Mansfield vs Portsmouth Preview

By Jim Bonner
Last updated : 28 April 2017

Pompey travel to Mansfield for their final away game of the season looking for a result that may take the League Two title race to the wire.

Team News

Stanley Aborah has been ruled out with a neck injury and will likely be replaced with Danny Rose but Paul Cook has no other fresh injury worries.

Steve Evans likewise has no new injury worries about his quad, with goalkeeper Scott Shearer the only long-term absentee.

The Match

Field Mill will be a tough place to go to as Mansfield still have a chance to finish in the play-offs, but they know failure to win tomorrow will likely end their promotion challenge.

The same could be said for Pompey, who know that failure to beat the Stags will likely end any lingering hopes of becoming League Two champions next weekend. Even if Paul Cook's men were to win, victory for Doncaster over Exeter would mean the end of an unlikely title charge.

Still, with both teams' seasons still alive, tomorrow's game should feature plenty of attacking football and that could well play into Pompey's hands. Expect the same starting eleven (bar Aborah) that started against Cambridge last weekend with Nicke Kabamba given another chance to prove himself.

Mansfield are tough to break down and have relied upon their steely defence to get through matches rather than an attack which has let them down in the past. If this game is to simply come down to which team is better going forward, the odds are in Portsmouth's favour.

Let's hope that Pompey can do the business and other results go our way. Doncaster and Plymouth losing would be excellent whilst a win for Hartlepool coupled with a defeat for Newport would give them some incentive to fight for their lives against Rovers next Saturday.

A draw at Field Mill tomorrow would be enough to take the title race to the final day if Donny lose against Exeter at home and Plymouth fail to beat Crewe at home. It should be noted that Pompey lost both of those corresponding fixtures 1-0 this season.

But there should be no reason why the Pompey fans travelling up north tomorrow can't be celebrating in Nottinghamshire once again tomorrow.

Predicted Starting Line-Ups

Mansfield

GK: Jake KEAN

RWB: Hayden WHITE

CB: Rhys BENNETT

CB: Krystian PEARCE

CB: George TAFT

LWB: Malvind BENNING

CM: Joel BYROM

CM: Benjamin WHITEMAN

RWF: Alex MacDONALD

LWF: Shaq COULTHIRST

CF: Danny ROSE

Pompey

GK: David FORDE

RB: Gareth EVANS

CB: Matt CLARKE

CB: Jack WHATMOUGH

LB: Enda STEVENS

DM: Michael DOYLE

DM: Danny ROSE

RM: Kyle BENNETT

AM: Carl BAKER

LM: Kal NAISMITH

CF: Nicke KABAMBA

Last Time: Mansfield Town 1 Portsmouth 1 (League Two - 19/03/2016)

Pompey didn't start this match well as Marc McNulty's penalty kick was saved and then Mansfield went straight down the other end and scored through Matt Green. Ryan Tafazoli's own goal later in the half levelled the scores and that's how the match finished.

My Prediction

This is a difficult game but Pompey are playing with such freedom and confidence right now that I'm backing them to edge the Stags and hopefully take the title race to the final day.

Mansfield Town 1 Portsmouth 2

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