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Match Previews

Match Preview: Pompey v Sunderland

All you need to know about League One clash

21 December 2018

Pompey v Sunderland

You do not need to wrap it neatly and place it under the Christmas tree.

No, the gift that most Pompey fans want to see this year is their side continuing to impress at the top of the League One table.

Whatever the result against Sunderland at Fratton Park on Saturday, they will definitely be at the summit on December 25.

But with the visitors currently just five points behind in third spot – and with two games in hand – victory for the Blues would certainly provide a festive fillip.

Jack Ross’ side have suffered a solitary league defeat all season – a 2-1 reverse at Burton back in September.

An FA Cup exit to Walsall was a recent blip, but otherwise they come to the south coast in decent form.

The Black Cats are, of course, trying to bounce back after suffering successive relegations from the Premier League to the third tier.

It was in the top-flight that the sides last met, with both league clashes in 2009/10 ending in a 1-1 draw.

But the Blues also won an FA Cup fourth round clash that campaign, eventually going all the way to the final at Wembley.

TEAM NEWS
Luke McGee is still sidelined with a wrist injury, but David Wheeler is back in contention following a hamstring problem.

Sunderland goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin has recovered from back spasm and should return on Saturday, although Denver Hume (ankle) and Donald Love (knee) are both out.

Tom Flanagan is also a doubt in defence, while former Pompey loanee Chris Maguire is likely to start on the bench.

VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Read the thoughts of Kenny Jackett and Ben Thompson or register for a free iFollow account to watch the below videos.

HEAD TO HEAD
Overall
Pompey: 32 wins
Sunderland: 37 wins
33 draws

At Fratton Park
Pompey: 23 wins
Sunderland: 11 wins
17 draws

TICKETS
The match has been sold out for a number of weeks, although fans can see if any seats are available online via the ticket exchange.

Fans travelling by train should note that, due to a strike by guards, a reduced service is running on Saturday.

MATCH COVERAGE
Domestic iFollow subscribers can listen to live commentary from Andy Moon and Guy Whittingham by signing into their account and visiting the match centre from 2pm on Saturday.

Overseas subscribers and match pass holders can watch the action – now with on-screen graphics – 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 and Snapchat account.

There will be post-match reaction on the website, iFollow 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.

BETTING
Pompey are the 10/11 favourites with Sky Bet to secure all three points, while the visitors can be backed at 14/5.

Click here to read our full betting guide and visit www.skybet.com/pompey to earn money for the club when you place a bet. Please gamble responsibly.

ALSO IN LEAGUE ONE
Blackpool v Barnsley
Bradford v Scunthorpe
Bristol Rovers v Fleetwood
Charlton v Gillingham
Doncaster v Oxford
Luton v Burton
Peterborough v Walsall
Plymouth v Accrington
Shrewsbury v Coventry
Southend v Rochdale
Wycombe v AFC Wimbledon

CLASSIC CONTEST


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