Portsmouth tipped for play-off charge to join likes of Wigan Athletic and Oxford United at expense of Sheffield Wednesday, Plymouth Argyle, Ipswich Town and MK Dons
Pompey have been tipped to produce an explosive second half to the season and storm into the play-offs.
But the Blues have been told a significant January signing is required to truly convince they can power into the top six over the remainder of the season.
Danny Cowley’s men are six points off those spots at present, with two games in hand over Oxford United who occupy the final play-off berth.
And EFL expert, Ali Maxwell, from Not the Top 20 podcast sees Pompey as the side who can continue improving and extend their season ahead of the likes of Sheffield Wednesday, MK Dons, Plymouth Argyle and Ipswich Town.
Speaking on the podcast, Maxwell: ‘I’ve gone with Pompey (to finish sixth).
‘This was one where sitting down and thinking about this in depth helped and raised my expectations levels, and, dare I say it, my excitement levels for Pompey.
‘I don’t know what it is about their very impressive run that they’re on, but I might not have gone as big on them as I should have.
‘I think Portsmouth of all the teams we’re talking about (for the play-offs) and we’re leaving out (Plymouth) Argyle, MK Dons, Ipswich and Sheffield Wednesday.
‘I just believe in Portsmouth peaking at the right time here and the management duo of Daniel and Nicholas Cowley are a big part of that.
‘They are a coaching duo I trust in to continue to improve their team in and out of possession, as they like to say.
‘And their improvement in front of their own eyes over the past few weeks and months since the start of the season, when they didn’t look anything special, has been really impressive.’
Maxwell made it clear his conviction in the Cowleys is what makes Pompey stand apart from the other sides pushing for the play-offs at present.
But he sees a significant January addition as a vital cog in the wheel for a promotion bid via the end-of-season shootout.
Maxwell added: ‘I probably trust in the Cowleys a little more than I trust in Schuey at Argyle, Manning at MK Dons and certainly Darren Moore at Sheffield Wednesday.
‘I agree even two points from here for Ipswich gets them to 77 - and I’m not sure that would get them in, because it’s such a strong gang this year.
‘I like Pompey and I’m interested in if they are able to add another one gamechanger of a player.
‘It looks like Curtis is in good form at the moment, and Harness has been excellent.
‘I would want one more signing in January where I say “ooh, he improves their starting XI undeniably.
‘But, overall, Portsmouth I think they are a good thing.
‘I think they could be a bit under the radar and their performances on both ends of the pitch have been impressive recently and trending upwards.
‘I want to follow them all the way into the play-offs.’
Maxwell has tipped Rotherham and Sunderland to go up automatically with Wigan, Oxford, Wycombe and Pompey finishing in the play-offs.
A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron
Get 30 per cent off our sport subscription, which gives readers unlimited access to all our Pompey and grassroots coverage for just 9p a day, by using the promo code JanSports30. The deal expires at midnight on January 31.