The numbers which prove Portsmouth are a League One force to be reckoned with ahead of likes of Charlton, Ipswich, Doncaster and Peterborough

Out of instability, defensive impregnability has grown.
Pompey have been showing defensive resilience with four clean sheets on the spinPompey have been showing defensive resilience with four clean sheets on the spin
Pompey have been showing defensive resilience with four clean sheets on the spin

And after Pompey’s latest shut out against Fleetwood Town the run without conceding a goal now spans four fixtures and 386 minutes.

The Blues’ position as League One’s most potent attacking outfit is well established.

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But they’re now close to matching that with the most resilient back line in the third tier as well.

It’s now 15 league goals conceded from 18 outings, as Pompey make good on Kenny Jackett’s well-worn mantra of ‘zeroes and ones’ being the rate at which successful sides ship strikes.

That’s after they went the previous nine games without keeping a clean sheet.

After their 1-1 draw at the Stadium of Light with AFC Wimbledon, it’s now one goal more than Sunderland who possess the best defensive record in the division.

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Like the division as a whole, it’s close between a number of sides pushing for promotion when it comes to the best records for conceding.

Pompey share second place behind the Black Cats with Michael Appleton’s Lincoln, while leaders Hull, Charlton and Fleetwood have all shipped 16 goals.It’s worth noting, however, that all of the teams with the exception of Joey Barton’s side have played fewer games than Pompey, underlining their achievement to date.

Despite drawing a blank at Fratton Park under the lights on Tuesday, Jackett’s side still stand alone as the most potent side in the division.

Their return of 30 goals is one more than a trio of their promotion rivals with Hull, Peterborough and Doncaster bagging 29 finishes to date.

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The quartet are ahead of the rest of the field with Fleetwood the next top scorers in the division back on 26 goals.

Unsurprisingly, with their impressive records at both ends of the pitch it’s Pompey who are in possession of the best goal difference in League One on 15.

It’s Hull who are second on that front with a record of plus 13, Doncaster third on 11 with Peterborough and Fleetwood next up on 10.

All of that could change at the KCOM Stadium on Friday with top spot in League One at Christmas up for grabs.

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But, equally, defeat could see Pompey tumble down the table, as they sit on 32 points with Peterborough, Lincoln and Ipswich with Doncaster and Charlton a further two points back.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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