Portsmouth vs Plymouth Preview

The lastest chapter in the saga between Portsmouth and Plymouth Argyle takes place at Fratton Park tomorrow.

Team News

Christian Burgess is suspended after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season at Peterborough. Brett Pitman missed that match with a tight hamstring and is expected to miss tomorrow's game also.

Argyle could feature as many as four ex-Pompey players in their team tomorrow as Sonny Bradley, Jake Jervis, Toumani Diagouraga and Nadir Ciftci could play a part but Ryan Taylor has an ankle injury. Centre back Ryan Edwards also misses out due to suspension.

The Match

After Pompey's predictable 2-1 away defeat to Peterborough on Tuesday, attention now turns to one of the most anticipated clashes of the season as the Blues fans will relish reminding the visitors who won League Two last season.

That undoubtedly left a bitter taste in the mouths of the Argyle fans and will want some revenge tomorrow, although the three points will be far more important to the relegation strugglers.

Pompey seem to be destined for mid-table given their infuriating inconsistency and over-reliance on one man up front to score all of their goals. Defeat at London Road was always on the cards when it was revealed that Pitman was missing and he will supposedly be unavailable for tomorrow's game too.

Or will he? Kenny Jackett claimed he will certainly be missing only for the striker to declare himself fit to play and the official site rating him "doubtful" for the game. This could just be some mind games prior the game although having Pitman return would be a huge boost.

If Pitman doesn't make it then Jackett will have to pick between Curtis Main whose stature would suit what will undoubtedly be a physical game full of long balls or Conor Chaplin who scored on Tuesday and is undoubtedly a better finisher than Main.

There will also have to be a defensive reshuffle due to Burgess' suspension and the rumours are that more orthodox full backs in Nathan Thompson and Brandan Haunstrup will return to the side to solidify a back four who have been conceding far too many goals from crosses out wide.

Stuart O'Keefe could also return to the midfield alongside Danny Rose to give it some extra bite in the battle against Diagouraga and Fox in what will be the key area of tomorrow's match. Graham Carey being allowed to deliver balls into the heart of the Pompey defence will be the biggest worry.

However, Pompey proved last season that they are a superior side to Plymouth going forward and with or without Pitman, the likes of Naismith, Kennedy, Bennett and Lowe all possess the quality to put the Pilgrims to the sword.

The fans will certainly do their bit to make Fratton Park intimidating as they did last week despite having no easy target in Luke McCormick this time round. Plymouth's indiscipline has led to their downfall on many occasions this season so the crowd needs to do whatever they can to get on the backs of the opposition players. Hopefully some of the Pompey men can also wind up their opponents and force them to make a mistake.

Tomorrow, the Pompey fans shall remind the Argyle fans about how they lost out on the League Two title to a superior side. It's up to the players to prove that they are superior on the pitch when it counts.

Predicted Starting Line-Ups

Pompey

GK: Luke McGEE

RB: Nathan THOMPSON

CB: Matt CLARKE

CB: Ollie HAWKINS

LB: Brandan HAUNSTRUP

DM: Stuart O'KEEFE

DM: Danny ROSE

RM: Gareth EVANS

AM: Kal NAISMITH

LM: Matty KENNEDY

CF: Conor CHAPLIN

Plymouth

GK: Remi MATTHEWS

RB: Aaron TAYLOR-SINCLAIR

CB: Sonny BRADLEY

CB: Yann SONGO'O

LB: Gary SAWYER

DM: David FOX

DM: Toumani DIAGOURAGA

RM: Joel GRANT

AM: Antoni SARCEVIC

LM: Graham CAREY

CF: Jake JERVIS

Last Time: Portsmouth 1 Plymouth Argyle 1 (League Two - 14/04/2017)

Jervis gave the visitors an early lead but Gary Roberts equalised after capitalising on an error by Luke McCormick. Pompey did all of the pressing in the second half but couldn't find a winner whilst the Argyle fans who stayed behind after the game were denied the chance to celebrate promotion at Fratton Park thanks to Luton's late equaliser.

My Prediction

If a fully fit Brett Pitman starts then I think Pompey will have enough up front to win this game. But he probably won't be, and a physical contest will end up in a draw due to defensive deficiencies.

Portsmouth 1 Plymouth Argyle 1