Remember to put your clocks forward by one hour in the UK.
Pompey go into today`s super Sunday game with Oxford United on Sky Sports Main Event knowing a win would put them just two points away from a play-off spot.
This, although unlikely, target is due to a favourable set of results yesterday. Plymouth lost 2-0 at Charlton their first away defeat since they lost at Fratton Park, Peterborough could only take a point from the visit of Bristol Rovers and Bradford won their first game in eleven games beating the Gills 1-0. This all meant that Pompey dropped to tenth but a win would raise them to level with Charlton in eighth.
Kenny Jackett`s team boosted by their fine win at Oldham have Nathan Thompson back from suspension and Gareth Evans is fit after four games out with a hamstring injury. This gives the boss a nice problem as to how to fit them into the starting line up and it will certainly give him a much stronger bench to juggle with should the need arise. Interestingly he made no changes during the entire game last week.
Oxford with Karl Robinson in charge for the first time have a number of fringe players on international duty but should have two familiar faces in their starting eleven in Simon Eastwood and Wes Thomas.
Interesting stat – Pompey have drawn just five on their last fifty league games!
Interesting stat #2 – Pompey have only played two sides in their history starting with O and they now play them back to back!
This afternoon – Oxford (H)
Meetings with Oxford stretch back just fifty years when the Us reached the second tier in 1968. At that time they had a certain Ron Atkinson as a key member of their side.
The first meeting at Fratton Park was in October 1968 and Pompey won 3-0 with Ray Pointer and two from sub Mike Trebilcock in front of a crowd just short of 20,000.
Today`s game will be the 28th league meeting on the South coast and Pompey have won fifteen of the previous games however they have not won in the past four. The last win was back in 1997 when John Aloisi and Matt Svensson netted in a 2-1 triumph.
The most famous meeting was in 1984 when Alan Biley scored twice in injury time as Pompey came back from a goal down to seal an important three points as both sides pushed for promotion. The added time came about of course after Santa invaded the pitch.
Next Saturday – it is Saturday with all other League One sides playing on Thursday evening or Good Friday afternoon – Pompey head to Walsall for a game that also was first played in the 1960s. The initial meting in 1962 saw Pompey win 5-3 at Fellows Park with Dave Dodson(2), Tony Barton, Johnny Gordon and Ron Saunders scoring. Pompey went on to win the Third Division title.
The last Pompey win was in the Championship winning side of 2003 when Toddy and Kevin Harper scored in a 2-1 victory. The only other win at Walsall was early in the 1982/83 when Pompey won 3-0 thanks to Mick Tait Billy Rafferty and Alan Biley in front of just 2,922.