Pompey and Tranmere have experienced contrasting fortunes at the start of 2020.
Kenny Jackett’s men enjoyed an unbeaten January and began February by beating Sunderland – their eighth successive victory.
It means that the Blues are just three points adrift of the automatic promotion places and still competing in two cup competitions.
But their next opponents have yet to taste league success in this calendar year and are aiming to keep their place in the division rather than escape it.
But Micky Mellon’s men are inside the drop zone and will have to make up a six-point gap to haul their way out.
Last month saw them beat top-flight Watford to progress in the FA Cup, although they weret hrashed 6-0 by Manchester United in the next round.
It means they head into Saturday’s Prenton Park contest on the back of four successive defeats, including a 3-0 reverse on home soil against Doncaster in midweek.
Rovers were promoted last season, narrowly beating Newport at Wembley in the play-off final after finishing sixth.
And they were beaten 2-0 at Fratton Park earlier in the campaign, courtesy of goals from Ben Close and Tom Naylor.
Oli Hawkins is not available this weekend after suffering concussion in Tuesday night’s reserve game at Exeter.
Bryn Morris is running outside again as he continues to step up his recovery from a long-term groin problem.
Tranmere are missing Ollie Banks (knee), Corey Blackett-Taylor (shin), Mark Ellis (knee), Morgan Feeney (hamstring) and Evan Gumbs (knee).
There is also a doubt over defender Peter Clarke, but former Fratton loanee James Vaughan is expected to lead the line.
HEAD TO HEAD
Pompey: 14 wins
Tranmere: 14 wins
At Prenton Park
Pompey: 6 wins
Tranmere: 7 wins
Pompey have sold their full allocation of tickets and none will be available to buy on the day of the game.
Referee: Michael Salisbury
Assistants: Chris Isherwood and Ian Smedley
Fourth Official: Hristo Karaivanov
Overseas subscribers and match pass holders can watch the action and commentary will begin from around 10 minutes before kick-off.
ALSO IN LEAGUE ONE
Games kick-off at 3pm unless stated
Lincoln v Rotherham (7.45pm)
AFC Wimbledon v Fleetwood
Blackpool v Southend
Burton v Gillingham
Coventry v Bolton
Doncaster v Rochdale
Peterborough v Oxford
Shrewsbury v MK Dons
Sunderland v Ipswich
Wycombe v Bristol Rovers