The fixture computer could have been kinder when it handed Pompey a trip to Devon at a time when many could be forgiven for wanting to lie on the sofa with a tin of Quality Street and a James Bond marathon.
But Danny Cowley’s side will hope to provide some festive cheer for the travelling faithful when they visit Exeter on Boxing Day (3pm kick-off).
The Blues are looking to bounce back from suffering successive league defeats as they prepare for the start of the busy Christmas schedule.
There will also be a desire to ensure the 13th-placed Grecians do not leapfrog them in the League One standings.
City have two fewer points at present, although have played three matches more in their first campaign at this level for 10 years.
Matt Taylor led them to the fourth tier runners-up spot last term, but left for Rotherham in October and has been replaced in the dug-out by Gary Caldwell.
The former Scotland international defender will be trying to get his side back on track following a five-match winless run in all competitions.
Pompey have enjoyed their previous two meetings with Exeter, which both took place in the EFL Trophy.
On both occasions they netted two late goals to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, with a Fratton success in 2020 booking a place at Wembley.
Pompey are waiting to see whether Tom Lowery (hamstring), Zak Swanson (stomach) and Louis Thompson (leg) will be fit enough to feature after returning to training.
Kieron Feeman (calf), Joe Rafferty (stomach) and Jayden Reid (knee) all remain sidelined for the visitors.
Defender Pierce Sweeney is missing for Exeter after fracturing a bone in his hand, while Sam Stubbs (knee) and Kyle Taylor (knee) are also not in contention.
VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Read the thoughts of Danny Cowley ahead of the game.
HEAD TO HEAD
Pompey: 15 wins
Exeter: 6 wins
On the road
Pompey: 6 wins
Exeter: 2 wins
Referee: Alan Young
Assistants: Simon Shaw and Mark Derrien
Fourth Official: Daniel Flynn
Pompey have sold their full allocation of tickets, so please do not travel if you have not bought one in advance.
Click here to read a guide for away fans that has been produced by Exeter.
The game is also being used to raise awareness for Motor Neurone Disease after former Grecians striker Marcus Stewart and Exeter Community Trust member Peter Eveleigh were both diagnosed with the disease.
Domestic iFollow subscribers can also enjoy audio commentary from Andrew Moon and Guy Whittingham as usual, but will need to purchase a match pass if they want to watch the game.
There will be post-match reaction on the website and our official YouTube channel, with highlights to follow on Tuesday.
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ALSO IN LEAGUE ONE
All games kick-off at 3pm
Accrington v Barnsley
Burton v Lincoln
Cambridge v Shrewsbury
Charlton v Peterborough
Cheltenham v Plymouth
Fleetwood v Sheffield Wednesday
Ipswich v Oxford
MK Dons v Forest Green
Port Vale v Morecambe
Wycombe v Bristol Rovers
Bolton v Derby