It has been 115 days since Fratton Park last hosted a competitive game of football.
Fleetwood left the south coast with a point following a 2-2 draw all the way back in March – a result that ultimately ensured both sides would finish in the top six.
The wait was then on to see how League One clubs would choose to conclude the campaign, with a decision finally made to begin the play-offs at the start of July.
There was little to separate the four sides that are now competing for the third and final spot in next season’s Championship.
The Blues and Oxford were locked together on 60 points, with the latter were one place higher because of their superior goal difference.
It means that the first leg this evening takes place on Pompey’s patch, albeit behind closed doors because of the continuing threat of Covid-19.
The players will have to make do without the usual cacophony generated by a passionate Fratton faithful, although there will be more than 1,000 supporters represented by cardboard cut-outs.
There have been a few rule alterations, including teams allowed to make five substitutions from a list of nine, but these can only take place in three groups, not including any made at the break.
It is also worth remembering that the away goals rule is not used in the play-offs – if the aggregate scores are level after Monday’s match, extra-time and, if required, penalties will be used.
The sides drew 1-1 when they met at Fratton Park during the regular season, with Gareth Evans’ penalty cancelled out by a late Matty Taylor leveller for Karl Robinson’s men.
Pompey have no injury concerns, while there were no positive results in the latest round of Covid-19 testing.
Reeco Hackett-Fairchild had been missing after collecting a knock in training, but he has since recovered and is available for selection.
The Oxford squad has also been given a clean bill of health, although loanee Nathan Holland previously returned to West Ham.
HEAD TO HEAD
Pompey: 25 wins
Oxford: 22 wins
At Fratton Park
Pompey: 17 wins
Oxford: 4 wins
Referee: Gavin Ward
Assistants: Nigel Lugg and Adrian Waters
Fourth Official: Charles Breakspear
Please note that there is no live iFollow video coverage of play-off games, although audio commentary will be available.
The match has been selected live broadcast on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Football, while supporters outside the UK should check local listings to see if the game is being televised in their region. Click here for a list of international EFL broadcasters.
LEAGUE ONE PLAY-OFFS
Pompey v Oxford (5.30pm)
Fleetwood v Wycombe (7.30pm)
Oxford v Pompey (5pm)
Wycombe v Fleetwood (7.30pm)