Fleetwood Town welcome Wycombe Wanderers to Highbury Stadium on Friday 3 July for the first leg play-off semi-final match, and in our match preview, we have all you need to know ahead of kick-off.
Fixture: Fleetwood Town v Wycombe Wanderers
Competition: Sky Bet League One | Play-Off semi-final (first leg)
Date: Friday 3 July 2020
Kick-off: 19:30 (GMT)
Venue: Highbury Stadium, Park Avenue, Fleetwood, FY7 6TX.
Tony Harrington (Referee), Paul Hodskinson & Philip Dermott (Assistants) Geoff Eltringham (Fourth Official)
Mr. Harrington is the referee for the match at Highbury, and he is no stranger to the Fylde Coast as his last match at Fleetwood was back in February 2019. The Cod Army beat Charlton Athletic 1-0, with Ched Evans scoring the only goal of the game.
The man in the middle has officiated in 31 games this season. He has shown 82 yellow cards and 4 red card in all competitions this campaign. His last match was Barnsley’s 2-0 home win over Blackburn on Tuesday 30 June.
The Cod Army grabbed themselves a play-off place after both League One and Two voted in favour of ending the season with immediate effect, and determining the final standing via a points-per-game formula.
Town only lost one game in their last 18 league matches, and won six out of their last nine matches, with draws away at Sunderland and Portsmouth, and wins against Peterborough, Pompey and on the road at Ipswich.
Joey Barton mentioned in his pre-match interview that the players came back from their break in better shape than he thought they’d be, and has sinced praised the lads for all their hard efforts during the pandemic.
Wycombe finished 3rd in the Sky Bet League One table after the points-per-game formula was agreed, despite being in 8th place when the lockdown was introduced in the United Kingdom.
The Chairboys’ last match was a 3-1 away defeat at Doncaster Rovers. The One to Watch Adebayo Akinfenwa scored the only goal for the visitors to the Keepmoat Stadium, with Niall Ennis, Kieran Sadlier scoring for Donny, with Jason McCarthy bagging an own goal.
Gareth Ainsworth’s men won their two previous games with wins against now relegated Bolton Wanderers and Tranmere Rovers. They will come into this fixture with high hopes of reaching a play-off final.
ONES TO WATCH – ADEBAYO AKINFENWA & PADDY MADDEN
One for Town fans to keep an eye out for on Friday night is forward, Adebayo Akinfenwa.
The 37-year-old began his career at Barry Town in 2002, where he spent a year at the club. The forward then had a few relatively unsuccessful spells at Boston Utd, Leyton Orient, Rushden, Doncaster eventually led him to Torquay.
Akinfenwa had a successful year at Torquay scoring 14 goals in 28 league games. The striker then signed for Swansea City where he scored 21 goals in all competitions over his two year spell at the club. He then moved on a free to Millwall where he struggled for game time, however a move to Northampton kicked his career on as he scored 37 league goals in 78 appearances.
At AFC Wimbledon, the striker scored 118 goals across four years. Then in the summer of 2016, he moved on a free transfer to Wycombe and has gone on to score 46 league goals in 132 appearances.
Fleetwood Town’s Irishman knows where the net is against Wycombe, scoring in both encounters in the regular league campaign. Madden bagged the winner away at Adams’ Park back in February 2020 in Town’s 1-0 win, with Barrie McKay getting the assist.
Paddy has featured 99 for Fleetwood in the EFL, scoring 49 goals in the process in all competitions. He scored his first hat-trick in English football earlier in the season in his sides 4-1 home win over Burton Albion. Relive the goals HERE – link.
His career started off in Ireland at Bohemians, before he made the short trip across the Irish Sea to join Carlisle United in January 2011. After two years at the club, which included a loan spell at Yeovil, he joined the Glovers on a permanent deal, which was a move that proved a huge success. He scored the first goal in the play-off final at Wembley, resulting in promotion to the Championship after a 2-1 win.
Scunthorpe was Madden’s next club, and he went on to score 60 goals in four years at the club, before making the move to the Fylde Coast in January 2018.
MATCH HIGHLIGHTS (WYCOMBE WANDERERS 0-1 FLEETWOOD TOWN)
Last time the two sides met was back in February 2020. Paddy Madden scored the only goal in the goal, with Fleetwood having a number of chances against a side who had only lost one at home prior to the match against the Cod Army.
WHAT JOEY BARTON HAD TO SAY
Fleetwood Town head coach Joey Barton spoke ahead of Friday’s semi-final Play-Off first leg match against Wycombe.
Click HERE to hear what Joey had to say on the fixture.
SKY BET’S BETTING ODDS
Fleetwood are 21/20 to win the first play-off semi-final against Wycombe, whilst the visitors are 5/2 to take a lead and the advantage into the second leg at Adams’ Park. A draw between the two sides is currently at 11/5 odds.
One of Sky Bets’ price boosts odds for this fixture is Paddy Madden to score and Fleetwood to win in 90 minutes – 3/1.
You can get odds of 14/1 for Australian international Harry Souttar to score a header.
Joey Barton’s side beat Wycombe 1-0 in their latest encounter, and for the same score line this time round, the odds are currently 11/2.