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26 April 2022 Venue Fratton Park Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

Match Preview: Pompey v Wigan

All you need to know about League One contest

26 April 2022

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Pompey v Wigan Athletic

Pompey will be trying to play the role of party-poopers when they host high-flying Wigan this evening (7.45pm kick-off).

The visitors need just a single point to mathematically secure their place in the Championship for next season.

And they could even claim the title if they can better second-placed Rotherham’s result at Sunderland.

It would complete a remarkable turnaround for the Latics, who narrowly avoided relegation into the basement last season, having recovered from financial turmoil.

There are plenty of familiar faces in both camps, with academy graduate Jack Whatmough and former skipper Tom Naylor returning to the south coast.

They are managed by Leam Richardson, who was assistant to Paul Cook when the Blues dramatically claimed the 2016/17 League Two title, while ex-keeper Darryl Flahavan is on his coaching staff.

Michael Jacobs twice won promotion from this level with Wigan and fellow Pompey midfielder Ryan Tunnicliffe had a couple of loan spells at the DW Stadium.

Richardson’s men won 1-0 when the sides met in the north-west earlier in the campaign and triumphed by the same scoreline on their most recent visit to Fratton Park.

TEAM NEWS
Kieron Freeman (ankle), Reeco Hackett (knee) Denver Hume (back) and Jayden Reid (knee) are all still sidelined for Pompey.

But Connor Ogilvie could feature despite going off with a tight hamstring against Gillingham on Saturday.

Wigan are expected to be without Tom Bayliss (groin), James McClean (knee) and Curtis Tilt (hamstring), as well as Charlie Wyke, who continues his recovery after suffering a cardiac arrest in November.

VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Read the thoughts of Danny Cowley and Sean Raggett ahead of the game.

HEAD TO HEAD
Overall
Pompey: 11 wins
Wigan: 7 wins
4 draws

At Fratton Park
Pompey: 6 wins
Wigan: 3 wins
2 draws

TICKETS
Pompey fans can secure tickets online here or by visiting the Anson Road ticket office.

Supporters can also purchase seats, subject to availability, from the booth behind the Fratton End this evening.

Covid certification is no longer required to attend, but Portsmouth Football Club respectfully ask all supporters to adhere to the Code of Conduct to ensure an enjoyable and safe matchday experience for all.

A matchday magazine is available to purchase from sellers around the ground, online from the memorabilia store, in the club shop, the Victory Bar and selected kiosks.

The Victory Bar will be open for Pompey fans from 5pm this evening.

OFFICIALS
Referee: Craig Hicks
Assistants: Michael Webb and Daniel Bonneywell
Fourth Official: Paul Howard

MATCH COVERAGE
Supporters at home and abroad can watch the contest live by purchasing an iFollow match pass and visiting the match centre.

Domestic iFollow subscribers can also enjoy audio commentary from Ian Wilding and Guy Whittingham as usual, but will need to purchase a match pass if they want to watch the game.

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 Wednesday.

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

BETTING
Wigan are the 5/4 favourites with VBET to secure all three points, while Pompey can be backed at 21/10.

Click here to find a comprehensive list of odds for tonight’s game. 18+. Please gamble responsibly.

We are committed to playing our part in ensuring our relationship with VBET is promoted in the right way to our supporters.

That is why VBET has partnered with BettorMind, to provide responsible gambling advice around key betting behaviours.

When it comes to betting, we advise all fans to make use of our dedicated responsible gambling site.

ALSO IN LEAGUE ONE
Games kick-off at 7.45pm

Fleetwood v Sheffield Wednesday
Sunderland v Rotherham

CLASSIC CONTEST

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Match Reports

Pompey 3 Wigan 2

O’Brien grabs late winner to stun Latics

26 April 2022

Aiden O
Photo: Jason Brown

Aiden O’Brien came off the bench to hit a late winner as Pompey fought back to halt Wigan’s promotion party.

The hosts had dominated most of the contest and yet were trailing at the break to goals from Callum Lang and Will Keane.

But George Hirst struck twice in quick succession in the second half and the Latics tried to hang on for the point that would have guaranteed them a spot in the Championship.

They could not see it out to the end, however, as O’Brien found the bottom corner to earn a deserved win for the in-form Blues.

Danny Cowley named an unchanged side following Pompey’s comfortable win over Gillingham at the weekend.

Their opponents also declined to make any alterations, meaning that Jack Whatmough and Tom Naylor both featured against their former club.

The home side soon began to dominate the contest and applied plenty of pressure, without being able to test Ben Amos between the sticks.

A couple of dangerous deliveries from Hayden Carter and Michael Jacobs had to be hacked to safety by the Latics.

Jacobs then sent a corner into the box, where Sean Raggett could only nod wide after rising in a crowded box.

They almost broke the deadlock when Jacobs stole possession and found Hirst, who fired a rocket narrowly past the post.

But, totally against the run of play, it was Wigan who went ahead on 38 minutes after Jordan Cousins had intercepted the ball.

He found Tom Pearce, who swung in a fine cross that Lang dived on to head past Gavin Bazunu from close range.

It was harsh on Pompey and they should have levelled in stoppage-time, as Connor Ogilvie side-footed wide after being found in the box by Hirst.

And they were made to pay for their profligacy when Pearce sent in another low cross that was turned home by Keane.

Half Time: Pompey 0 Wigan 2

The hosts went back on the attack when the action restarted and Tendayi Darikwa did well to stop Ronan Curtis getting on the end of a Marcus Harness cross.

But the Latics soon had a chance to extend their advantage, with Gavin Bazunu getting down to his left to keep out a firm Naylor header.

Instead, however, Pompey incredibly found themselves level with two goals in as many minutes just past the hour mark.

The first was down to some superb work from Harness, who nutmegged Naylor and refused to be outmuscled before sending in a low centre for HIRST to arrow into the net.

Amos was booked for refusing to return the ball for the kick-off, while Curtis also got punished for trying to wrench it from his arms.

And it was HIRST who scored again just a few moments later, bending the ball home from the edge of the box after Darikwa had made a mess of dealing with a blocked Curtis shot.

The Blues were rampant by this point and Amos did well to prevent Harness from firing them ahead from an acute angle.

And the keeper then dealt nervously with a speculative – and swerving – 25-yard strike from Louis Thompson.

Cowley soon freshened up his attacking options, with O’Brien coming off the bench to replace Jacobs.

The visitors appeared happy with a point and were doing their best to waste time over every set-piece.

But the Blues continued to put pressure on the nervy visitors and deservedly went ahead on 87 minutes.

A Joe Morrell free-kick found Hirst in space and after his shot was saved by Amos, Wigan could not get the ball clear.

O’BRIEN picked it up just inside the box and angled a low finish right into the bottom corner, with Fratton Park erupting.

Wigan suddenly needed to pick up the pace again, but the Blues defended resolutely to claim all three points.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Bazunu; Carter, Raggett, Robertson (c), Ogilvie; Morrell, Thompson (Tunnicliffe 86); Harness (Romeo 90), Jacobs (O’Brien 77), Curtis; Hirst
Goals: Hirst 62, 64, O’Brien 87
Booked: Curtis
Subs not used: Webber, Williams, Mingi, Walker

Wigan (3-4-1-2): Amos; Kerr, Whatmough, Bennett (Edwards 80); Darikwa (c), Naylor, Cousins (Humphrys 90), Pearce (Massey 72); Power; Keane, Lang
Goals: Lang 38, Keane 45+3
Booked: Darikwa, Amos
Subs not used: Jones, Watts, Shinnie, Aasgaard

Referee: Craig Hicks

Attendance: 14,637 (792 away fans)

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