105648856
9Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd381412123939054
10Burnley38159144350-754
11Everton401411154858-1053
12Southampton38157165160-952
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle381111163858-2044
14Crystal Palace381110173150-1943
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton38914153954-1541
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham38109194962-1339
17Aston Villa3898214167-2635
RBournemouth3897224065-2534
RWatford38810203664-2834
RNorwich CityNorwich3856272675-4921

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!