As has been said so often this season, Pompey go into their match at the weekend on indifferent form after a defeat against Exeter stifled their momentum. However, most fans will go into their match with reasonable optimism after a successful transfer deadline day saw the Blues sign Aaron Simpson and Eoin Doyle.
Wycombe, much like Exeter, are one of the in-form sides in League Two at the moment. In the last 20 matches in all competitions, the Chairboys have suffered just two defeats and sit in seventh place in the table. It is unlucky from Pompey’s point of view that they have come up against Exeter and Wycombe in consecutive weeks as both are on great form and will provide very stern tests.
One to watch:
Wycombe’s key player is one of the best known players in the division, and when teams play against Adebayo Akinfenwa the defenders certainly know about. The striker, nicknamed ‘the Beast’ is by far the most physical man in the Football League and suits Gareth Ainsworth’s style of play perfectly.
The Chairboys will line up in either a 4-4-2 or 4-2-3-1 system, depending on how attacking they want to play. Gareth Ainsworth is well known for playing a direct style with his Wycombe side and they are not afraid to toe the line of the rules of the game in order to win. The team often get some stick for their time wasting and extreme physicality so the Blues could be in for a lot of added time tomorrow.
We’ve seen you before…:
Wycombe have two familiar names in their squad: Marcus Bean and Paris Cowan-Hall. Bean spent half a season on loan in 2014 and performed well, gaining popularity with the Pompey fans. However, when he has since played at Fratton Park he was involved in a physical battle with Michael Doyle and I think that will be remembered. Cowan-Hall came through the youth system at Pompey and has gone on to be reasonably successful with Wycombe. He was not at the club for very long so is unlikely to receive too harsh a reception.
I might as well just copy and paste this into all my previews this season. Pompey go into their match on inconsistent form and will once again to look to start the winning run that everybody says will push the Blues into the promotion positions. They have won two, lost two, and drawn one of their last five league games so will need to kickstart a good run on Saturday.
There will certainly be changes to the team which started against Exeter, as Michael Smith left on deadline day to Northampton. Eoin Doyle is a shoe-in to take his place, having starred under Paul Cook at both Chesterfield and Sligo Rovers. Pompey’s other new arrival, however, is unlikely to start at right-back as I feel Gareth Evans will keep his place ahead of Aaron Simpson. This is my predicted lineup:
Wycombe are a good side and I am expecting them to be in the play-offs at the end of the season. To be completely honest, I would take a point against an in-form team and that is what I can see happening. I’m predicting a 2-2 draw at Adams Park, just like in the fixture last season.
Man of the match prediction:
I think Eoin Doyle will give Pompey fans a taste of what they can expect when he makes his debut and the striker is undoubtedly a class act at this level. I’m backing him to put in a man of the match performance, and nap a goal or two in the process.
First goalscorer prediction:
Pompey have won every game this season when they have scored first, and I think that run will continue tomorrow. Unfortunately, as I don’t think they will win, I also don’t think they will score first. Scott Kashket has been in brilliant form in the second half of this season and I would not be surprised to see him open the scoring tomorrow.