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League 1 Spotlight: Plymouth Argyle

Tom Hancock profiles the Pilgrims.

26 July 2018

Plymouth’s seventh-placed finish in 2017/18 hardly tells the story of their season. Bottom of the pile in mid-November, the Pilgrims produced the most remarkable revival of any team in the top four divisions to find themselves in play-off contention by February, ultimately falling just three points short of the top six.

There’s no reason for Argyle to be aiming for anything but a top six finish this time around, then. They may have only won three of their final ten games of last season, but the overall scale of what they achieved can only fill them with confidence. All of 2017/18’s regulars bar one have stayed at Home Park, with some solid new additions making it a successful summer in the transfer market on the whole.

With a fervent following everywhere they go, Plymouth enjoy some of the best support in the bottom two divisions. It’s been nine years since the Green Army last saw their side play Championship football, but there’s every chance they might not have to wait too long to see those days return.

Last season: 7th in League One

In charge: Derek Adams
It goes without saying that Adams rewarded the club’s faith in him last season. He won promotion from League Two in 2016/17, but the comeback he masterminded last time around was arguably as great an achievement. Appointed as Argyle boss in 2015, the 43-year-old Glaswegian had previously led Ross County to the Scottish Second and First Division titles in 2008 and 2012 respectively, with his two spells there coming either side of a stint as an assistant at top flight Hibs. A former midfielder, he made the bulk of his career appearances for Motherwell.

Star player: Graham Carey
With 14 league goals and 13 assists, Carey was rarely far from the action in 2017/18. Crowned Player of the Year for the second time in three seasons, the playmaker – who can operate in a central attacking midfield role or on either flank – has enjoyed a fine three years with the Pilgrims after joining from Ross County. An all-round threat who possesses great dead ball delivery, the brilliance of the 29-year-old Irishman will no doubt continue to be key to Plymouth’s fortunes.

Key ins: A busy summer of transfer activity has seen a number of players arrive from Premier League clubs. Recent Wycombe loanee Tafari Moore and fellow full-back Ashley Smith-Brown have come in from Arsenal and Manchester City respectively, with striker Calum Dyson and midfielder Conor Grant both joining after being released by Everton, and goalkeeper Harry Burgoyne joining on a season-long loan from Wolves.

Key outs: Centre-back Sonny Bradley has moved to Luton, while former first choice stopper Luke McCormick has joined Swindon after Argyle opted not to offer him a new contract.

EFL head-to-head:
Meetings: 22
Wycombe wins: 9
Plymouth wins: 7
Draws: 6

First meeting: 15/10/1994 (League One): Plymouth 2-2 Wycombe (Wycombe scorer: Cyrille Regis (2))

Last meeting: 14/03/2017 (League Two): Wycombe 1-1 Plymouth (Wycombe scorer: Myles Weston)

Last Wycombe win: 30/01/2016 (League Two): Plymouth 0-1 Wycombe (scorer: Gozie Ugwu)


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