Must Win Against Bury
Portsmouth must win on Saturday against Bury to keep their fading dreams of a play-off place alive.
We break down the statistics to analyse who will come out on top in Saturday’s crucial fixture.
Pompey could receive a boost ahead of the fixture as Nathan Thompson has been given the go ahead. However, Jack Whatmough has pulled his groin and will be out for the rest of the season. Christian Burgess is expected to replace Whatmough in the heart of the defence.
Anton Walkes remains sidelined with a groin injury.
A historic view of Bury vs Portsmouth
Pompey have won only one of the last five games at Gigg Lane. The last time Pompey won at Gigg Lane was back in November 1997, thanks to goals from John Durnin and John Aloisi.
However, at Fratton Park this season, a header from Matt Clarke claimed three points for Bury. Portsmouth have more than double Bury’s points this season. The home side have seventeen and have already been relegated from League One, while Portsmouth are on thirty-five points.
Last ten games – Bury Home vs Portsmouth Away
There are an element of Pompey fans, who are unhappy with the team’s performance this season. Can we all take a moment to notice the table above and recognise what it’s been like this season to support Bury?
In the last ten games at home, Bury have not kept one clean sheet. Combine that with an average one goal per game and only scoring first twice, it is clear why Bury find themselves bottom of League One.
Last six games – Bury Home vs Portsmouth Away
In the last six games, Pompey have failed to cement a position in the play-offs. Much to the fans frustrations, the play-off hunt is not over just yet. Portsmouth are winless in four away from Fratton Park while Bury are winless in five at Gigg Lane.
Bury are the perfect opposition for Pompey to break the winless streak and take their play-off push to the last game of the season. Nothing to play for, bottom of the table Bury are lacking quality all over the pitch.
How can Pompey win this fixture?
The simplest way to beat Bury is to score first. Since Bury only average a goal a game and struggle to keep clean sheets, an early goal could open the floodgates.
You guessed it. Pitman will probably have to step up if Pompey are to extend their season on Saturday. However, Pitman has scored three in the last three games, which Pompey still lost. Pompey need their other stars to step up. One man springs to mind, Jamal Lowe.
Players to Watch
If there is one player aside Pitman that can score a crucial goal, it is Lowe.
Lowe can create chances when others in the team are struggling. Whether he is smashing it in the back of the net or squaring it to Pitman for a tap-in, Lowe can make the difference.
How different would this game preview look if Lowe’s last-minute chance against Plymouth went in? We all saw what Lowe can do at Fratton Park against Wigan. Can he step up away from home?
An integral part of Pompey fans favourite manager Paul Cook’s Chesterfield, O’Shea has scored in the last two games.
His equaliser away at Doncaster and Shrewsbury show that Bury may be bad, but do not underestimate them.
O’Shea is an attacking midfielder who gets in good positions allowing him to score.
Main photo: Andrew Hurdle