Off The Line Preview: Pompey v Sunderland

Fan Hub partner Off The Line previews Pompey’s clash with top of the table Sunderland.

You can read their full Sky Bet League One weekend preview here.

It feels like the pressure is on Danny Cowley for the first time in his managerial career even when he was at Huddersfield, I never thought it was this bad. Portsmouth sit on 12 points but that’s thanks to their early season form since then they have gone seven games without a win.

They may have only played two of those at home but I feel like they have to start well on Saturday afternoon or the fans will get on their back which never goes well for the team and inevitably the manager.

I think Reeco Hackett-Fairchild may be due a start after coming off the bench on Tuesday night and impressing many. The error’s Portsmouth made playing out from the back is my worry with Burton picking them off so easily, I’d expect Sunderland to do the same.

Sunderland battered a hapless Cheltenham in mid-week 5-0 and it could have quite easily been by more goals. It propelled Sunderland to the top of the league and they have only lost one game so far all season which was away at Burton.

The black cats are unbeaten in six league games, and I have been impressed by Ross Stewart stepping up and proving he is more than capable of being the man that replaces Charlie Wyke. Aidan McGeady has also continued his impressive form which saw him get so many assists last season while Everton loanee Nathan Broadhead came in on Saturday and was very impressive in the place of Lyndon Gooch.

My one worry for Sunderland is their lack of games played away from home, they’ve only played three, won one, drew one, lost one and if they’re to finish in the top six they will need to pick up more results than that on the road.

Prediction: Portsmouth 0-2 Sunderland

Sunderland will prevail 2-0 thanks to a brace from Ross Stewart heaping more pressure on the Cowley’s.

One to Watch: Ross Stewart – Sunderland striker

Ross Stewart has scored seven goals in nine games and is proving to be a key striker for The Mackems. His goals will be pivotal to a promotion push if he can keep finding the net and the pressure is on the Scottish man Leon Dajaku coming off the bench in mid-week to score.

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