Accrington v Portsmouth - early team news ahead of battle at the Crown Ground

Pompey will have to reshuffle their defence for the trip to the Crown Ground.

Thursday, 12th December 2019, 7:00 pm

Christian Burgess will serve a one-match ban after picking up a fifth red card of the season against Peterborough last time out.

Meanwhile, Brandon Haunstrup requires surgery on his right knee and will be out for six to eight weeks.

Ross McCrorie is expected to retake the right-back role filled by Haunstrup during his recent absence with a hamstring injury.

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Who Kenny Jackett calls on to replace Burgess, though, is less clear.

Sean Raggett is the favourite, but Paul Downing also waits in the wings.

Jackett could also opt to use captain Tom Naylor there and draft in Anton Walkes to operate as the holding midfielder.

Accy boss John Coleman has the luxury of a fully-fit squad to choose from, although winger Sean McConville is a doubt for the visit of the Blues.

Pompey defender Paul Downing

He came off early during the hosts’ last league One outing – a 1-1 draw with Tranmere – because of a shoulder injury and could miss out.

However, Coleman isn’t ruling the Irishman out of his plans.

He said: ‘The prognosis is two-to-four weeks, he came back earlier from his injury earlier this season and I wouldn’t rule him out on Saturday.

‘I do have difficult decisions to make, it’s not only picking the team but it’s picking the subs as well.’