Verdict: It’s crucial Portsmouth finish third and avoid Sunderland and Charlton for a bit longer
Pompey must finish third in League One and avoid a play-off semi-final against Sunderland or Charlton.
That’s the verdict from The News’ chief sports writer Neil Allen, speaking in the latest edition of Pompey Talk.
Kenny Jackett’s side’s automatic promotion hopes were ended following a 3-2 loss against Peterborough on Tuesday.
The Blues sit four points behind leaders Luton and second-placed Barnsley with one game remaining.
It means Pompey must triumph in the play-offs if they’re to clinch the final Championship berth up for grabs.
Jackett’s men currently sit third in the table – two points ahead of Sunderland and Charlton – and play Accrington on the final day of the season on Saturday.
Should Pompey defeat Stanley, they’ll meet either Doncaster or Peterborough in the semi-finals, with the second leg taking place at Fratton Park.
Allen would still be confident the Blues can defeat the Posh despite their recent loss.
And he feels it would be key to stay away from the Black Cats and the Addicks until the final at Wembley.
Allen said: ‘Some people think nothing matters in the Accrington game – well it does.
‘Pompey need to win to get that third spot and to keep the confidence and momentum going into the play-offs.
‘It’s a big game again. Pompey want to finish third, which will keep them away from Sunderland or a bit longer – and Charlton.
‘They’ll then play either Peterborough and Doncaster and I’d still fancy Pompey to beat Peterborough again.
‘They were no great shakes last night.
‘There were some good performances form their players, particularly Toney up front, but Pompey can have their beating – providing they sort themselves out at the back.’
Watch the rest of Pompey Talk on the video above.