Pompey make their longest trek of the season with a stamina-busting midweek visit to Fleetwood this evening.
The match was originally scheduled for the first Saturday in January, but the hosts’ run to the third round of the FA Cup – where they took Leicester to a replay – dictated a switch.
Those clashes with the recent Premier League champions came in the midst of an encouraging spell for the Cod Army.
They had finished 2017 with successive victories and a win at Southend just over a month ago left the Lancashire outfit just seven points adrift of the final play-off place.
But a disastrous string of five successive league defeats – with a Checkatrade Trophy exit sandwiched in the middle – means it is now just goal difference keeping them outside the drop zone.
That poor form resulted in the dismissal of manager Uwe Rosler at the weekend, with coaches Barry Nicholson and David Lucas taking temporary charge.
Braces from Brett Pitman and Jamal Lowe saw Pompey ease to a 4-1 win when the sides clashed at Fratton Park back in September.
But they were beaten 3-1 on their only previous visit to Highbury in 2014, with Fleetwood going on to win League Two promotion via the play-offs.
Gareth Evans and Brett Pitman will both miss out, having suffered hamstring injuries against Southend on Saturday.
Nathan Thompson starts a four-match ban after being sent off for the second time this season at Roots Hall.
Matty Kennedy returns from an ankle problem, but the Blues are still without Stephen Henderson (thigh), Stuart O’Keefe (groin) and Danny Rose (leg).
Fleetwood are close to having a fully-fit squad available, with midfielder George Glendon (calf) the only doubt.
HEAD TO HEAD
Pompey: 1 win
Fleetwood: 2 wins
At Highbury Stadium
Fleetwood: 1 win
Pompey: 0 wins
Seats and terrace places can be bought at Highbury Stadium this evening. Click here for more details.
Overseas subscribers can watch the match live by following the same instructions.
ALSO IN LEAGUE ONE
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Rochdale v MK Dons