Portsmouth must make play-off history to reach the Championship


Six play-off semi-finals ending in three draws and three defeats have seen Pompey miss out on promotion in three separate seasons, with two of those heart-breaking outcomes occurring in the previous four campaigns.

Their most recent play-off disappointment came last season at the hands of Sunderland, where the Blues failed to score in 180 minutes of football.

With this season cut short due to Coronavirus, weighted PPG (points per game) was chosen by the EFL as the best solution to decide promotion, playoff and relegation places.

This meant it would be Oxford United to stand in the way of Portsmouth, who will be even more motivated to rewrite history and get the club back into the second tier of English football for the first time since 2012.

Pompey and the U’s couldn’t be separated the both times they met earlier this season, with the two meetings ending all square. Although, Kenny Jackett’s side did clinch victory in the Checkatrade trophy match that went all the way to penalties.

It’s very much an even playing field heading into this one, where no form can be taken into account.

Pompey boss Kenny Jackett will be hoping striker John Marquis can pick up where he left off. The 28-year-old has netted nine times his last 17 appearances (league and cup) averaging a goal every 130 minutes during that period.

Marquis, who managed just five goals in the first half of the season looks to have found his goal-scoring feet at the right time. And he still believes that he’s got a lot more to offer in this charge for promotion:

“My aim when I signed for Portsmouth was to get promoted and if I can do that in my first season it would be fantastic.

“I know I have a lot more to give personally in terms of performances and goals. There’s still a lot more to come from me. The fans have not seen the best of me on a consistent basis.

“It could have gone better this season, but it could have gone a lot worse. It’s been steady with lots of room for improvement. So I’m hoping to put in better performances and get the goals in the play-offs that will hopefully send us up.”

The two matches will be played behind closed doors, with the first at Fratton Park on Friday. My Prost colleague Jacob Tanswell will be at the game, providing all the team news, updates and comments from the managers post-match. Follow him on Twitter at @J_Tanswell.


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