Off The Line Preview: Pompey v MK Dons

Fan Hub partner Off The Line previews Pompey’s first home match of 2022 against MK Dons.

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

Play-off chasing pair Portsmouth and MK Dons will both be looking to strengthen their respective promotion pushes as they face off at Fratton Park.

Portsmouth come into this game off the back of two straight outings in the EFL Trophy, in which they progressed against Exeter City before going out at the hands of Cambridge United. They have not played in League One since 3rd January in which they also faced Mark Bonner’s side, and Danny Cowley will be looking for his side to get back to winning ways.

They sit six points outside the play-offs with six games and are on an unbeaten run in the league stretching back to 19th October against Ipswich Town, and sitting in such a strong position, they will be confident of their chances going forward.

The Blues will be without Ellis Harrison, who moved on to Fleetwood Town since their last league outing. Clark Robertson return against United, while Ryan Tunnicliffe also returned after an injury layoff, and so will both be pushing for league starts here.

They face an MK Dons side that will come into this game off the back of a win in the derby against AFC Wimbledon. Theo Corbeanu made a good first impression to Dons fans after his inclusion in a front three after sealing his move away from Sheffield Wednesday, while goalkeeper Franco Ravizzoli also impressed as he came in between the sticks after the departure of Andrew Fisher to Swansea City.

Liam Manning does have some selection dilemmas to contend with, principally in goal as Ravizzoli kept a clean sheet and did well, but they have welcomed Jamie Cumming in on loan this week after he cut short his loan with fellow League One side Gillingham, and could well be in line for a debut for the club here.

Prediction: Portsmouth 1-1 MK Dons
This is a game that I think manager Danny Cowley will look at and view as one in which they really need to get something from if they are to stay within a suitable distance from the play-offs, and I am backing them to get a share of the spoils at Fratton Park as a goal from Irish international Ronan Curtis is enough for them to secure a point after Twine has earlier given the visitors the lead.

One to Watch: Scott Twine – Any game that involves this man, he often stands out as the main attraction. The former Swindon Town man has been superb for MK Dons this term, with 11 goals and 8 assists so far, and against a Portsmouth side that will likely try and make it difficult for Dons to impose their usual game, his creative qualities will be key in breaking down the hosts.

Likely Lineups:
Portsmouth: (3-4-1-2) Bazunu; Raggett, Robertson, Ogilvie; Romeo, Morrell, Williams, Hackett-Fairchild; Harness; Curtis, Hirst
MK Dons: (3-4-3) Cumming; O’Hora, Darling, Lewington; Kioso, O’Riley, Robson, Harvie; Corbeanu, Eisa, Twine

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