Pompey travel to Bury tomorrow for what should be a tough match against the high-flying Shakers.
Ben Chorley is available again after returning to training during the week but Jack Whatmough and Adam Webster are still unavailable. Nigel Atangana may start after his excellent performance from the bench against Mansfield last Saturday.
Defender Kevin O'Brien is the only player sidelined for Bury but Danny Rose and Chris Hussey could be restored to the starting XI after the Shakers lost to AFC Wimbledon last weekend.
Pompey are in a poor run of form and therefore this is not a fixture where three points would be expected. Bury may have lost their last two matches on the road but are generally strong on their own turf and so this will be a tough match to take any points from, especially given Pompey's poor record away from Fratton Park.
However, in a strange way the pressure is off of Andy Awford's men who have had to endure teams being physical and employ gamesmanship to frustrate them. The home fans will expect their team to attack and that may well give Pompey their own freedom to express themselves rather than play hopeless balls to players who are being crowded out by defenders.
Having said that, hopefully Awford ditches the wing back system which hasn't been working for some time now. Perhaps he should revert to the 4-2-3-1 formation which was so successful for him when he first took charge of the team when confidence was low? It worked for him then so perhaps it would work now? It could well get the best out of the underperforming players such as Ricky Holmes and Danny Hollands who have yet to make an impact this season.
Also, it's about time Nigel Atangana started a game. The midfield has been lacking in energy and that is something that the Frenchman has in abundance and he can certainly influence a game as he proved last weekend when he came on against Mansfield and instantly provided an assist for Paul Robinson.
One player the Pompey fans will recognise in the Bury side is Kelvin Etuhu who, on his day, is capable of running a game from midfield and so it is imperative that James Dunne does a job on him to stop him getting forward and influencing the game too much.
Danny Mayor is another player who needs to be contained after ripping Pompey apart down the wings last season. The full backs will have a tough job stopping him which makes me believe that Awford will once again play a wing back system.
Still, this is a match that is going to take a hell of an effort for Pompey to get anything from, and given their current form any kind of result at Gigg Lane is unlikely tomorrow.
Predicted Starting Line-Ups
GK: Shwan JALAL
RB: Craig JONES
CB: Pablo MILLS
CB: Nathan CAMERON
LB: James McNULTY
RM: Danny MAYOR
CM: Tom SOARES
CM: Kelvin ETUHU
LM: Nicky ADAMS
CF: Daniel NARDIELLO
CF: Ryan LOWE
GK: Paul JONES
RWB: Alex WYNTER
CB: Ben CHORLEY
CB: Joe DEVERA
CB: Paul ROBINSON
LWB: Nicky SHOREY
CM: James DUNNE
CM: Nigel ATANGANA
CM: Jed WALLACE
CF: Ryan TAYLOR
CF: Michael DRENNAN
Last Time: Bury 4 Portsmouth 4 (League Two - 26/04/2014)
The hosts raced into a two goal lead with a brace from Hallam Hope and by the hour it was 3-0 as Andy Procter headed in a third goal. Danny Hollands pulled one back before Ryan Taylor scored from a long throw to make the match 3-2 after 82 minutes.
The comeback looked to have ended when Hope completed his hat-trick almost straight after but Sonny Bradley tapped in a third Pompey goal with two minutes to go and then Wes Fogden completed the most unlikely of comebacks in stoppage time to send 1,500 Pompey fans mental at Gigg Lane.
No 4-4 draw this time. Bury are probably the outright favourites for promotion in this division and should take advantage of a Pompey side which has struggled on the road.
Bury 2 Portsmouth 0