Sunderland v Portsmouth: all you need to know ahead of crunch play-off game
Pompey travel to Sunderland this evening as they bid for a place in the Championship in the play-offs.
Here’s the lowdown on both sides as battle gets set to commence.
Pompey league position
Fourth (88 points)
Pompey team news
Kenny Jackett has indicated Jamal Lowe will be available for the Sunderland clash after being rested against Accrington last weekend.
But Dion Donohue is out of the play-off trip to the Stadium of Light after being sidelined with a groin injury since March.
Brandon Haunstrup is also a doubt for the game after picking up a knee injury in training. Jack Whatmough is also out long term with a knee injury.
Jackett has to decide whether to opt for Brett Pitman or Gareth Evans in the number 10 role, as well as whether to plump with Omar Bogle or Oli Hawkins up front.
Likely Pompey line-up
Craig MacGillivray; Nathan Thompson, Christian Burgess, Matt Clarke, Lee Brown; Ben Close, Tom Naylor; Jamal Lowe, Brett Pitman, Ronan Curtis; Omar Bogle. Subs: Alex Bass, Anton Walkes, Brandon Haunstrup, Gareth Evans, Viv Solomon-Otabor, Oli Hawkins, James Vaughan.
Sunderland league position
Fifth (85 points)
Sunderland team news
Sunderland are expected to be close to full strength for Pompey’s visit.
Key man Aiden McGeady has benefitted from being handed a break after playing with a broken bone in his foot.
Midfield pair Lee Cattermole and George Honeyman are available after missing last weekend’s loss to Southend.
Boss Jack Ross has to decide whether to continue with a 4-4-2 formation or go with a 4-2-3-1 system.
Charlie Wyke would be likely to be the man to miss out if the Black Cats go with one up front.
Likely Sunderland line-up
McLaughlan, O’Nien, Flanagan, Ozturk, Oviedo, Cattermole, Honeyman, Power, McGeady, Morgan, Grigg.
Subs: Ruiter, Dunne, Matthews, Leadbitter, Gooch, Maguire, Wyke,
Andy Woolmer (Northamptonshire)
Match odds (supplied by Betting Room)
Pompey win 1-0 5/2, 2-0 14/1, 2-1 10/1, 3-0 40/1, 3-1 28/1, 3-2 40/1
Sunderland win: 1-0 6/1, 2-0 10/1, 2-1 7/2, 3-0 22/1, 3-1 20/1, 3-2 33/1.
Draw: 0-0 7/1, 1-1 5/1, 2-2 14/1, 3-3 80-1
Won 35, Drawn 15, Lost 10
Top scorer: Jamal Lowe (17)
Most assists: Ronan Curtis (15)
Most games: Matt Clarke (58)
D Accrington 1-1 (H) League One, L 3-2 Peterborough United (H) League One, D 1-1 Sunderland (A) League One, W 2-1 Coventry (H) League One, W 2-1 Buton (Away) League One, W 4-1 Rochdale (H) League One
Won 30 Drawn 20 Lost 8
Top scorer: Josh Maja (16)
Most assists: Lynden Gooch (8)
Most games: Jon McLaughlan (52)
L Southend 2-1 (A) League One, L Fleetwood 2-1 (A) League One, D Pompey 1-1 (H) League One, D Peterborough 1-1 (A) League One, W Doncaster 2-0 (H) League One, L Coventry 5-4 (H) League One.
Other game (tomorrow)
Doncaster v Charlton (12.15pm)