What Portsmouth need to improve on from last season to achieve promotionÂ
Pompey travel to Peterborough on Saturday whereÂ the top two sides in League One will do battle.Â
A competitive clashÂ is expected, representingÂ the first real acid test for the Blues this campaign.
Kenny Jackett's side have yet to meet a side genuinely fancied for promotion to date this term.
And although it's still early days, the game could well have ramifications on where both teamsÂ finish in the table come May.
Leaders Posh have made a blistering start to the campaign,Â securingÂ six victories and a draw from their opening seven matches.
And it's such heightsÂ which will give Steve Evans' troops confidenceÂ they can continue such levels of formÂ for the remainder of the season.
Meanwhile, automatic promotion will be a realistic aim for many in the Fratton Park camp after the Blues' start.
Five wins and two draws sees them second in League One '“Â two points adrift of the Posh '“ and also with anÂ unbeaten record.
But to achieve their ambition, Jackett's troops will have to significantly improve one factorÂ that let them down last season '“Â their form against top-six opposition.
The Blues came within two places and five points of reaching the play-offs in the 2017-18 campaign.
And how they performed against their promotion rivals was a significant factor behind them missing out on a top-six berth.
From a possible 36 points against the sides that finished in the play-offs or above, Pompey picked up just eight.
From the 12 matches, Jackett's men won two, drewÂ two and lost eight '“Â a success rate of a disappointingÂ 16.66 per cent.
Ironically, it was champions Wigan who the Blues performed best against.
The fact Paul Cook left PO4Â for the Latics just weeks after the League Two title triumphÂ may have been a factor '“ especially in the 2-1 victory at Fratton Park.
And, in truth, the Blues should have returned from the DW Stadium empty-handed.
The visitors were indebted to a string of top-drawer saves from Luke McGee and a Conor Chaplin header to earn a 1-1 draw.
Pompey's only other win against a play-off side was at Charlton, with Josh Magennis' own goal proving decisive at The Valley.
The only other point the BluesÂ earned last term against a top-six outfit was a 1-1 home draw with Scunthorpe.
Apart from that, they came up short on every other occasion.
There were timesÂ when PompeyÂ could have counted themselves unlucky not to get anything from certain games.
Jackett's rearguard performed admirably at Rotherham, before conceding a 91st-minute Joe Mattock goal to suffer a 1-0 defeat.
Meanwhile, the BluesÂ could haveÂ been awarded a penalty in the 1-0 loss to Shrewsbury at Fratton Park.
Brett Pitman also hit the bar in the game.
But there were plenty of matches when PompeyÂ deserved nothing against those sides that eventually finished above them in the table.
The 3-0 loss at Blackburn, the 2-0 defeat at Scunthorpe and a 1-0 reverse at home to Charlton areÂ three examples of insipid BluesÂ displays.
Jackett will be aware his side's results against the top six were nowhere nearÂ good enough last term.
It's something that needs remedying this time around if PompeyÂ are to reach the Championship '“Â starting at London Road on Saturday.
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