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In numbers: Wycombe vs Barnsley

Tom Hancock takes a statistical view.

16 March 2021

A deeper look at Wednesday's meeting with Barnsley at Adams Park.

11: Wednesday games at Adams Park in the League era
That roughly averages out as one every two-and-a-half years; they’re rarer than a Curtis Thompson shot (he’s had had three all season). This may be our second of three such fixtures in 2020/21, but that’s because Wednesday is a standard matchday in the Championship. That’s not the case in the lower leagues, so naturally the sight of hordes of fans streaming up Hillbottom Road is not a regular one on the third day of the week.

A few Wanderers Wednesdays do stand out, though: Ipswich’s first visit to Adams Park on New Year’s Day last year, which ended in a 1-1 draw in front of the Sky Sports cameras; the 2-1 Division Three play-off semi-final second leg win over Carlisle in 1994; and, most memorably of all, the 1-1 draw with Chelsea in the first leg of the 2006/07 League Cup semi-final. We last won on a Wednesday in the league on New Year’s Day 2003, when a Roger Johnson header and a Steve Brown penalty secured a 2-1 Division 2 victory over Bristol City, who we host next month on – you guessed it – a Wednesday.

23: Set-piece goals by Wycombe and Barnsley combined (goals data from WhoScored.com, aerials data from SofaScore)
Only Cardiff have scored more goals from set-pieces than Barnsley (14) in the Championship this season; Wycombe rank joint 12th with nine. Those 14 and nine account for 31 and 37.5% of the teams’ respective goals totals, the third- and sixth-highest proportions in the league. In Saturday’s win over Preston, Ryan Tafazolli showed once again what an immense aerial threat he is – he’s among the league’s best in that respect, winning 69% of his aerials – but he could prove even more valuable in our own box on Wednesday, with Barnsley back three Mads Juel Andersen, Toby Sibbick and Michael Helik all having won more than 60% of theirs.

However, Barnsley are one of only three teams who have conceded more set-piece goals (14) than Wycombe (12). So this one will probably decided by a mazy, length-of-the-pitch solo effort, then.

44%: The proportion of Barnsley’s shots taken from outside the box (data from WhoScored.com)
Barnsley lead the division in that respect, while Wycombe are joint eighth with 38%. They’ve enjoyed much more success than us from range, though, finding the back of the net nine times from 187 attempts compared to our one from 142 (Uche Ikpeazu’s worldie at Brentford). Alex Mowatt is the main threat; he averages 1.5 shots per game from outside the area and has scored four goals from that range.

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