Pompey are on the road for the first time since their undefeated streak ended against Derby, and have been in freefall since, mustering just 1 point from the last 9. Only goal difference keeps Pompey ahead of Barnsley in the table, so the hosts will be looking to leapfrog the blues after impressive away victories against Ipswich and Preston.
With only 5 points separating 9th from 19th, Portsmouth can climb or drop significantly depending on their result at Oakwell. Games like this that can determine whether Pompey will be in a play-off push, a relegation scrap or a mid-table mediocrity position come May. With only 7 games left in this calendar year, it’s important that we keep a favourable position when the table takes a more distinctive shape.
Barnsley Team News:
Mark Robins will be looking to stick with the same side that beat Ipswich a week ago, with no added injuries or suspensions.
Player to watch: O’Connor
The on-loan Birmingham player has scored in both his games since returning to Burnley for the second time since the start of the season.
Pompey Team News:
Greg Halford’s paperwork all went through in time to continue his impressive loan spell here, and should slot back into the right-back slot, with Lawrence returning from his 1 match suspension. Dickinson will vacate the left-back slot after his straight red against Donny, and whether Hermann will be fit enough to play there for 90 minutes is yet to be seen. Rocha is expected to return to the starting line-up after his solid second half performance against Doncaster, and Nugent lasted 90 minutes after his return in the last game, so should keep his place.
Player to watch: Lawrence
After harshly missing the Doncaster game he will be fired up and looking to atone for the referee’s mistake. A 45 minute appearance against Norway on Wednesday shouldn’t affect his fitness too badly, as he looks to increase his tally of 7 for the season.
Match Facts & Stats
The last meeting between these two sides was the 4-4 thriller at Fratton Park in February 2002. Prior to that, Pompey had won 3 and Barnsley just the 1 since the turn of the millennium. Going into this game, Barnsley have won 4 and drew 1 of their last 7 games in the Championship, and Portsmouth have only kept 1 clean sheet in their last 13.
Does it matter? They’re all awful.
Think Pompey can turn another corner in this winding season, make your prediction here.
A trip abroad to face Swansea next Friday evening.
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