Yeovil Town take on Wycombe Wanderers tomorrow at Huish Park in a League One Boxing Day clash. They come up against a Wycombe side who currently lie in 23rd place in the league table, seven places and seven points behind the Glovers.
Having only returned to League One over the summer, Wycombe have had a slow start to their season, and have already made the decision to change management, with Peter Taylor - the man who got them promoted - lasting until early October before being replaced by Gary Waddock. That decision appears to be slowly vindicating itself though, with 10 points and three wins accrued from their last six games. That's a far cry from one of Waddock's earlier matches that saw them humiliated somewhat on Sky Sports as Huddersfield Town knocked six goals past them.
Wycombe's squad makes for a bit of an old boys reunion, with striker Matt Harrold the obvious one to keep an eye out for this season. 'Prince Harry' has netted seven times so far this season and that makes him their current top scorer. Other names who will be familiar to Glovers fans, are lanky centre-back Luke Oliver, midfielder Tommy Doherty and winger Kevin Betsy, who is on loan from Southend United. Defender Michael Duberry has also played in a Yeovil Town shirt this season - as a guest in Terry Skiverton's Testimonial Match. And of course Skiverton himself is an ex-Wycombe player, although his time with the Chairboys obviously precedes the current playing squad.
They go into the match with Bristol City loan striker John Akinde suspended for a red card in last week's home draw with Oldham Athletic. Aside from that, they should be able to name an unchanged squad, with Leon Johnson (hip) and Lewis Montrose (knee) longer term absentees. Akinde's absence almost guarantees that Harrold will start against his old club.
The Glovers have one major headache to deal with for the match, and that is the loss of highly influential midfielder Shaun MacDonald. George O'Callaghan and Louis Lavers remain on the Huish Park payroll for another week, but given the club have already announced their plans to release both, it would be a surprise if either were involved in any shape or form. This leaves manager Terry Skiverton with broadly speaking two options - preserve the current diamond formation and recall Keiran Murtagh, or bring the wingers back into the side, with Andy Welsh and Scott Murray able to benefit. The only other question mark lies over the fitness of Gavin Tomlin, who limped off at Hartlepool United with a groin strain, and so far there hasn't been an indication of how serious that is. If Tomlin doesn't make it, then certainly Welsh would seem a logical inclusion as the other major source of 'assists' this season.
Given the two sides have met so often as non-league sides, it's worth noting that this is only the third meeting since both became Football League sides. The other two came during the 2004-05 season, with the last an April 2005 1-1 draw that saw Lee Johnson cancel out a Clint Easton opener. Prior to that, a single goal from Bartosz Tarachulski gave Yeovil a 1-0 win in November 2004 at Adams Park that saw Tony Adams take charge of his last game for the home side. Other than that you have to go back to Conference and Isthmian League days to find the real glut of meetings between both sides.
The game kicks off at 3.00p.m. and tickets are available on the day from the Huish Park Ticket Office, subject to the usual matchday surcharge. Boxing Day has already seen Oldham Athletic's home match with Tranmere Rovers called off due to dangerous conditions around the ground, whilst Bristol Rovers have announced a pitch inspection for their game against Walsall. The Glovers have adopted a bullish stance to the situation at Huish Park at present, and there are no pitch inspections planned. If that situation changes we'll let you know.
Link: Officials For Yeovil Town vs Wycombe Wanderers.
Link: Wanderers Loan Striker Banned For Boxing Day Trip.
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