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Preview: Portsmouth v Wycombe

Preview: Portsmouth v Wycombe


Wycombe Wanderers recorded a long overdue first home win of the season at the weekend, beating Torquay United 2-1 at Adams Park.

The side continued where they left off following last Tuesday's encouraging 1-1 home draw with Plymouth Argyle and claimed three deserved points against the Gulls. The performance was worlds apart from that endured against AFC Wimbledon just a fortnight ago and the players are clearly giving their all for caretaker boss Gareth Ainsworth.

Unsurprisingly he named an unchanged starting line-up with striker Matt McClure able to continue despite suffering from a tight hamstring in midweek. Defender Gary Doherty headed the hosts in front with Ainsworth the provider but some poor defending allowed the Gulls to level before the break. A desperate performance from referee Darren Drysdale saw the Blues denied a stonewall penalty when defender Aaron Downes handled Josh Scowen's corner just before half-time.

Scowen has been a revelation since being recalled from a loan spell at Eastbourne Borough by Ainsworth and he marked his man-of-the-match display with the winning goal just past the hour mark. Dean Morgan replaced McClure at half-time and he created the chance as he outwitted his marker Joe Oastler before crossing for Scowen to head powerfully past visiting goalkeeper Michael Poke from close-range.

Wycombe's on-loan goalkeeper Jordan Archer made a superb save to deny striker Ryan Jarvis an equaliser within sixty seconds and the hosts should really have won by more with substitute Matt Spring wasting a great chance when played clean through on goal only to elect to square the ball for Morgan allowing Oastler to make a vital last ditch interception. It didn't matter in the end as the Chairboys held on to take all three points and climb out of the bottom two in League Two as a result.

Portsmouth manager Michael Appleton has been fighting against extraordinary odds with the club still in administration. He was unable to save them from relegation to League One last season and the future of the club still hangs in the balance. It is a reminder of what our fate might have been had it not been for the skill, hard work and dedication of the Trust over the last nine months to conclude a takeover which may have appeared smooth to many on the outside but is likely to prove to be one of the most significant events in the clubs' modern history.

Tuesday evening's Football League Trophy second round tie with Portsmouth at Fratton Park in the first ever competitive meeting between the two clubs. We have met in friendly matches and Portsmouth's reserve team spent five seasons competing with the Wanderers in the Southern League Division Two at the turn of the last century.

The less said about that set of results the better as in ten league meetings, Pompey won nine of them, including a 11-1 thrashing on the South Coast in October 1904. The other result was a 2-2 draw at Loakes Park in April 1907 with goals from Roberts and Rose.

Gareth Ainsworth is likely to make changes for the clash with Pompey but will have to adhere to the competition rules which state at least six of the players that started in the previous game must be named in the starting line-up. He is unlikely to pick himself and it doesn't seem sensible to pick Matt McClure after he had to be substituted again with a hamstring tweak at the weekend.

Goalkeeper Nikki Bull could be set for a welcome return having recovered from a pulled thigh muscle and that is likely to mean Jordan Archer's return to Spurs. Dean Morgan will hope to have earned a starting role after his performance against the Gulls whilst Anthony Stewart, Matt Spring and Oliver Taylor could also join him. Midfielder Jesse Kewley-Graham, winger Lee Angol and striker Richard Logan will be hoping for recalls to the squad.

Seven players won't be involved. Midfielder Josh Scowen is suspended after collecting his fifth booking of then season at the weekend. Midfielder Matt Bloomfield has missed the last six weeks with a groin problem but he will be hoping to play a part at Fleetwood next weekend.

Goalkeeper Matt Ingram is recovering from knee cartilage surgery, midfielder Sam Wood and striker Dennis Oli are recovering from knee and ankle ligament damage respectively and the trio are between two to three weeks away from a return to action.

Full-back Marvin McCoy continues his rehabilitation after fracturing his left fibula and damaging ankle ligaments and will be hoping to return by the end of November. Full-back Grant Basey has had surgery after damaging his anterior cruciate ligaments and will miss the rest of the season.

The Wanderers starting eleven may look something like this (4-3-3):

Nikki Bull

Danny Foster - Anthony Stewart - Leon Johnson - Charles Dunne

Joel Grant - Stuart Lewis - Matt Spring

Dean Morgan - Oliver Taylor - Jo Kuffour

Subs: Lee Harrison, Gary Doherty, Dave Winfield, Jesse Kewley-Graham, Lee Angol, Junior Morais, Richard Logan.


Portsmouth go into the game on the back of three games without defeat. They sit in 17th place in the League One table and have won just one of their six matches at Fratton Park so far this season, although they did beat AFC Bournemouth in a penalty shoot-out after drawing 2-2 in the first round of this competition.

Manager Michael Appleton is likely to make changes against the Blues with striker Luke Rodgers one of the candidates to come back into the side. He has just recovered from a thigh problem and may be given a run out. Hungarian midfielder Akos Buzsaky could also be handed his full debut after signing a one-month deal last week following his release from Queens Park Rangers. Central defender Gabor Gyepes may be rested as he has been playing with an ankle knock.

Defenders Ashley Westwood and Josh Thompson are both sidelined with ankle injuries. Left-back Alex Grant is ruled-out with a knee injury whilst midfielder Darel Russell faces another fortnight out with a hamstring injury. It's difficult to predict the Pompey line-up so this is how they started last time out (4-4-2):

Mikkel Andersen

Mustapha Dumbuya - Adam Webster - Gabor Gyepes - Lubomir Michalik

Lee Williams - Brian Howard - Johannes Ertl - Jon Harley

Izale McLeod - Wes Thomas

Subs: Simon Eastwood, Liam Walker, Akos Buzsaky, Jack Compton, Jordan Obita, Ashley Harris, Luke Rodgers


In the first round of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy, Portsmouth beat Bournemouth 4-3 on penalties after a 2-2 draw at Fratton Park. Wycombe received a bye.


Portsmouth are 17th in League One with 12 points from 11 games.

Wycombe are 22nd in League Two with 8 points from 10 games.


Portsmouth's Home Record (All comps).....W 2 - D 1 - L 3

Wycombe's Away Record (All comps).........W 1 - D 0 - L 5


Portsmouth's last five results (All Competitions)

Lg1: Swindon (H)...............Lost 1-2

Lg1: Notts County (A).........Lost 0-3

Lg1: Scunthorpe (H)...........Won 2-1

Lg1: Yeovil (A)...................Won 2-1

Lg1: Franchise (A).............Drew 2-2


Wycombe's last five results (All Competitions)

Lg2: Exeter (A)....................Lost 2-3

Lg2: AFC Wimbledon (H).......Lost 0-1

Lg2: Dag & Red (A)..............Lost 0-3

Lg2: Plymouth (H)..............Drew 1-1

Lg2: Torquay (H).................Won 2-1


Portsmouth Goal Stats (13 games in all Competitions)

Goals Scored (Total)..........Lg: 16...Cups: 2...Total: 18

Goals Conceded (Total)......Lg: 19...Cups: 5...Total: 24

Goals Scored (Home).........Lg: 5.....Cups: 2...Total: 7

Goals Conceded (Home).....Lg: 7.....Cups: 2...Total: 9

Clean Sheets.....................Lg: 1.....Cups: 0...Total: 1


Wycombe Goal Stats (11 games in all Competitions)

Goals Scored (Total)..........Lg: 10...Cups: 0...Total: 10

Goals Conceded (Total)......Lg: 16...Cups: 1...Total: 17

Goals Scored (Away).........Lg: 6.....Cups: 0...Total: 6

Goals Conceded (Away).....Lg: 11...Cups: 1...Total: 12

Clean Sheets.....................Lg: 0.....Cups: 0...Total: 0


Portsmouth's Top Goal Scorers - (All Competitions)

Izale McLeod............5

Luke Rodgers...........3

Gabor Gyepes..........3

Ashley Harris............2

Five other players have each scored 1 goal.


Wycombe's Goal Scorers - (All Competitions)

OG..........................2

Gareth Ainsworth......1

Stuart Beavon..........1

Matt Bloomfield.........1

Gary Doherty...........1

Matt McClure............1

Dean Morgan............1

Josh Scowen............1

Sam Wood...............1


Most Assists

Portsmouth - Brian Howard...........3

Wycombe - Ainsworth & Grant.......2


Portsmouth Shooting (Top-3) - League Only

Izale McLeod.......13 on-target...18 off-target...4 against woodwork

Luke Rodgers........6 on-target....5 off-target...0 against woodwork

Jack Compton.......4 on-target....6 off-target...0 against woodwork


Wycombe Shooting (Top-3) - League Only

Joel Grant.............3 on-target...8 off-target...0 against woodwork

Joe Kuffour...........4 on-target...4 off-target...0 against woodwork

Gareth Ainsworth...2 on-target...5 off-target...0 against woodwork


Shooting (Club) - League only

Portsmouth...48 on target...66 off target...9 against w'work

Wycombe.....29 on target...38 off target...0 against w'work


Previous Meetings

The two sides have never met in a competitive match.


The Man In The Middle

Tuesday's referee is Simon Hooper from Wiltshire who was promoted to the National List of Referees in 2008. His most recent Wycombe game was last season's 0-0 draw with Colchester United at Adams Park. During the current campaign he's issued 1 red and 19 yellow cards in 9 appearances.


Predictions

Benny: Portsmouth 2 Wycombe 0

Len: Portsmouth 3 Wycombe 1

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Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Benny & Len
Date:Monday October 8 2012
Time: 12:15AM

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6 Wycombe 20 9 4 7 31 3
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