Pompey take on bogey team Leyton Orient at Fratton Park tomorrow looking to build on their mediocre start to their 2016.
Gary Roberts and Kyle Bennett look likely to return to the starting eleven following the draw at Morecambe whilst Christian Burgess will replace Adam Webster who has suffered a minor hamstring injury.
Jerome Binnom-Williams, Nicky Hunt and Shaun Brisley could all make their debuts for Orient managed by former Bolton and West Ham midfielder Kevin Nolan, who may well get some game time himself.
Barry Roche is a name that no Pompey fan will ever want to remember with his last-gasp equaliser at Morecambe being a very difficult pill to swallow and you wonder just how much of an impact that will have on the mentality of the players going into this game.
Orient have only won once away from home since October but they well and truly hold the Indian sign over Portsmouth in recent years. Infamous 4-1 cup horror aside, Pompey always seem to shoot themselves in the foot when they play against the London side whether a red card swings the game in their favour or a player makes a huge mistake that gets punished.
And of course, there's the returning player factor as Nigel Atangana is welcomed back to Fratton Park after being shown the door by Paul Cook. There are rumours that there's a clause in his contract that says he can't play tomorrow but that seems like rubbish and undoubtely the energetic midfielder will have a say in the outcome tomorrow.
Whilst former Blues loanee Paul McCallum is injured, another one in the form of goalkeeper Alex Cisak will play. What are the odds on him scoring a stoppage time equaliser!?
Orient won't come to play for a draw given their attacking talent and their inability to defend so an open match may well suit Pompey's pressing game. With Roberts and Bennett presumably coming back into the team, there'll be plenty of room in the midfield to create chances for whomever plays up front.
Cook experimented with a 4-4-2 formation on Tuesday night with Michael Smith up top with Marc McNulty but whether he'll stick with it tomorrow is anyone's guess. The expectation is that he'll revert back to his favoured 4-2-3-1 with Smith on the bench as an alternative should Pompey need a goal.
This is a tough one to call but a draw isn't really good enough given the current predicament Pompey find themselves in. There will likely be goals at both ends so it could come down to who holds their nerve for the entire game. One lapse in concentration could be fatal.
For the record, Bristol Rovers host AFC Wimbledon, Accrington are away at Carlisle, Oxford are away at Exeter and Plymouth travel to Yeovil in the other key games at the top of League Two.
However, given the hoodoo that Orient seem to have over Pompey it could be yet more points dropped in the race for promotion.
Predicted Starting Line-Ups
GK: Ryan FULTON
RB: Ben DAVIES
CB: Christian BURGESS
CB: Matt CLARKE
LB: Enda STEVENS
DM: Michael DOYLE
DM: Ben CLOSE
RM: Gareth EVANS
AM: Gary ROBERTS
LM: Kyle BENNETT
CF: Marc McNULTY
GK: Alex CISAK
RB: Nicky HUNT
CB: Mathieu BAUDRY
CB: Shaun BRISLEY
LB: Jerome BINNOM-WILLIAMS
RM: Calaum JAHRALDO-MARTIN
CM: Nigel ATANGANA
CM: Jack PAYNE
LM: Jobi McANUFF
CF: Jay SIMPSON
CF: Ollie PALMER
Last Time: Portsmouth 2 Leyton Orient 3 (League One - 20/11/2012)
Pompey shot themselves in the foot early on when Ryan Allsop saved Izale McLeod's penalty as Orient then took the lead through Kevin Lisbie. Moses Odubajo doubled the lead in the second half before McLeod scored with his second penalty attempt of the game.
A third penalty was given soon after and Lisbie slotted past Andersen and despite Scott Allan's deflected strike reducing the deficit, there was to be no equaliser as Pompey fell to their seventh straight defeat.
Like last time, I have a bad feeling about this one. Atangana to score the winner, too.
Portsmouth 1 Leyton Orient 2