Wycombe Wanderers are one of only two clubs (the other is Crewe) against which Charlton have a 100 per cent win record in league football. They have won all four contests against the Chairboys and, after a spirited performance at Southend on Saturday, there is every reason to expect a fifth victory at The Valley on Saturday.
Wycombe joined the league back in 1993 when Martin O'Neill led them out of the Conference. At the first attempt they gained promotion into the third tier and managed to finish sixth in the old third division in 1995. Since O'Neill left they have bounced between the third and fourth tiers and only once came close to relegation out of the league again. The club was purchased by their Supporters Trust in June 2012 and, three months later, they appointed Gareth Ainsworth as manager. He is still in the dugout and is thus the second longest serving manager in the country (behind Jim Bentley at Morecombe). Stability has brought success and they returned to League One last May by finishing third behind Accrington and Luton. They have made a solid start to the new campaign - with a win at Bradford and a draw at Plymouth helping them to six points and sixteenth position.
The game on Saturday will certainly be played in front of a four figure crowd as many will stay away either in protest or out of apathy. It is extraordinary to recall that the last encounter - a 2-1 win which confirmed Charlton as champions in April 2012 was witnessed by 18,539. Three years previously the early season 3-2 win in August 2009 was seen by 16,552.
Those who do attend, however, will have the chance to see one of the most remarkable footballers the league has ever seen. Sixteen stone (reportedly) Adebayo Akinfenya (nicknamed "The Beast") could well lead the line for the visitors or at least come on as a substitute in the second half. After extensive research, we believe this would be his first ever appearance in a league game at The Valley. The thirty six year old has played for 13 clubs in a career spanning 18 years comprising 642 appearances and 208 goals, and he played a major part in last season's promotion push with 17 goals. In contrast, he could well be accompanied up front by the quick footed Craig Mackail-Smith and supported from midfield by Fred Onyedinma who joined last week on a season long loan from Millwall.
Charlton will be without loan signing Josh Cullen who is on international duty with Ireland and Tariqe Fosu who is suspended. Nevertheless, this is a game they really should win. Long suffering fans will however remember Wycombe's first ever visit to The Valley - for a league Cup tie in December 2006. Premier League Charlton with a team containing such legends as Amdy Faye, Souleymane Diawara and Djimi Traore were beaten 0-1 by League Two Wycombe. Nothing is certain.