Promotion watch: What’s a stake tonight for Pompey?

Will Pompey be celebrating come the end of play tonight? Picture: Joe Pepler
Will Pompey be celebrating come the end of play tonight? Picture: Joe Pepler
Scunthorpe boss Graham Alexander

Alexander: Iron expecting tough game against Pompey

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There’s potential for yet more twists in Pompey’s bid for League Two promotion tonight.

With a full programme of fixtures scheduled, come the end of play the Blues’ hopes of automatic promotion could be back in their own hands.

That will depend, of course, in whether Paul Cook’s side, who sit sixth in the table, can see off a Blackpool outfit who are unbeaten in five games.

But if league leaders Doncaster Rovers can pick up their first win in three and beat third-placed Carlisle - who lost 4-1 on home soil against the Tangerines at the weekend - then Pompey’s immediate future will look far more promising than it did going into Saturday’s game with Accrington.

A draw between two of the division’s top three will also ensure the Blues have a massive say in their own destiny.

But with Luton, who currently sit fourth - albeit having played an extra game more than Pompey – due to play out-of-sorts Hartlepool at home tonight, the competition to get into the automatic promotion places will be as intense as ever.

A win for the Hatters could potentially see them move into third, depending on the result of the Carlisle v Doncaster game.

On the flip side, the Blues, inconceivably, could find themselves outside the play-off positions if they suffer defeat against Blackpool.

Seven-placed Mansfield have the potential to leapfrog the Fratton Park side if they overcome Accrington at the One Call Stadium.

And if Wycombe also claim victory at Crewe, then the Blues could find themselves in eighth place in the table come the end of play tonight.

That could be addressed if Pompey win their game in hand - against Crawley next month.

But tonight’s games highlight just what’s at stake in the grand scheme of things and the importance of a home win at Fratton Park under the lights.

A draw will see Cook & Co remain in the play-off places, regardless of what happens elsewhere, but could see them move up to fourth.

Also worth looking out for in the race for promotion is second-placed Plymouth’s home game against a Leyton Orient side who have suffered six defeats in their past eight games.

You’d expect Derek Adams’ side to put further pressure on Doncaster with that kind of statistic in mind.

Meanwhile, Exeter, who sit fifth – directly above Pompey on goal difference - face a tricky trip to Notts County who are in a battle to retain their Football League status.

Colchester, who will also have ambitions of getting into the play-offs, face Crawley.

Stevenage could also impose themselves into the reckoning with a home win against Cheltenham.

Tonight’s other fixtures see rock-bottom Newport play host to Grimsby, Yeovil and Cambridge go head-to-head at Huish Park, while Morecambe entertain Barnet.

Click here to see the current League Two table and see our Pompey Stats Centre ahead of tonight’s game.