Why Portsmouth appear at disadvantage to Wycombe with Manchester City and former Bristol City and Luton Town pair absent

Wycombe have opted to play Pompey tomorrow – despite having the option to call off the clash.

By sam cox
Friday, 12th November 2021, 4:39 pm
Updated Friday, 12th November 2021, 4:50 pm

And an assessment of the relative impact of the two sides losing players to international duty, gives clear hints to why the game at Adams Park goes ahead.

With three players called up by their countries, Gareth Ainsworth will be without Tjay De Barr, Sullay Kaikai and Daryl Horgan – with three the threshold required to having a choice over postponing a fixture.

But when examining their individual importance to Ainsworth, it becomes clearer as to why he was still happy to face the Blues.

De Barr, a summer signing from Lincoln Red Imps, is still finding his feet in England following his arrival from Malta.

The 21-year-old was perhaps brought in with an eye on the future as he’s made only four appearances, with single outings in League One, the League Cup, the Papa John’s Trophy and the FA Cup.

In addition to the Malta international, Kaikai has been called into Sierra Leone’s squad for the fixture against Comoros.

The former Crystal Palace forward has registered three assists across 14 appearances in all competitions, but his influence this season has diminished by playing 90 minutes only twice across nine league outings.

Joe Morrell is on Wales duty. (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)

Similarly to Kaikai, Republic of Ireland international Horgan has also played only two league match’s entirety so far, with his last coming in August.

However, his absence may be the hardest hitting with the attacker making 12 League One appearances while scoring once for Ainsworth’s side.

Meanwhile, Cowley has been bashed by injuries, leaving the Pompey boss with as few as 14 fit senior players going into the game.

Gavin Bazunu and Joe Morrell will, of course, be missing after their Republic of Ireland and Wales call-ups respectively.

Both men are central figures to Cowley’s set-up with Bazunu making 16 appearances this term and Morrell 14.

Their 30 Pompey outings between them comes to 25 by the three absent Wycombe players.

A look at League One starts underlines the difference further, with the Chairboys trio making 12 starts to the Pompey pair’s 26.

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