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21 November 2020 Venue Fratton Park Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

Match Preview: Pompey v Crewe

All you need to know about League One test

20 November 2020

Pompey v Crewe

Pompey will look to bring their fine away form back to Fratton Park when they host Crewe on Saturday (3pm kick-off).

It is the first of three successive games on the south coast, with Oxford the visitors on Tuesday night before an FA Cup clash with King’s Lynn next weekend.

Kenny Jackett’s side are currently sitting just inside the play-off positions and are just three points behind Hull in second.

Their next opponents were leading the League Two standings when Covid-19 called a halt to proceedings back in March.

The points-per-game method ultimately saw them leapfrogged by Swindon in the battle for the title, but the Railwaymen were still promoted to the third tier following a four-year absence.

And they have adapted to life at a higher level with relative ease, currently sitting 12th and closer to the top six than the bottom four.

David Artell’s troops head south on the back of successive victories over league leaders Peterborough and Oxford.

Crewe won 1-0 when the sides last met at Fratton Park back in March 2017, courtesy of a George Ray header.

But that provided the spark for a fine run of Blues form, as they lost just one of the next 12 games to memorably secure the League Two title.

TEAM NEWS
Jack Whatmough returned from a hamstring injury to play the second half at Plymouth on Monday, while Lee Brown has recovered from a similar problem.

It leaves Michael Jacobs (knee) as the only member of the Pompey squad who is currently unavailable.

Crewe received some bad news earlier in the week when it was revealed that Donervon Daniels will miss the rest of 2020 with a hamstring tear.

VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Read the thoughts of Kenny Jackett and Jack Whatmough ahead of the game.

HEAD TO HEAD
Overall
Pompey: 6 wins
Crewe: 7 wins
5 draws

At Fratton Park
Pompey: 4 wins
Crewe: 4 wins
1 draw

OFFICIALS
Referee: James Oldham
Assistants: Christopher Wade and Damith Bandara
Fourth Official: Brett Huxtable

MATCH COVERAGE
Supporters in the UK can watch the action live – with graphics, commentary and replays – by purchasing a match pass for £10.

Flexi-season ticket holders and members should have received a free code by email. Click here for more details.

Subscribers will, as usual, be able to listen to listen to live commentary from Andy Moon and Guy Whittingham by signing into their account and visiting the match centre from 2pm.

Please note that subscribers based in the UK and Ireland will still need to purchase a match pass in order to watch the game live.

Click here for more information about using iFollow on a matchday and click here for information on downloading the app, so you can access content on your mobile device.

We will have updates throughout the game on Twitter and the match centre. You can also see behind-the-scenes content on our Instagram story.

There will be post-match reaction on the website and our official YouTube channel, with highlights to follow on Sunday.

Local listeners can hear commentary by tuning in to either Express FM or BBC Radio Solent.

PROGRAMME
There is a feature interview with Sean Raggett in Saturday’s matchday magazine, while we also speak to James Bolton and Tom Naylor.

All this plus exclusive columns, a delve into the archives and much, much more is available for just £3.50. Click here to have a copy delivered to your door.

BETTING
Pompey are the 3/4 favourites with Sky Bet to secure all three points, while the visitors can be backed at 100/30.

Click here to find a comprehensive list of odds for Saturday's game. Please gamble responsibly.

ALSO IN LEAGUE ONE
Games kick-off at 3pm unless stated

Gillingham v Charlton (1pm)
Accrington v Lincoln
Burton v Northampton
Doncaster v Sunderland
Fleetwood v Plymouth
Ipswich v Shrewsbury
MK Dons v Hull
Peterborough v Blackpool
Rochdale v AFC Wimbledon
Swindon v Bristol Rovers
Wigan v Oxford

LAST MEETING

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Match Reports

Pompey 4 Crewe 1

Curtis (2), Naylor and Marquis all on target at Fratton Park

21 November 2020

Ronan Curtis scores for Pompey against Crewe
Photo: Joe Pepler/PinPep

Pompey climbed up to fourth in the League One table after enjoying an ultimately comfortable victory over Crewe at Fratton Park.

The visitors saw the majority of the ball, but it was the Blues who were deadly in front of goal to secure the points.

Ronan Curtis bagged a brace before the break, with his second strike the result of some terrible defending.

Tom Naylor scored his third goal in as many appearances early in the second half and the prolific John Marquis was also on target before Oli Finney grabbed a late consolation from the spot.

Kenny Jackett made four changes from the side that drew at Plymouth in front of the Sky Sports cameras on Monday night.

Haji Mnoga came in for his full league debut, while Curtis returned from Republic of Ireland international duty.

There were also starts for Jack Whatmough and Ellis Harrison, as Callum Johnson, Rasmus Nicolaisen and Ben Close dropped to the bench, with Ryan Williams missing out through injury.

It was the visitors who dominated possession in the first half, but Pompey were more assured at the back and more clinical at the other end.

Craig MacGillivray – making his 100th appearance for the club – was called into action in the early stages, making a fine stop to deny Finney.

Skipper Naylor then made a well-timed challenge inside the area to stop Tom Lowery getting a shot away.

The Blues had not really threatened at the other end, but were celebrating taking the lead on 15 minutes.

CURTIS swapped passes with Marquis and scuffed his shot, but that took the ball past the grasp of Will Jääskeläinen and into the bottom corner of the net.

Crewe will wonder how they were not level just moments later after Harry Pickering cut back for Finney.

His goal-bound effort was blocked by Sean Raggett and MacGillivray somehow prevented Daniel Powell from converting the loose ball.

A fine John Marquis back-heel then started a quick counter and the striker received a pass back via Curtis and Marcus Harness, but fired wide.

Offrande Zanzala went close at the other end, with his header from a Lowery free-kick deflected behind off Jack Whatmough.

And Pompey were then gifted a second goal by their opponents late in the first half, as Crewe tried to play the ball across their defence.

Omar Beckles took a poor touch and Curtis took advantage to burst clear, being fouled first by the defender and then Jääskeläinen.

But referee James Oldham played the advantage and CURTIS was able to poke the ball over the line, despite the best efforts of Luke Offord to clear.

Half Time: Pompey 2 Crewe 0

Jackett made a double switch at the break and replaced both his full-backs, as Mnoga and Cam Pring made way for Johnson and Lee Brown.

And the hosts almost add a third goal soon after the restart, with Sean Raggett’s header cleared from the line by Finney and Perry Ng then getting the ball to safety.

But they did extend their advantage on 50 minutes, as Harness’ cross was only cleared as far as NAYLOR, who guided the ball into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.

The Blues were well on top now and Curtis started a quick counter-attack, with Harrison sliding a pass across the box and Marquis’ cushioned effort rolling agonisingly past the post.

So it came as no surprise that a fourth goal arrived before the hour mark, although the hosts did get the rub of the green.

Crewe were – rightly – arguing that a throw should have been awarded in their favour, but a quick-thinking Harrison took it quickly and found Curtis.

He cut inside and drew a smart stop from Jääskeläinen, with Marquis hammering the loose ball against the crossbar.

But it bounced straight back towards League One’s top scorer and MARQUIS made no mistake with his header.

Crewe kept battling and MacGillivray did well to tip over Olly Lancashire’s header, not realising the defender had been flagged offside.

They brought Callum Ainley off the bench and he almost reduced the deficit, courtesy of a fierce effort that rattled the post.

Both sides were still looking to get forward when possible, although Harness and Harrison were given deserved rests for the closing stages, as Bryn Morris and Jordy Hiwula entered the fray.

Ainley sent a shot flashing narrowly wide in stoppage-time and Crewe did manage to score a late consolation.

Brown was rather harshly penalised when the ball struck his arm from point-blank range and Finney converted from the spot.

It meant the hosts were unable to add a clean sheet to their three-point haul, but it was still a convincing win for Pompey.

Pompey (4-4-2): MacGillivray; Mnoga (Johnson 46), Whatmough, Raggett, Pring (Brown 46); Harness (Morris 82), Naylor (c), Cannon, Curtis; Marquis, Harrison (Hiwula 87)
Goals: Curtis 15, 40, Naylor 50, Marquis 56
Booked: Cannon, Harrison
Subs not used: Bass, Nicolaisen, Close

Crewe (4-1-4-1): Jääskeläinen; Ng (c), Beckles (Lancashire 46), Offord, Pickering; Wintle (Ainley 66); Powell (Dale 59), Lowery (Murphy 59), Finney, Kirk; Zanzala (Griffiths 90)
Goals: Finney 90+4 (pen)
Booked: Ng
Subs not used: Richards, Johnson

Referee: James Oldham

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