A few weeks ago, a match against Bolton appeared to offer the promise of a guaranteed three points.
Unable to make signings until their takeover was complete, a threadbare squad had to be topped up with academy players.
So it was not exactly a surprise to see Wanderers concede five goals in four successive August fixtures or the departure of fed-up manager Phil Parkinson.
Keith Hill came in to replace him and Football Ventures (Whites) Limited are the new owners, leading to a raft of deadline day signings.
It took a while for the newcomers to gel into a cohesive unit, but things are slowly moving in the right direction.
Still awaiting their first victory this term, the Trotters head to Fratton Park on a two-match unbeaten run, with draws against Oxford and Sunderland.
Having started the season on -12 points due to entering administration, they have only climbed to -9 and are still cut adrift at the bottom of the League One table.
The decision to postpone a previous clash with Doncaster – as well a game last season that could not be fulfilled – may yet result in a further deduction.
But fans at least know the club’s future is secure and Bolton will be aiming to break their victory duck with a first Pompey meeting since 2010.
Both clubs were in the Premier League back then and a brace from Aruna Dindane saw the Blues battle from behind to draw 2-2 in the north-west.
Oli Hawkins is set to spend four-to-six weeks on the sidelines after injuring his foot in the south coast derby.
Pompey are also without Lee Brown (Achilles), Bryn Morris (groin) and Jack Whatmough (knee), but Marcus Harness is fit again and Ellis Harrison returns from a one-match ban.
Bolton will be missing defender Jake Wright (hamstring), while there are doubts over the fitness of Ben Alnwick, Daryl Murphy and Chris O’Grady.
HEAD TO HEAD
Pompey: 33 wins
Bolton: 42 wins
At Fratton Park
Pompey: 24 wins
Bolton: 9 wins
There is still limited seating available for this fixture and tickets can be bought online here or by visiting the Anson Road ticket office.
Subject to availability, they can also be bought from both ticket offices from 9am on Saturday.
Referee: Darren Drysdale
Assistants: Stuart Butler and Stephen Brown
Fourth Official: Adrian Waters
Overseas subscribers and match pass holders can watch the action and commentary will begin from around 10 minutes before kick-off.
ALSO IN LEAGUE ONE
Kick-off 3pm unless stated
Blackpool v Lincoln (7.45pm)
Bristol Rovers v Rotherham
Coventry v Doncaster
Ipswich v Tranmere
Oxford v Gillingham
Peterborough v AFC Wimbledon
Rochdale v Wycombe
Shrewsbury v Fleetwood
Southend v Accrington
Sunderland v MK Dons