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02 October 2021 Venue Fratton Park Attendance

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

Match Preview: Pompey v Sunderland

All you need to know about League One contest

1 October 2021

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Pompey v Sunderland

Between them, Pompey and Sunderland can boast eight top-flight titles and four FA Cup triumphs.

So it is fair to say Saturday’s contest between the sides at Fratton Park is one of the biggest in League One.

It is the visitors who are currently enjoying the better start to the 2021/22 campaign and sit at the summit after nine games.

Their opponents, meanwhile, have faltered after a bright opening and are down in 13th spot, aiming to end an eight-match run without a victory.

Six of the Black Cats’ fixtures have taken place on home soil and they have won the lot – including Tuesday night’s 5-0 rout of Cheltenham.

Their only defeat came on the road at Burton back in mid-August, while other away matches saw a draw with Fleetwood and success at MK Dons.

Lee Johnson’s side are also League One’s only representatives in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup and will visit QPR later this month for a place in the quarter-finals.

Both of last season’s meetings resulted in away victories, with John Marquis’ brace and a Marcus Harness goal securing a 3-1 triumph for the Blues on Wearside.

Saturday’s game might come too soon for Arsenal loanee Miguel Azeez, who has returned to training following a groin injury.

Skipper Clark Robertson (hip), Jayden Reid (knee) and Liam Vincent (shin) are all long-term absentees.

Sunderland will be without Jordan Willis (knee) and Arbenit Xhemajli (knee), while there are doubts over Nathan Broadhead (hamstring), Dennis Cirkin (head), Callum Doyle (back), Lynden Gooch (foot) and Denver Hume (hamstring).

Read the thoughts of Danny Cowley and Reeco Hackett or watch the video below.

Pompey: 36 wins
Sunderland: 40 wins
35 draws

At Fratton Park
Pompey: 25 wins
Sunderland: 12 wins
18 draws

Fratton Park is full to capacity for Saturday’s game and no more tickets will be made available. Fans are advised to attend early – click here for more details.

Please note that all parking has been pre-booked and there are no more spaces available in the club car park.


Referee: Ben Toner
Assistants: Joseph Stokes and Garry Maskell
Fourth Official: Michael Begley

Domestic iFollow subscribers can listen to live commentary from Andrew Moon and Paul Robinson by signing into their account and visiting the match centre from around 2.45pm on Saturday.

Overseas subscribers and match pass holders can watch the action and commentary will begin from around 10 minutes before kick-off.

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 BBC Radio Solent or Express FM.

Sunderland are the 7/5 favourites with VBET to secure all three points, while Pompey can be backed at 19/10.

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

All games kick-off at 3pm

Accrington v Ipswich
AFC Wimbledon v Burton
Bolton v Shrewsbury
Cheltenham v Rotherham
Crewe v Cambridge
Doncaster v MK Dons
Fleetwood v Charlton
Gillingham v Wigan
Lincoln v Plymouth
Sheffield Wednesday v Oxford
Wycombe v Morecambe


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Match Reports

Pompey 4 Sunderland 0

Blues blow league leaders away at rain-soaked Fratton Park

2 October 2021

Marcus Harness celebrates scoring for Pompey against Sunderland at Fratton Park
Photo: Jason Brown

Pompey produced their best display of the season to thrash League One leaders Sunderland at a sodden Fratton Park.

The job was done by half-time, with Marcus Harness completing a fine team move to open the scoring on his 100th appearance.

Skipper Lee Brown soon doubled the advantage, while John Marquis added a third goal just before the interval.

And with Marquis netting again following the restart, the only question was whether the rain would scupper things.

There was certainly plenty of standing water in the corners, but not enough to trouble referee Ben Toner.

Danny Cowley stuck with the same side that had been beaten on the road by Burton earlier in the week.

It might have come as a surprise to some following a performance at the Pirelli Stadium that was below-par at best.

But it looked an inspired decision following a first half display that blew the table-topping visitors away.

Pompey dominated from the off, dealing with the treacherous conditions – that left standing water on the south side of the ground – much better than their opponents.

Harness saw an early attempt deflected over, while Tom Flanagan did well to stop the same player receiving a square pass from Marquis.

But he did break the deadlock on 19 minutes by completing a fine team move that started with Gavin Bazunu.

He found Brown on the left and the skipper played a neat one-two with Ronan Curtis before finding HARNESS, who drilled a low shot inside Thorben Hoffmann’s near post.

Sunderland did have an early chance to level with a free-kick from Luke O’Nien that was curled narrowly over.

And there was a scary moment when Bazunu tried to roll the ball out for Kieron Freeman, only for it to get stuck in the sodden turf and have to be hurriedly dealt with by the defender.

But the Blues had a cushion on 33 minutes – and it was another impressive goal that saw them double their advantage.

Curtis did well to win back possession on the left and a low centre from Harness was back-heeled by Marquis for BROWN to fire home.

They kept pouring forward and Harness was not far off target with a curling strike after cutting in from the left.

And there was still time for things to get even better for the hosts when Carl Winchester was penalised for a foul on the impressive Curtis on the left.

The Republic of Ireland international took the free-kick himself and MARQUIS got in front of Dennis Cirkin to flick the ball into the net.

Half Time: Pompey 3 Sunderland 0

The conditions continued to deteriorate throughout the interval and the ball was getting particularly held up in the corners once the action restarted.

Pompey kept trying to add to their lead, though, and an instinctive effort from Curtis was not too far off target.

And Shaun Williams went close just before the hour mark, meeting Brown’s corner with a header that was just about prevented from crossing the line by Hoffmann.

But the Blues did go further ahead a few moments later after Joe Morrell curled a fine ball into the box.

MARQUIS stooped to meet it and although his header was kept out by Hoffmann, the striker was left with a simple tap-in.

There was almost another goal when Harness stayed onside to collect an incisive pass from Curtis and square for Ryan Tunnicliffe.

The midfielder tried to chip the ball over the advancing Hoffmann, but the keeper stayed upright to keep it out.

That was the last piece of action for Harness, who received a standing ovation after making way for Louis Thompson.

There was no let-up from the Blues as the game entered its closing stages, with their work-rate never dropping.

Fratton Park rose to its feet to applaud Marquis – who had provided two goals and one assist – when he made way for Ellis Harrison.

And the final few minutes passed by without incident to ensure that the home faithful went home singing in the rain.

Pompey (3-4-3): Bazunu; Freeman, Raggett, Williams; Romeo, Tunnicliffe, Morrell, Brown (c); Harness (Thompson 74), Marquis (Harrison 85), Curtis
Goals: Harness 19, Brown 33, Marquis 45, 61
Booked: Tunnicliffe, Curtis
Subs not used: Bass, Downing, Jacobs, Hackett, Hirst

Sunderland (4-2-3-1): Hoffmann; Winchester, Flanagan, Wright, Cirkin; Evans (c) (Neil 74), O’Nien; O’Brien, Embleton (Doyle 46), Dajaku (Pritchard 68); Stewart
Booked: Neil
Subs not used: Burge, Huggins, Alves, Taylor

Referee: Ben Toner

Attendance: 17,418 (2,110 away fans)

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