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Club News

What's the story: Cheltenham vs Wycombe

29 December 2016

We pick out a few key storylines ahead of the final game of 2016 on Friday night (k.o. 7.45pm).

200 up
Gareth Ainsworth takes charge of his 200th league game as Wycombe manager on Friday night; he's collected 289 points in his 199 matches so far, at an average of 1.45 per league fixture and a goal difference of +12. His win percentage in league matches is 39.2%.

Head-to-head
Those 199 games have included a 4-0 loss, a 1-1 draw and a 4-1 win at Whaddon Road; Ainsworth featured on the pitch in the heavy loss on Boxing Day 2012. The overall record stands at six wins for Wycombe compared to five for Cheltenham, although it's four victories apiece in league encounters.

Global game
That 4-1 victory in November 2014 included goals from an Englishman (Paris Cowan-Hall), a Scotsman (Steven Craig), a Welshman (Joe Jacobson) and a Northern Irishman (Matt McClure). The current generation of Chairboys includes players of Portuguese, Grenadian, Jamaican, Singaporean, Antiguan, Nigerian and German heritage.

Bouncing back
The same game at Whaddon Road two years ago is a landmark game for another reason; it was the last time the Wanderers came from behind to win a game away from home, having gone 1-0 down to Steve Elliott's early header. Recent draws at Doncaster and Plymouth have shown character to recover a result after trailing in the match - Wycombe will hope to carry that belief into the next fixture where they find themselves in a losing position.

Returning heroes
Scott Brown and Sido Jombati return to Whaddon Road where they became fans favourites earlier in their careers. Jombati played in that 4-1 win having provided the assist for Cheltenham's opening goal in a 1-1 draw the previous season before moving to Wycombe, and he could be involved from the start on Friday night following an injury to Michael Harriman. The Portuguese right-back scored on his last league start - the winning goal at Newport. Brown however may have to settle for a place on the bench, having recently returned from a loan spell at Eastleigh, with Jamal Blackman occupying the role between the sticks.

Friends reunited
The men in the dugout have an affiliation going back some 25 years; Gary Johnson was Gareth Ainsworth's manager at Cambridge United in the early 1990s.

Contrasting form
Cheltenham were one point ahead of Wycombe in the table after their respective victory and defeat on Saturday 22nd October; since then, Wanderers have won six and drawn two, while Cheltenham have won two, drawn one and lost five, plus been knocked out of the FA Cup by non-league Sutton. That leaves them in 23rd place, 14 points behind the Chairboys in sixth.

Unstoppable?
Scott Kashket has scored in every game he's started for the Chairboys, plus two goals from the bench. He's on 12 goals so far this season and hungry for more.

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