Preview: Pompey v Barnsley

Danny Owen Off The Line Blog previews Pompey’s PO4 clash with Barnsley.

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

John Mousinho’s new manager bounce bubble soon burst last weekend with a 2-1 defeat away at Peterborough.

Mousinho had originally managed two successive 2-0 wins for Pompey, but his side were undone by a Jonson Clarke-Harris first half brace last weekend.

Pompey added to their squad this weekend bringing in defender Di’Shon Bernard on loan from Manchester United as well as promising attacker Paddy Lane who signed permanently from Fleetwood late on deadline day.

Lane has proved to be an exciting player at this level in recent seasons scoring five goals and supplying eight assists last season.

Mousinho has appeared to play with a 4-3-3 formation to start his career in management but with his new additions I wonder if the former Oxford man is toying with the idea of going towards a back three to help get the best out of Lane and also allow Dane Scarlett to go back up top alongside Colby Bishop.

Barnsley were victorious in midweek 2-1 away at Oxford thanks to goals from Bobby Thomas and Nicky Cadden. After Elliott Moore pulled a goal back for the hosts, the Tykes had to survive an onslaught but managed to keep their rear guard up to take all three points home.

Michael Duff’s men sit in the sixth and final play off spot but will feel the pressure of Peterborough who have started strongly under Darren Ferguson and Wycombe led by the experienced Gareth Ainsworth breathing down their necks waiting for them to slip up.

If Barnsley are to finish in the play off places they will need more from their strikers with Devante Cole their top goalscorer on seven goals while James Norwood is closely behind him with six league goals.

January signing Max Watters is still yet to find the back of the net since arriving last month and the sooner Duff finds a way to get his strikers scoring the better for Barnsley’s top six aspirations.

Key Player – Marlon Pack
Portsmouth midfielder Marlon Pack got a goal and an assist in Mousinho’s first game in charge. The midfielder is an experienced head and will help drive Mousinho’s men on this weekend to three points.

Prediction – Portsmouth 2-0 Barnsley
Portsmouth seem to have turned over a new leaf since John Mourinho came in. In front of a newly optimistic but still slightly apprehensive home crowd; I expect Pompey to cruise to victory with Barnsley struggling to hit the mark in front of goal.

Photo: Below 2020 Media

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