Pompey play host to Accrington Stanley in the Blues’ first FA Cup 2nd round fixture since 2009.
After scraping past Macclesfield in the first round, Paul Cook’s side have the chance to reach the big third round – the one in which Premier League sides enter.
In league terms, Stanley better Pompey’s record by a point after 19 games, with a game in hand.
Jamie Windass has excelled for the visitors this season, bagging 11 goals so far.
Yet Pompey overshadow the travellers in one respect – attendance.
Pompey, notable for the loyalty of the Fratton Faithful and attendances that diminish those of other sides in League Two and League One, have a higher average AWAY attendance than Stanley’s HOME attendance.
It will be a big, big day out for Stanley, with Pompey averaging over 14,000 more a game at home.
Yet that is unlikely to cause a huge lot of worry in an Accrington side full of confidence – the Lancashire side have won 5 of their last six whilst Pompey have won just 3 home league games and 2 cup wins so far.
Yet the Blues may have reached at Fratton turning point after thrashing York 6-0.
Vital Quotes: NO BUSES
‘Park the bus and we’ll punish you’.
Those are the words of Paul Cook who now believes his Pompey side really have the firepower to hurt teams who set up camp in their own half.
Primarily the additions of Caolan Lavery and Marc McNulty have made a huge difference, with the pair making a nice partnership- they have 8 goals between them now.
Pompey Team News:
Pompey may be boosted by the return of forward Jayden Stockley, who is set to make a sub appearance after 2 months out with an ankle injury.
Paul Jones is unlikely to be fit however, after stepping up his recovery from a knee injury.
The game may also come too soon for Jack Whatmough, however the young defender is back in first team training after his cruciate ligament injury.
Both Matt Tubbs and Gary Roberts remain sidelined with their respective ankle problems, whilst Caolan Lavery is unavailable as his parent club Sheffield Wednesday refused to give Pompey permission to field the player.
Player to watch: Marc McNulty
On loan from Sheffield United, McNulty has fast made a name for himself down here on the south coast
4 goals in 3 league games, McNulty is very much someone Pompey are looking to sign permanently.
With the 26-year-old’s contract expiring at the end of the season, Paul Cook is almost surely looking into handing McNulty a contract.
Accrington Stanley Team News:
Dean Winnard is unavailable for the visitors, as he is suffering with illness and has not travelled.
Player to watch: Josh Windass
11 goals so far this season for Windass- I had him down as the man to watch last fixture, yet he didn’t really shine.
But a boost in form and plenty of goals, definitely the one to watch now.
Match Facts & Stats
The earlier fixture ran out a 0-0 stalemate between the two sides, yet Pompey have home advantage in terms of the overall record- in 4 Fratton games, Pompey have won twice and out of 8 games overall, the Blues have 3 wins and 4 draws have ran out.
Well we’d all love a Man United or a Liverpool or Arsenal at Fratton this season, and I reckon we may get that opportunity.
I think it’ll be a narrow 2-1 win today. Sadly, I’m not attending but a win for the Blues nonetheless hopefully!
Next Fixtures: Hartlepool HOME
Pompey play host to Jeff Stelling’s beloved Hartlepool next Saturday, with United 18th in the league.