Pompey return to more familiar surroundings and are back in League Two action as Crawley come to town.
Two league wins in a row followed by an action packed 4-3 loss in the disinterest that has become the EFL Trophy put Pompey in fairly good stead ahead of the clash.
A win tomorrow would mean Pompey achieve a treble of wins, 6 months earlier than in the previous campaign.
The return to Fratton marks 2 weeks the Blues need not travel as Wycombe also face the Blues next Saturday.
Tomorrow’s visitors hold the same record as Pompey so far. 2 wins, 2 draws and 1 loss leave the Red Devils behind Pompey only on goal difference.
A victory for either side could see a jump up to second in the league after six games, however such a climb is unlikely.
Vital Quotes: Look for Treble
Gaffer Cookie reckons a third Pompey win in a row would see us set off on the way to better things.
“It would kick-start our season in a big way.
“Going into the Colchester game, we were a little bit down and flat, but now we`ve had a couple of wins.
“The reality is that we`re starting to find our feet in terms of patterns of play and we`re working hard on that in training.
“We all just want to win – and nobody is really that bothered by what formation we play or who scores the goals.
“Our fans just want to come to Fratton Park on a Saturday and see us collect three points. It`s the job of me and the players to make sure that happens.
“But we need to be a bit cuter and cleverer and prepare for all eventualities because we can`t be sure how sides will line up against us.”
He’s right- Pompey do still need to improve and adapt better to the opposition- with a couple of bore draws already, some Pompey fans are fearful of the return of countless draws that hindered Pompey’s promotion push last season.
A year ago, the Pompey side was clearly breadth of ideas in second haves where there was a stalemate or we were trailing 1 or 2 nil.
The addition of several attacking players and the release of deadweight are seemingly Cook’s solution before the problem resumes.
Pompey Team News:
Defensive trio Adam Buxton, Brandon Haunstrup and Jack Whatmough are out yet again with their respective ankle, collarbone and knee injuries.
New defensive acquisition, Reading loanee Dominic Hyam, is unavailable as he serves Scotland in U21 international duty.
Adam Barton went out the exit door in the week, joining Partick Thistle on a 3-year deal for an undisclosed fee.
David Forde is likely to return between the sticks for tomorrow’s game, after returning from the ROI Squad and no.2 Liam O’Brien conceded 4 on his debut against Yeovil in the week.
It will be interesting to see if Michael m
Player to watch: Milan Lalkovic
Pompey are set for a tough game tomorrow- Crawley have matched their record in the league so far, proving their match in calibre so far.
In addition, as Cookie and the fans know all to well, sides visiting Fratton more often than not stick 10 men behind the ball with one up front in the hope of grinding out a draw or knicking a 1-0 win.
Therefore, Pompey could well be in need of a talisman tomorrow- Milan Lalkovic could well be that man.
Fans only really grabbed a proper sight of Lalkovic in Pompey’s league opener against Carlisle. Since then, the winger has spent time on the bench as Kyle Bennett was favoured in the starting line up.
Yet tomorrow, should the game hit the hour mark and still be a stalemate, the introduction of Milan could change things with his dribbling skill and attack-only mind.
Or, even if he starts, he could prove the difference should the form that has alluded him so far change for the better.
Crawley Town Team News:
Jordan Roberts could feature for the visitors after recovering from a toe injury, but recent arrival Aliu Djalo is away with Guinea-Bissau
Player to watch: James Collins
2 goals and an assist so far, what else do you look for from a team you know very little about?
Match Facts & Stats
There have only been 4 meetings between Pompey and Crawley.
2 Pompey wins, notably a 0-3 a few years back ended a 23 game run without a win.
Last season’s Fratton fixture saw Pompey run out 3-0 winners.
3-1 victory for the Blues. Probably level at HT, but home advantage to play out and Pompey to make it 3 in a row.
Next Fixtures: Wycombe Home
Pompey welcome Wycombe Wanderers to Fratton next Saturday.
Wycombe are currently 5th bottom with 5 points from 5 games. 5!
PLAY UP POMPEY!