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In numbers: Stoke vs Wycombe

Previous encounters, inside-the-box thinking, and taking leads all come under the spotlight.

5 March 2021

Tom Hancock previews Saturday's meeting with the Potters.

1: Wycombe win over Stoke
It came back in March 2002, when Jermaine McSporran’s 83rd minute goal at Adams Park was enough to see off the eventual Division 2 play-off winners. We’ve lost five of our other seven meetings with the Potters – all in the league – although only one of those came at their current home, the bet365 Stadium (or Britannia Stadium as it was last time we visited, a 5-1 defeat in December 2001). That’s history, though; this is a different time and a different team (well, two teams).

74%: Proportion of Stoke’s shots from inside the box (data via WhoScored.com)
No team in the league takes more shots from 18 yards or closer than Stoke – who are quite some way out in front in that respect, 6% ahead of second-ranked QPR. That can largely be explained by the fact that the Potters create more chances from crosses (3.3 per game) than any other Championship side, as well as the the third-most from corners (1 per game). Sam Clucas is key to that output; the midfielder creates 1.7 chances per 90 from crosses and 1.4 from corners, ranking behind only Norwich’s Xavi Quintillá on the former and joint top with him on the latter*.

As for us, we take 62% of our shots from inside the box, 1% below the league average. We do attempt 11% from within the six-yard box, though, along with Stoke, Cardiff, Rotherham and Bristol City and behind only Luton. Joe Jacobson’s wicked inswingers might go some way to explaining that…

*Out of players who have played 450 minutes or more

15: Total minutes Wycombe have spent leading away from home this season (data via SoccerSTATS.com)
It probably goes without saying that that’s the fewest in the league – by 113 minutes from Coventry, to be precise. The only times we’ve gone in front on the road have been Kristian Pedersen’s 92nd minute match-winning own goal at Birmingham and Josh Knight’s 87th minute winner at Huddersfield. We haven’t scored first in an away game since Nnamdi Ofoborh smashed it home from range at Fleetwood in the first leg of the play-off semi-final. The omens aren’t great here – Stoke have only spent 225 minutes trailing at home this season, a record bettered by only Brentford, Swansea, Norwich and Watford – but then what do omens mean really?!

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