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What's the story? Wycombe vs Millwall

The narrative around Saturday's encounter.

13 October 2020

PRiME Media Images
Millwall's Fred Onyedinma tussles with Wanderers' Jason McCarthy in the FA Cup meeting in 2015

We take a look at some of the plotlines surrounding Saturday's Championship meeting with Millwall at Adams Park.

Friends reunited
Jason McCarthy and Fred Onyedinma renew acquaintances with their former club; McCarthy moved to Millwall from Wycombe in 2019 but found his opportunities limited and returned to Adams Park in January before sealing a permanent comeback this summer. Onyedinma had enjoyed two loan spells with the Chairboys in 2014 and 2018 prior to his transfer in 2019. Two other members of the Wycombe squad have past connections with the Lions; Adebayo Akinfenwa played seven times for the club in 2007, while but Ryan Allsop never made a first-team appearance during a stint in the 2011/12 campaign.

The wait is over
It’s been 10 years since these sides last locked horns in a league tie, and it was struggling Wycombe who completed a double over the Lions with a 1-0 win at Adams Park in February 2010. Gareth Ainsworth had made his Wanderers debut in the reverse fixture in November 2009, when goals from Chris Westwood and Kevin Betsy handed the Blues a first away win of the season under new boss Gary Waddock, but Ainsworth was sent off in the home tie which was sealed by Julian Kelly’s free-kick, while Tom Heaton saved a penalty from Neil Harris to secure the three points.

Since that league affair, the two sides have met four times in cup competitions; the Lions edged a 2-1 win in extra-time in the League Cup in 2010 and secured a 1-0 victory in the same cup four years later, but in more recent times, Michael Harriman’s last-gasp winner earned a 2-1 triumph for the Blues in the FA Cup second round in 2015, and Akinfenwa was on target in a 3-1 EFL Trophy win a year later, with Onyedinma seeing a penalty saved by Jamal Blackman.

In the dugouts
Gareth Ainsworth and Gary Rowett were team-mates at Cambridge United in the early 90s and came up against each other early in their management careers when Wanderers met Rowett’s Burton Albion between 2012-14. The current Lions boss has been at the helm since last October, almost a year to the day of Saturday’s meeting, and overseen 18 wins from 43 games.

Taming the Lions
Wanderers’ bid for a first goal and point of the Championship season requires them to at least match a Millwall side who’ve made a solid start to the new campaign, collecting five points from four games. Draws at home to Stoke and Brentford have been complemented by a win at Rotherham and a loss at Swansea, while they also made it to the third round of the EFL Cup after seeing off League 2 opposition in Crawley and Cheltenham before losing to Burnley.

Returning faces
Wanderers were without Ryan Tafazolli, Dominic Gape, Alex Pattison, Uche Ikpeazu and Adebayo Akinfenwa due to injury last time out against Luton, but the return of even one of those names - alongside new loan signing Josh Knight - could lift the squad and provide extra competition for places.

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