Pompey have already faced four of the sides currently occupying a place in the top seven.
But they have collected just a single point from those fixtures, with a draw at Wigan accompanied by defeats to Oxford, Rotherham and – last week – Blackburn.
So Kenny Jackett is hoping for a better outcome when his troops host third-placed Bradford on Saturday.
And he knows the game presents a perfect opportunity to see how Pompey compare to one of the best sides in League One.
The Blues boss said: “We want to stay in touching distance of the top teams in the division and be in that group when we can.
“Sides that came into this division with us have struggled more, while we’re in mid-table. But we want to be competitive higher up the table.
"It’s a good yardstick for us to see where we are and if we’re able to compete with these sides at the top end."
“Bradford are a big club who are well supported and got to the play-off final last season – they were unlucky not to go up.
“They’ve made a good start to the current campaign and I’m sure they’ll be after one of those promotion places once again.
“It’s a good yardstick for us to see where we are and if we’re able to compete with these sides at the top end.
“But it’s certainly two great clubs coming together at Fratton Park on Saturday and that’s something to look forward to.
“We’ve had a couple of losses on the road that we’re not happy with and we’re looking for improvements against Bradford.”
There were doubts over whether Luke McGee would be available to face the Bantams, but Jackett is confident his keeper will make the contest.
He said: “Luke is okay and is expected to be fit for the weekend. He had a problem with his left foot, but he should be fine.
“I’m confident in Alex Bass and think he’s a good goalkeeper with a very bright future at this club.
“The options would have been to play him or, depending on the standard we could get, bring someone else in.
“Adam May and Damien McCrory are both progressing well, but neither have had much training time this week and a realistic target for them is probably Luton.”