Pompey travel to Broadhall Way to take on Stevenage in the FA Cup hoping not to crash out at the first hurdle for the third consecutive season.
John Marquis has been denied permission to play in this tie by Millwall but Bury are expected to let Trevor Carson to represent Pompey in the FA Cup. Jake Jervis is unlikely to get his future confirmed in time for the match as previous employers Elazigspor are haggling over a training fee they are entitled to.
Stevenage will welcome back striker Lucas Akins after he served a three-match ban and Dean Parrett could make his first start for the club. Darius Charles, David Gray and Ben Chorley are all injured.
Whilst this is not the most inspirational tie Pompey fans would have wanted, it's not an impossible one to get a result from. However, despite Stevenage's 2-0 defeat at Wolves last week they've generally been in good form and won four of their five games in October. Do not let their lowly position in League One fool you.
However, Pompey have also been in good form and in Patrick Agyemang have a player who will have a point to prove having had a miserable time at Boro, scoring just the one goal in 31 appearances. Bondz N'Gala also had a year at Stevenage and will want to show them what they lost when they released him at the end of last season.
Graham Westley's team are tough to beat because they tend to be so well organised and play the ball along the ground and out wide, which may actually be a bonus for Pompey given how our defence has struggled against hoof ball this season. Most of their team are nippy lads so the likes of Agyemang, Bird and Racon might be able to bully them and turn the match into a scrap.
Outfighting Stevenage is probably Pompey's best hope in getting a result against their higher league opponents. Players like Francois Zoko, Filipe Morais and Luke Freeman could run rings around our men if given the opportunity.
Their midfield will swamp ours if Johnny Ertl returns to the side because he simply won't be able to keep up so hopefully Ferry and Racon keep their promising partnership going in the centre of the park. Ryan Bird is almost certain to start the match and hopefully he'll continue to prove his critics wrong with another goal or two.
It should be an interesting game and there may be a chance of progression to round two but in all honesty, getting knocked out wouldn't be the worst thing in the world and those oh-so-desperate Scummers would have to wait another year at least for an opportunity for their "world beaters" to have a crack at us again.
Predicted Starting Line-Ups
GK: Chris DAY
RB: Simon HESLOP
CB: Jon ASHTON
CB: Luke JONES
LB: Peter HARTLEY
RM: Filipe MORAIS
CM: Jimmy SMITH
CM: Michael DOUGHTY
LM: Luke FREEMAN
CF: Lucas AKINS
CF: Francois ZOKO
GK: Trevor CARSON
RB: Yassin MOUTAOUAKIL
CB: Sonny BRADLEY
CB: Bondz N'GALA
LB: Joe DEVERA
RM: Jed WALLACE
CM: Therry RACON
CM: Simon FERRY
LM: Ricky HOLMES
CF: Patrick AGYEMANG
CF: Ryan BIRD
Last Time: Stevenage 2 Portsmouth 1 (League One - 23/10/2012)
Nuno Morais opened the scoring headed in Akins' cross but Pompey were level just after the break after Jon Harley curled a beauty past Steve Arnold. Michael Appleton's men were frustrated in their search for a winner and were soon undone as Morais' cross-cum-shot sailed past Mikkel Andersen and into the top corner to give the hosts the win.
This will be a tough game but Pompey seem to have a knack of not being beaten at the moment despite almost throwing victory away against Exeter last week. There'll be goals and I think this will be a draw.
Stevenage 2 Portsmouth 2