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This Week's Opposition: Wycombe Wanderers

Photo Credit: Wycombe Wanderers

The Blues weren’t in action last weekend due to the international break, but they’re resurrecting for an Easter encounter at Adams Park this Good Friday.

A 1-0 win away at Peterborough United last time out kept the gap between Pompey and 2nd place Derby County at 5 points.

The Rams were defeated by a goal to nil away at Northampton Town last Saturday so that gap has remained at 5 points, though John Mousinho’s side have now played 1 game fewer than Derby.

Bolton Wanderers in 3rd stay 9 points behind the Blues having played the same amount of games.

Focus now turns to Portsmouth’s next league encounter and it’s Wycombe Wanderers who are the opponents in matchday number 40.

MANAGER

Former Wycombe midfielder Matt Bloomfield is at the helm of The Chairboys.

Bloomfield started out his playing career with Ipswich Town, graduating from the club’s academy but failed to make a single 1st team appearance.

The now-40-year-old made his senior debut in football in 2003 after joining Wycombe on a free transfer that summer. He spent 19 years with The Chairboys, playing with the club in League Two, League One and Championship.

Bloomfield made 488 appearances and scored 40 goals across his 19 years at the club.

He started his managerial career at League Two outfit Colchester United in September 2022. At the time of his appointment, Colchester were sat in 21st position, 1 point clear of the relegation zone.

Bloomfield was soon awarded the League Two Manager of the Month award after picking up 13 points from 6 matches.

Following the departure of long-term manager Gareth Ainsworth to Queens Park Rangers, Bloomfield returned to Wycombe but as manager in February 2023.

Since taking over at Adams Park, Bloomfield has overseen 17 wins from 53 league games.

ONE TO WATCH

Our one to watch on this occasion is local Portsmouth boy Matt Butcher.

Butcher joined AFC Bournemouth at the age of 13 and surged through the Under-18 and Under-21 sides before being offered a 1-year professional contract. He made his first start for The Cherries in a 2-1 FA Cup victory over Birmingham City.

Butcher went on loan to Gosport Borough, Poole Town, Woking, Yeovil Town and St Johnstone before signing a 2-year deal with League One side Accrington Stanley. After 85 appearances and 6 goals across 2 seasons, he left Accy upon expiration of his contract.

In June 2022, Butcher joined Plymouth Argyle on a 2-year deal and was part of the squad that became runner-ups in the EFL Trophy and also helped The Pilgrims lift the League One trophy as Champions at the end of last season.

At the end of the most recent January transfer window, Butcher signed for Wycombe Wanderers and has since scored 3 goals from 11 appearances. The midfielder wears the number 8 shirt.

TOP SCORER

The current top goalscorer for The Chairboys is 31-year-old Luke Leahy.

Leahy began his career with Rugby Town. Affiliated with the Gordon Strachan Football Foundation, he signed for Falkirk in the summer of 2012 following unsuccessful trials with Birmingham City, Bradford City and Peterborough United. Leahy was signed as an attacking midfielder, despite the fact he played left-back for Rugby.

He left Falkirk after 5 seasons following the expiration of his contract in 2017.

Leahy also went on to play for Walsall, Bristol Rovers and Shrewsbury Town before joining Wycombe on a 3-year contract in July of last year. He scored his first league goal for the club at the end of September in a 2-0 win over Carlisle United.

In a 1-0 home defeat to Stevenage in November, Leahy was knocked unconscious in the penalty area… This alluded to him missing the next 2 games.

Leahy who wears the number 10 shirt has scored 8 goals and made 7 assists so far this campaign. Equalling to a goal every 378th minute.

CURRENT FORM

Matt Bloomfield’s side currently sit 13th in the League One table on 50 points - The same amount of points as 12th place Wigan Athletic and 14th place Bristol Rovers.

The Chairboys have been on a run of good form recently, winning 4 of their last 5 matches and their last 3 in-a-row. Their only defeat within that period was a 4-2 loss against Barnsley.

Wycombe also recently secured a place at Wembley thanks to a dramatic 91st minute strike from Matt Butcher, which helped claim a 1-0 EFL Trophy Semi-Final victory at Bradford City. They will take on fellow League One side Peterborough in the Final on the 7th of April.

In the reverse of this fixture at PO4 back in October, the Blues came out on top with a 2-1 victory thanks to Conor Shaughnessy header in the 98th minute.

Can Pompey take another big step closer to automatic promotion to the Championship with a 3rd straight victory when they take on Wycombe Wanderers?

Join Connor Moseley, Jake Smith and James Wilson for all of the unmissable action of Wycombe Wanderers vs Portsmouth from 2pm on Good Friday (March 29th) - Pompey Live will be back here on 93.7 Express FM, DAB Digital Radio, Online and iFollow Pompey through until 6pm with full coverage of this League One encounter at Adams Park.

Kick-off: 3pm!

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