Another game, and another look at our opposition from the eyes of one of their own fans, so it is many thanks to Hugh Bunce a Pompey fan for his contribution this week as we go head-to-head with Portsmouth in this hugely important League 1 clash.
We are at the halfway stage of the season, has it gone about how you expected for your team so far, has it been better, or turned out to be a bit of a car crash season?
It was a turbulent start to the season for Pompey under new management duo Danny and Nicky Cowley. It was a mammoth task gelling a squad containing 15 new players alongside revolutionising the team playing style.
The blues have now found their feet in a 3-4-2-1 system. Unbeaten in the league for the last 10-games, Pompey are leading the league with 12 clean sheets in 23-games. Challenging for the play-offs was my expectation at the start of the season which is exactly what Pompey are doing in 8th position. I expect it to take at least three transfer windows to turn this side into an automatic promotion contender. However, the team is trending in the right direction and a couple of key additions in January could secure Pompey a play-off spot.
As fans we are never 100% happy about our club, is there something about your club that annoys you?
Under the ownership of Michael Eisner, the fans were promised an emphasis on developing young players. That was in 2017 and currently still have Category Three Academy and no U23 team. To put that into perspective, teams like Colchester have a Category Two Academy. Pompey needs to improve to a Category Two Academy with a U23 team to have any hope of competing with the likes of Brighton and Southampton.
All fans love an away day; can you tell us which ground you have enjoyed visiting the most and why, on the flip side which ground turned out to be a real disappointment?
Sunderland away is always good fun, especially when staying in Newcastle for a night out with friends.
Gillingham has got to be the worst away day, especially over winter. Freezing to death next to the Medway in a temporary stand with no roof is not fun. Add in the difficulty of making noise without a roof and not much to do in the surrounding area makes it one to avoid for away fans.
Every team has their bogey club they just cannot seem to beat, who do you think yours is?
It must be Accrington Stanley! In the last 6-games, Pompey has lost two and drawn four. This includes a 1-0 loss on the last day of the season in 2019 which ended any hope of automatic promotion. Pompey would go on to lose in the first round of the play-offs to Sunderland.
Which player for your club is likely to be the biggest factor in the success or failure of the result after 90 minutes?
Marcus Harness has been outstanding for Pompey this season with ten goals from central attacking midfield. The dynamic attacking midfielder has quick feet, good vision and has added elite finishing make him a true force in this league.
Is there any MK Dons player you feel could spoil your day?
The obvious option here is Scott Twine who Pompey reportedly looked to sign this summer. Wages were the barrier to Twine joining Pompey and MK Dons swooped in, paid him the big bucks and have been rewarded with 11-goals and 8-assists in the League. I am also a big fan of Matt O’Riley who is going to give Wales International Joe Morrell a run for his money on Saturday. With Swansea lurking are either player going to be on the team come Saturday?
We know it’s early still, but do you have any nailed-on selections for promotion and relegation?
It is very early still but Rotherham has been a class above the rest this season. Then again, I predicted MK Dons to win the league at the start of the season so what do I know?
Pompey has only conceded one goal in the last seven games in League One. Two of the last three games have ended 0-0 with the opposition having a man sent off. That points towards a low scoring game. However, Pompey has struggled to score when teams play compact, defensive football. I am going with a 1-1 draw with goals from Scott Twine and Marcus Harness.