Preview: Plymouth vs Portsmouth
By William Maxwell
Plymouth Argyle will look to pull further away at the top of the League 2 table against 4th placed Portsmouth, in a repeat of last year’s play-off semi-final.
The Devon outfit are currently five points clear over second-placed Doncaster Rovers and are unbeaten in their last 10 games in the league, winning nine and drawing one against Hartlepool United.
Former Pompey players Jake Jervis and Sonny Bradley are both likely to feature for the hosts at Home Park, who have Oscar Threlkeld and Ryan Brunt side-lined with knee injuries. Portsmouth still have veteran striker Noel Hunt out with a groin injury sustained in a reserve match.
Pompey will therefore be looking to influential striker Gary Roberts to add to his tally of six goals and three assists to win this tantalising tie, dubbed ‘The Battle of the Ports’.
The Hampshire-based side picked up a deserved 0-1 victory at Leyton Orient last week but may struggle to get all three points against the side who won 3-2 on aggregate in last year’s play-off.
Manager Paul Cook told BBC Sport that the “wounds have not completely healed” from his side’s crushing loss at Home Park, with Argyle’s Peter Hartley heading a 91st minute winner. This ruined Pompey’s chances a first Wembley appearance since losing the 2010 FA Cup final to Chelsea.
Despite this, Pompey have the bragging rights overall in this contest, winning 26 out of 60 meetings, with The Pilgrims just below on 24 and 10 draws.