Comment: Zoltar fortells a Big finale for Pompey

With 10 games of the season remaining, The News have asked their three Pompey writers to look into their crystal balls and predict where Paul Cook's side will finish the campaign.

Tuesday, 15th March 2016, 1:52 pm
Updated Tuesday, 15th March 2016, 1:54 pm
Pompey boss Paul Cook Picture: Joe Pepler

First up is Jordan Cross, who believes the Blues will finish inside the top three.

Here’s how Jordan sees Pompey’s League Two run-in...

The coin has been dispensed and Zoltar has decreed the wish has been granted.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

From where we stand today, it looks like magic beyond the scale of transporting a child into Tom Hanks’ adult frame.

If you thought Big was far-fetched, the ’80s classic movie has nothing on Pompey winning the final seven games of the season and going up automatically on goal difference.

But that, amazingly, is what the star & crescent crystal ball fortells.

Strange things are afoot at Lakeside Towers, as the sport desk becomes a fortune teller’s tent and we peer into what happens over the season’s finale.

But not as odd as the calculations (okay, there’s no crystal ball) which deliver a surprising and dramatic outcome to the campaign.

The statistics tells us 81 points is the average needed to deliver automatic promotion over the past 20 years in League Two.

That’s on a spread from 78 points (Port Vale 2012-13 and Wycombe 2008-09) and 85 points (Bury 2014-15 and Swindon 2006-07).

What is increasingly apparent, is it’s going to take a return at the fat end of that total to do it this time.

Northampton are going to be champions. It’s a given.

Between the chasing pack – Oxford, Plymouth, Bristol Rovers, Accrington and Pompey – there is very little.

The teams showing consistency over the finale will be the team’s to succeed. And therein lies the problem.

You are looking for Paul Cook’s side to deliver the flying run of form which has, so far, eluded them.

It’s a leap of faith to suggest they can do it but, looking at the games left, not beyond them.

Pompey will need to jump above three teams in the table to achieve their dreams – and there’s little room for manoeuvrability.

But Oxford’s home form is a factor in their favour (one win in eight) and Plymouth’s shaky run (one win in six) another.

It’s Bristol Rovers who, perhaps surprisingly to some, are shaping up in most fanciable fashion.

Darrell Clarke’s side are unbeaten at home since November, on a four-game winning streak with a comfortable run-in to come.

But, and I’ve surprised myself by saying it, Pompey can still do it. Five wins and two draws delivered survival two years ago. Cook’s men can supersede that form to deliver nail-biting promotion.

Pompey remaining fixtures and Jordan’s predictions

Mansfield (A) D

Notts County (H) W

AFC Wimbledon (A) L

Carlisle (H) W

Dag & Red (A) W

Plymouth (H) W

York (A) W

Wycombe (H) W

Hartlepool (A) W

Northampton (H) W

Total 84 points