The promotion permutations of crucial Portsmouth encounter with Fleetwood

Pompey could find themselves joint-second in League One tomorrow night – or outside the top six.

Monday, 9th March 2020, 12:00 pm
Updated Monday, 9th March 2020, 7:19 pm

Such is the congestion during the ongoing race for promotion as the campaign enters into its final 10 fixtures.

The Fratton Park visit of Fleetwood represents a rearranged match, originally scheduled to have taken place in December yet postponed through international call-ups.

It serves as a game in hand for both clubs, bringing them level on fixtures with four of the five rivals presently situated above them in the table.

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John Marquis will be hoping to help Pompey return to winning ways against Fleetwood following Saturday's 2-0 defeat at Peterborough. Picture: Simon Davies/ProSportsImages

Pompey share the same points as Joey Barton’s side (59), yet possess a goal difference of four goals better off.

That ensures the Blues are presently sixth, with tomorrow evening’s visitors a place below.

A triumph for Kenny Jackett’s side would put them level on points with second-placed Rotherham, having played the same amount of games.

However, the Millers boast a plus 23 goal difference, compared to Pompey’s (17) and would remain ahead.

Should Fleetwood inflict a maiden Fratton Park league defeat on the Blues this season, they would instead be the club to draw level with Rotherham.

In turn, that would nudge the hosts into seventh, one place outside the play-off positions, albeit still above Wycombe on goal difference.

Should the spoils be shared at Fratton Park, Pompey would move into fourth spot – and Fleetwood fifth.

There does remain another permutation, however, with rivals Sunderland also among the four fixtures taking place in League One tomorrow night.

The Black Cats travel to Bristol Rovers, who notably lost 3-1 to relegation-bound Southend at the weekend.

Rovers are presently 15th, with just six home league wins all season.

Sunderland are one of five clubs on 59 points, along with Pompey, Fleetwood, Peterborough and Wycombe.

If the fifth-placed club match Pompey’s result, Jackett’s men cannot overtake them during this current round of fixtures.

Incidentally, by fulfilling their fixture at the Memorial Stadium, Sunderland will have played a game more than the entire top nine.

Regardless, tomorrow evening is likely to see more jostling for positions in the League One promotion race.