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Preview: Portsmouth vs. Sheffield Wednesday - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Portsmouth vs. Sheffield Wednesday - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Tuesday's League One clash between Portsmouth and Sheffield Wednesday, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Portsmouth and Sheffield Wednesday square off at Fratton Park on Tuesday evening with just one point separating the clubs in the League One standings.

While both teams remain outside of the playoff spaces, Pompey and the Owls have recently put together prolonged unbeaten streaks in the third tier.

Match preview

Through a six-week period between the start of September and the middle of October, Danny Cowley appeared to be on the brink of losing his job at Portsmouth.

However, the South-coast outfit have been superb in the league since then, collecting 17 points from a possible 21 to move back into the promotion picture.

Eleven goals and four clean sheets have come during that spell, but Cowley now faces the task of lifting his players after a shock exit to Harrogate Town in the FA Cup.

The game appeared destined to be decided in a replay in Yorkshire before Jack Diamond netted a last-minute winner to claim a 2-1 victory for the League Two outfit.

On the plus side, Portsmouth can now focus on league matters, and another success on Tuesday night will move the club into contention for the automatic promotion places.

Despite collecting nine draws from their 20 third-tier outings, Sheffield Wednesday find themselves with the same scenario heading into the Christmas period.

Like their opponents, cup exits threaten to halt their momentum, but the Owls have gone 10 fixtures without defeat in the league.

Seven points have come from a possible nine, their 2-2 draw with Wycombe Wanderers seeing them come from behind before eventually having to settle for a share of the spoils.

Although Wednesday have given up plenty of points this campaign, Darren Moore will be content with their current standing, aware that a couple more triumphs would lift any feeling of frustration.

Portsmouth League One form:
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Portsmouth form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L

Sheffield Wednesday League One form:
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • D

Sheffield Wednesday form (all competitions):
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • L

Team News

Despite making his return from injury at the weekend, John Marquis will likely start this fixture on the Portsmouth substitutes' bench.

Much will depend on whether Cowley sticks with a back three, but Lee Brown and Ronan Curtis are both different options in defence and attack respectively.

After the tame defeat at the hands of Hartlepool United in the EFL Trophy, Moore will likely revert back to the side from the draw with Wycombe.

That would see the likes of Cheyenne Dunkley, Barry Bannan and Josh Windass all reclaim their spots in the team.

Theo Corbeanu is an option at left wing-back in place of Olamide Shodipo.

Portsmouth possible starting lineup:
Bazunu; Freeman, Raggett, Ogilvie; Romeo, Williams, Azeez, Hackett-Fairchild; Harness, Jacobs, Harrison

Sheffield Wednesday possible starting lineup:
Peacock-Farrell; Brennan, Dunkley, Paterson; Hunt, Luongo, Bannan, Windass, Corbeanu; Gregory, Kamberi

We say: Portsmouth 1-1 Sheffield Wednesday

Given their respective recent form, this contest is too close to call. While both teams recognise the benefits which come with a win, defeat would leave them off the pace, leading us to predict a competitive draw on the South coast.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

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