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Despite the 2-0 defeat suffered at Charlton Athletic on Saturday, Plymouth remain top of the table heading into Tuesday’s clash with fellow promotion chasers.
The visitors controlled possession at The Valley but were surprisingly ineffective going forward and deserved their defeat against their in-form opponents based on the balance of play and the quality of chances created.
Rotherham United’s win, as well as Wycombe’s, meant that their lead at the summit was cut to just two points, but Argyle could well have been knocked off the top were it not for Wigan Athletic’s fixture being postponed.
However, despite the setback, there remains plenty of positives for manager Ryan Lowe to focus on, particularly considering the position they find themselves in compared to last season.
Losing six of the final seven matches of the 2020-21 campaign left the Pilgrims in 18th place come May, so to have started with 10 victories from the opening 18 league fixtures this time around demonstrates the remarkable turnaround by Lowe and his team.
Ahead of Tuesday’s clash with Wycombe at Home Park, Plymouth boast the joint-best home record across the division, whilst remaining the only side to be undefeated in front of their own supporters in the third tier so far, although that record is set to be put to its toughest test yet.
Plymouth welcomed back George Cooper at the weekend after a three-month absence through injury, but after only earning a few minutes on the pitch in a late substitute appearance, he will likely have to settle for a place on the bench again on Tuesday.
Brendan Galloway and Luke Jephcott also returned to the squad after returning from international duty, and the former could return to the starting lineup in place of Macauley Gillesphey on the left of the back three.
Jephcott may also come into the starting 11, which would likely see Jordan Garrick drop to the bench from the forward line.
In terms of absentees, Niall Ennis and James Bolton will remain out injured for the time being for Plymouth.
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As for Wycombe, they welcomed back the influential veteran Garath McCleary against Bolton on Saturday, after the winger had been out of action for a month through injury.
No fresh injury concerns have arisen following the win, so Ainsworth could name an unchanged side, depending on whether he deems McCleary fit enough to be integrated back into the starting 11.
Were he to bring the winger back in, Brandon Hanlan would be the likely candidate to drop out, and a shift in formation from 3-4-1-2 to a 3-4-3 would be required.