Wycombe Wanderers travel to table-topping Portsmouth on Saturday aiming to surprise a capacity home crowd and take three points back to Buckinghamshire.
The Chairboys have only won once in the league this season, which was thanks to a brilliant footballing display away at Bradford, but they’re now unbeaten in seven of their last eight games in all competitions. However, only three of these have been wins in ninety minutes, and two of these came in the much-maligned Checkatrade Trophy. The most recent success for Wanderers was on Tuesday night against Fulham U21s at Adams Park thanks to a late, late Scott Kashket winner.
Portsmouth should pose the toughest test of the season so far for the Blues, and Pompey are unbeaten in their eight league games so far this campaign. They sent their 3500 travelling fans home happy last weekend after a 2-1 win over Peterborough to leapfrog Posh and move to the summit of League One. Kenny Jackett’s men have conceded the joint-least amount of goals in the league, so with Wanderers only having scored seven in the third tier, it is a tough ask for Gareth Ainsworth.
Darius Charles made his debut for Wycombe in the aforementioned Checkatrade Trophy game in midweek, and could be in line for another appearance with Adam El-Abd and Anthony Stewart both injured. Nathan Tyson seems to still be sidelined, so Scott Kashket could be in contention for a start up front after scoring his fourth goal of the season already on Tuesday. Not bad for a player who’s only started three games so far and has only played 87 minutes in total in League One. Adebayo Akinfenwa is still yet to find the net in 2018-19, but may retain his place in the eleven for the trip to Fratton Park. Alex Samuel scored in midweek, but is unlikely to start, so Fred Onyedinma and Randell Williams are also main contenders. Compared to the incredible multitude of options in attack, the midfield and defence, barring the Charles situation ,effectively pick themselves.
Ronan Curtis limped off in the latter stages of last week’s blockbuster at London Road, so is a doubt for Saturday’s game. Anton Walkes and Jack Whatmough, however, are both available after spells out, while Andre Green has received a set-back in in his recovery from an ACL injury.
GK: Ryan Allsop
LB: Joe Jacobson
CB: Sido Jombati
CB: Jason McCarthy
RB: Michael Harriman
CM: Dom Gape
CM: Matt Bloomfield
CM: Bryn Morris
LW: Randell Williams
CF: Adebayo Akinfenwa
RW: Craig Mackail-Smith
Since Pompey plummeted down the leagues, the two sides have met ten times. The overall record is dead even, with each outfit having three wins and four draws to their name. Wanderers have won the last two games, but the one before that was a thriller at Fratton Park with Portsmouth eventually coming out on top 4-2.
The Chairboys will be hoping for a repeat of their FA Cup success in Hampshire two years ago to kick-start their season and end this run of draws. Portsmouth are massive favourites, however, and it will take something special from Wanderers to send the 700 or so away fans home happy and avoid dropping into the fledgling relegation zone.