An encounter that looks to be between two sides with very different fortunes so far.
However the reality is, this clash is between two sides with some poor form in recent weeks – Pompey are searching for their first win since October 17th.
Over the course of the passing month, they have gone on to win just 4 points from 5 games, losing 1 and drawing the rest. The only win of the last 5 weeks coming in the below par 2-1 FA Cup win vs Macclesfield.
The Minstermen have faired no better though, losing six straight matches and without a win since October 9th.
Yet arguably Pompey should have had more points than they have accumulated, putting in several impressive performances that were punished simply on grounds of failing to score.
Without a home win since September, fans have clearly become frustrated with their side for failing to win at Fratton.
To make matters worse it seems that lack of goalscoring form is slowly slipping into the away days too – the Blues failing to win their last two on the road.
But as I said, all hope is not lost because some performances have not been so unsatisfactory, rather just unfortunate. Take Saturday’s trip to Carlisle- Pompey played United off the park, but nothing less than a screamer restricted the Blues to just point.
Now arguably is the time to strike, and with some menace- this York side who have yet to see anything but defeat under new boss Jackie McNamara and sit just one point and one place above the relegation zone.
If you could ever hope for a struggling side to hammer and get your confidence up against, this will be the best opportunity Pompey will have this season.
Vital Quotes: It’s Time
Pompey skipper Michael Doyle is calling for his team mates to really show what they’ve got and prove to the Fratton Faithful that we can still win this league.
‘No matter how good you are, you are always going to have a spell over a course of the season where things don`t go your way. You are going to lose games, you are going to go on a run of winning games.
‘Unfortunately, we are going through a phase where we just seem to can`t get that result over the line, but we have got to do that tonight, it`s a very important game for us.
He’s not wrong- it is a very important game tonight, as 13/14,000 fans will be turning up expecting Pompey to improve on a very mediocre home record- just 12 points from a possible 27.
Pompey Team News:
Surprisingly, Mark McNulty is available for selection this evening, depite suffering a head injury that saw his sub appearance cut short to just 5 minutes on Saturday, in which he still managed a goal.
Yet still on the treatment table is attacking trio Matt Tubbs and Gary Roberts who are out with mirroring ankle injury.
Goalkeepers Paul Jones and Michael Poke remain out with their respective knee and shoulder injuries.
Alongside them remains Jack Whatmough, who is now just weeks away from returning to action after an 8 month long cruciate ligament injury.
Player to watch: Caolan Lavery
The Northern Irish striker has something to prove now.
A couple of goals away from home and some decent showings, it’s time for him to emulate that on the Fratton turf.
He needs to show the Faithful why they should be singing his name tonight, with some trying performances that have failed to turn catalytic possibly dropping his reputation.
Alongside Mark McNulty, I think he could strike up a good attacking partnership. With both scoring on Saturday, I think it’s likely we’ll see whether the loanees can click at home.
York City Team News:
York will also be without the injured quintet of Michael Coulson, Russell Penn, Luke Summerfield, Reece Thompson and Dave Winfield.
Player to watch: Vadaine Oliver
7 goals in 20 appearances- probably Pompey’s biggest opposing threat tonight.
Perhaps a little temperamental however, with 4 yellows and a red already for the striker this season- he certainly puts himself about.
Match Facts & Stats
Pompey haven’t beaten York since their first year in League Two, two years ago.
Also, both of last season’s fixtures ran out as draws, with the final day of the season being a 1-1 stalemate at Fratton.
Over the years, York boast the better record- winning 7, drawing 3 and losing 4 against Pompey.
Yet at Fratton, Pompey are just on top, winning 3 of the 7 fixtures, losing two to the Minstermen.
Well, it’s on a plate for Pompey to take this game and make it the one we’ve all been waiting for- a big win.
It’ll be nervy and frustrating at times no doubt, but I think it’s time we ran out very comfortable winners- 4-0 for me.
Next Fixtures: Wycombe Away
Pompey are back on the road again on Saturday, travelling to mid-table Wycombe, who they currently lead by 4 points in the table.