Portsmouth start season at Shrewsbury as Blues get their wish - but another Sunderland trip looms

For the first time in five seasons, Fratton Park will not host the opening game of Pompey's campaign. Picture: Joe Pepler
For the first time in five seasons, Fratton Park will not host the opening game of Pompey's campaign. Picture: Joe Pepler
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For the first time in five seasons, Pompey’s 2019-20 campaign will kick off away from Fratton Park.

The Football League fixture list has handed Kenny Jackett’s side a trip to Shrewsbury for League One’s curtain raiser on Saturday, August 3.

That will please the Blues, who had requested an away match on the first day to allow pitch and ground improvements more time for completion.

Regardless, Pompey were due a change of fortune, having previously been awarded Fratton Park matches on the opening day on four-successive occasions.

The Blues’ home campaign starts against newly-promoted Tranmere on Saturday, August 10.

However, there is the ominous sight of a trip to Sunderland (August 17) for the third match of the league season.

For Pompey fans, it represents a third gruelling trip to the Stadium of Light in three-and-a-half months.

Overall, it provides a fifth encounter with Jack Ross’ side in the Blues’ past 14 matches in all competitions.

That period includes the Carabao Cup, with the opposition to be drawn this evening (7pm).

However, there is no chance of the teams meeting in that format, with both occupying different sections.

Still, three of Pompey’s opening five League One fixtures will be at Fratton Park, with Coventry (August 20) and Rotherham (August 24) joining Tranmere as visitors.

Elsewhere, a rare trip to Sincil Bank is booked in for Tuesday, January 28 against League One newcomers Lincoln.

The build-up to Christmas sees successive home games against Ipswich (December 21) and Wycombe (Boxing Day), while New Year’s Day is a visit to Gillingham.

Good Friday dictates the Blues travel to Rotherham (April 10), with Blackpool visiting on the Bank Holiday Monday (April 13).

Pompey’s final home game is against newly-promoted Bury (April 25), while the league season finishes with a visit to Burton (May 3).

Finally, remaining notable fixtures include visits to Bolton (January 18) and Ipswich (March 21), following their relegation from the Championship.

2019-20 LEAGUE ONE FIXTURES

AUGUST

Sat 3 Shrewsbury Town (A)

Sat 10 Tranmere Rovers (H)

Sat 17 Sunderland (A)

Tue 20 Coventry City (H)

Sat 24 Rotherham United (H)

Sat 31 Blackpool (A)

SEPTEMBER

Sat 7 Southend United (H)

Sat 14 Bury (A)

Tue 17 Burton Albion (H)

Sat 21 Wycombe Wanderers (A)

Sat 28 Bolton Wanderers (H)

OCTOBER

Sat 5 Doncaster Rovers (A)

Sat 12 Gillingham (H)

Sat 19 AFC Wimbledon (A)

Tue 22 Lincoln City (H)

Sat 26 Bristol Rovers (A)

NOVEMBER

Sat 2 Oxford United (H)

Sat 16 Fleetwood Town (H)

Sat 23 Rochdale (A)

DECEMBER

Sat 7 Peterborough United (H)

Sat 14 Accrington Stanley (A)

Sat 21 Ipswich Town (H)

Thu 26 Wycombe Wanderers (H)

Sun 29 MK Dons (A)

JANUARY

Wed 1 Gillingham (A)

Sat 4 Doncaster Rovers (H)

Sat 11 AFC Wimbledon (H)

Sat 18 Bolton Wanderers (A)

Sat 25 MK Dons (H)

Tue 28 Lincoln City (A)

FEBRUARY

Sat 1 Sunderland (H)

Sat 8 Tranmere Rovers (A)

Tue 11 Coventry City (A)

Sat 15 Shrewsbury Town (H)

Sat 22 Fleetwood Town (A)

Sat 29 Rochdale (H)

MARCH

Sat 7 Peterborough United (A)

Sat 14 Accrington Stanley (H)

Sat 21 Ipswich Town (A)

Sat 28 Oxford United (A)

APRIL

Sat 4 Bristol Rovers (H)

Fri 10 Rotherham United (A)

Mon 13 Blackpool (H)

Sat 18 Southend United (A)

Sat 25 Bury (H)

MAY

Sun May 3 Burton Albion (A)