Pompey and Sunderland are both heading to Wembley this weekend to compete in separate Papa John’s Trophy finals.
But the priority for each side will be trying to secure three League One points at Fratton Park this evening (7.45pm kick-off).
The visitors were eighth when Phil Parkinson was dismissed as manager in November, but have enjoyed a resurgence under new boss Lee Johnson.
Their most recent defeat came at Shrewsbury exactly one month ago, with the following six matches yielding five victories.
The Black Cats enjoyed a comfortable 2-0 home win over Rochdale at the weekend, courtesy of goals from Dion Sanderson and the prolific Charlie Wyke.
It means they currently sit fourth in the standings – five points adrift of second spot and the same number above the Blues in sixth.
And the Wearsiders also beat fellow promotion hopefuls Lincoln on penalties in February to set up a Wembley date with Tranmere on Sunday.
But Pompey won 3-1 when the sides met at the Stadium of Light back in October, with a John Marquis brace adding to Marcus Harness’ opener.
You have to go all the way back to 1997 to find the last time that Sunderland triumphed at Fratton Park – a run the hosts will be looking to extend in front of the Sky Sports cameras tonight.
Alex Bass (foot) and Callum Johnson (calf) are still missing, but Michael Jacobs and Haji Mnoga are available again.
Sunderland will be without Denver Hume (hamstring), Grant Leadbitter (shoulder) and Jordan Willis (knee).
The visitors also have doubts over Tom Flanagan (calf), Lynden Gooch (calf), Conor McLaughlin (hernia), Ross Stewart (hamstring) and Bailey Wright (calf).
VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Read the thoughts of Kenny Jackett ahead of the game.
HEAD TO HEAD
Pompey: 36 wins
Sunderland: 39 wins
At Fratton Park
Pompey: 25 wins
Sunderland: 11 wins
Referee: David Rock
Assistants: Gareth Viccars and Mark Derrien
Fourth Official: Craig Hicks
Supporters in the UK can watch the contest live on Sky Sports Football. If you are based overseas then please check local listings to see if the game is being shown in your region.
There will be post-match reaction on the website and our official YouTube channel, with highlights to follow on Wednesday.
ALSO IN LEAGUE ONE
Games kick-off at 7pm unless stated
AFC Wimbledon v Burton
Bristol Rovers v Accrington
Charlton v Northampton
Crewe v Doncaster
Ipswich v Lincoln
MK Dons v Blackpool
Peterborough v Hull
Plymouth v Wigan
Rochdale v Shrewsbury
Swindon v Oxford
Fleetwood v Gillingham (7.45pm)