Pompey fans travel to the Memorial Stadium tomorrow in hopes of seeing their team at least extend their unbeaten league run to nine matches against Bristol Rovers.
Aaron McCarey will make his Pompey debut as Paul Jones, Brian Murphy and Michael Poke are all injured. Michael Doyle is suspended with Paul Cook saying it'll be two from Nigel Atangana, Adam Barton and Danny Hollands who will play in the defensive positions. Conor Chaplin is also not 100% certain to make the match after being taken off at Oxford.
Rovers boss Darrell Clarke welcomes full back Daniel Leadbitter back to his squad after he played in a reserve match during the week alongside captain Mark McChrystal who is vying to start his first match of the season.
Being the only unbeaten side in League Two means that Portsmouth are now a bigger scalp than usual as Bristol Rovers are clamouring to be the first team to inflict defeat on Paul Cook's men in League Two this season.
Pompey fans who witnessed Saturday's draw at Oxford will probably admit that they were somewhat fortunate to get a point from that match with the visitors being flat in the first half and having to rely on a goal out of nothing to bail them out.
An improvement is required at the Memorial Stadium tomorrow if Paul Cook's men are to remain undefeated but undoubtedly a victory should be the aim given that Rovers have only won at home once (against Barnet) this season and have lost to Northampton, Oxford and Accrington Stanley without scoring.
They did pinch a point at Plymouth last weekend thanks to a stoppage time penalty last weekend but the feeling amongst Pompey fans seems to be that although this is a tricky match on paper, it's certainly a winnable one too.
Those travelling to Bristol tomorrow will see Aaron McCarey for the first time although nobody seems to know much about the loanee keeper. It'll be interesting to see if Atangana is dropped after being hauled off for one bad half at the Kassam last week but Cook is likely to keep the faith with him and partner him with Barton who could be the key to unlocking the Pirates' defence tomorrow.
Cook also has a dilemma further up the midfield with Chaplin possibly unavailable and Kyle Bennett woefully out of form at the moment. Again, it's likely the manager will stick with Bennett as to not dent his confidence whilst his team aren't losing although it would be good to see Kal Naismith start after his goalscoring form for the reserves.
The defence should be solid enough to keep out a side that struggle to score goals since their promotion from non-league although Ellis Harrison is one to watch due to his pace and Leadbitter at left back will have license to roam forward in a 5-3-2 wing back formation.
Hopefully it'll be a better game than last week but this is more of a test of Pompey's squad depth more than anything. Are those brought in tomorrow good enough to make a difference and can the forward players prove their worth and score the goals to win the game?
Predicted Starting Line-Ups
GK: Lee NICHOLLS
RWB: Lee BROWN
CB: Tom PARKES
CB: Tom LOCKYER
CB: James CLARKE
LWB: Daniel LEADBITTER
CM: Stuart SINCLAIR
CM: Ollie CLARKE
CM: Chris LINES
CF: Ellis HARRISON
CF: Jermaine EASTER
GK: Aaron McCAREY
RB: Ben DAVIES
CB: Christian BURGESS
CB: Matt CLARKE
LB: Enda STEVENS
DM: Adam BARTON
DM: Nigel ATANGANA
RM: Gareth EVANS
AM: Conor CHAPLIN
LM: Kyle BENNETT
CF: Adam McGURK
Last Time: Bristol Rovers 2 Portsmouth 0 (League Two - 21/12/2013)
Pompey fans braved the open terrace and the portaloos on a cold December afternoon only to witness a completely abject performance which saw Ollie Clarke and David Clarkson score in each half. Richie Barker tore into his players post-match after they were booed off by those unlucky enough to have watched such tripe.
Gary Roberts will be a miss but I fancy Pompey to improve on last week's showing with Adam McGurk being influential once again. If Paul Cook's men can dictate the game from midfield then they should be able to beat shot-shy Rovers, though not without some trouble.
Bristol Rovers 1 Portsmouth 2