Fixture pile-up looming for Portsmouth

Pompey's players must negotiate 12 matches in 43 days during a gruelling fixture schedule. Picture: Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com
Pompey's players must negotiate 12 matches in 43 days during a gruelling fixture schedule. Picture: Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com
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Pompey face a fixture pile-up as they pursue three routes towards silverware.

Kenny Jackett’s squad must negotiate a gruelling spell of 12 games in 43 days, kicking off from Saturday.

Starting from the return to League One action at Scunthorpe, the Blues are challenged with seven weekend matches and five midweek games before January 6.

It’s an exhaustive run which consists of 10 league encounters as well as ongoing progress in the FA Cup and Checkatrade Trophy.

Traditionally, the forthcoming Christmas period is oversubscribed for football matches, particularly in the Football League.

However, Pompey’s commitments have been increased, firstly with rearrangement of the Fratton Park visit of Charlton for Tuesday, December 11.

That was previously scheduled to take place last weekend (November 17) before postponed due to the Addicks’ international call-ups.

In addition, the Blues’ progress in the Checkatrade Trophy has earned them a place in the knock-out stages, where they have been drawn against Arsenal Under-21s.

That match will take place on Tuesday, December 4.

Elsewhere, those Football League clubs eliminated from the FA Cup at the first-round stage have a blank Saturday on December 1.

However, following victory at Maidenhead, Jackett’s men must visit Rochdale on Sunday, December 2, in a fixture to be televised abroad.

League One rivals Burton, Coventry and Wycombe have already been eliminated, with others facing replays.

Meanwhile, all clubs must contend with four league matches in 11 days, starting from December 22 and leading up to New Year’s Day.

Of Pompey’s 12 games in 43 days, they are evenly split between six at Fratton Park and six away.

Fixtures:

November 24 – Scunthorpe (A)

November 27 – Walsall (H)

December 2 – Rochdale (A)

December 4 – Arsenal Under-21s (H)

December 8 – Southend (H)

December 11 – Charlton (H)

December 15 – Barnsley (A)

December 22 – Sunderland (H)

December 26 – Gillingham (A)

December 29 – Fleetwood (A)

January 1 – AFC Wimbledon (H)

January 5 – Luton (A)