Portsmouth head into New Year on high as decimated League One schedule sidelines rivals Peterborough, Sunderland, Ipswich and Hull

Pompey will head into 2021 sitting second in League One.

Tuesday, 29th December 2020, 11:10 am
Pompey head into 2021 in second place after tonight's League One fixture list was devastated by coronavirus. Picture: Graham Hunt/ProSportsImages/PinP

Although their position has been assured through the division’s top 11 clubs all sidelined by coronavirus.

Tonight was scheduled to be a full League One fixture list – but just five matches have survived.

Pompey are among the seven postponements, which once again emphasises how the division has been hardest hit by coronavirus.

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Including Boxing Day, League One has had 13 of its 24 matches called off.

In contrast, over the same period, the Premier League and other two Football League divisions have totalled two.

Remarkably, tonight’s cancellations consist of the top 11 in Pompey’s division, thereby leaving their placing of second unaffected heading into the New Year.

Blackpool are the highest-ranked side in action, with the 12th-placed club travelling to Shrewsbury.

Of the teams occupying the bottom 13 spots, only AFC Wimbledon, Rochdale and Bristol Rovers will not participate.

At least Kenny Jackett’s men are expecting to fulfil their January 2 trip to Accrington, with the squad having yesterday returned to the training ground.

However, that did not initially include those players still self-isolating, with five having tested positive for coronavirus.

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For that same round of fixtures – the first weekend of 2021 – Doncaster’s encounter with Peterborough has already been called off.

Rovers yesterday cancelled their next three outings, which also includes Oxford United (January 5).

Also Rochdale’s clash with MK Dons will not take place on January 2, having postponed two forthcoming games.

Other divisions have been substantially less hit, with Morecambe suspending their next two League Two fixtures.

Currently they represent the sole casualty in the bottom division, although Leyton Orient boss Ross Embleton did self-isolate on Boxing Day.

Meanwhile, Manchester City’s game with Everton on Monday evening was called off following a coronavirus outbreak.

City reported several new cases – days after Kyle Walker, Gabriel Jesus and two staff members had initially been identified as having the disease.

As a consequence, their match at Goodison Park was cancelled four hours before kick-off.

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