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Oct 2, 2021 at 3pm UK
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Preview: Portsmouth vs. Sunderland - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Portsmouth will welcome Sunderland to Fratton Park on Saturday and the hosts are looking to end a winless run of seven League One games.

Sunderland enter the fixture top of the table with 22 points to their name after nine league fixtures, which leaves The Black Cats three points clear of the rest.

Match preview

After opening the season with four league games without defeat, Portsmouth's fortunes have taken a turn for the worse and they have not picked up three points since August 17 when they won 1-0 against Shrewsbury Town.

As a result of their poor form, Pompey currently occupy 13th position and have 12 points to their name, but the concern for Danny Cowley is his side have only collected two points in their last six League One fixtures.

Last time out, Portsmouth suffered a 2-1 defeat away to Burton Albion and though Reeco Hackett-Fairchild scored a superb free kick to give his side a lifeline, Pompey were unable to mount a comeback.

A concern for Cowley is that Pompey have started to look vulnerable defensively and they have conceded two goals in each of their last four fixtures.

A positive for Portsmouth is that their home form has been encouraging, as they have won two of their four home league games this term and have only lost once at Fratton Park this season.

Sunderland have enjoyed an impressive start to their campaign, winning seven of their nine league games this term, which has propelled them to the top of League One.

The Black Cats will travel to Fratton Park in a confident mood as they are currently unbeaten in their last six league matches.

They will be further boosted by their last outing, which saw Sunderland sweep aside Cheltenham Town by a 5-0 scoreline courtesy of a brace from Ross Stewart and goals from Bailey Wright, Luke O'Nien and Leon Dajaku.

Stewart has been a key component of Sunderland's success this season, as the 25-year-old is The Black Cats' top scorer with seven league goals this term.

Lee Johnson's side will look to replicate their last visit to Fratton Park when they managed to run out 2-0 winners last season.

Portsmouth League One form:
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • L

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

Sunderland League One form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W

Sunderland form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W

Team News

Pompey are still without Clark Robertson, who is out with a thigh problem.

Hackett-Fairchild could come in to start the game after scoring against Burton, which could mean Marcus Harness drops to the bench.

Cowley may also make a change up front with John Marquis struggling for goals and that could mean the former Doncaster Rovers striker is replaced by Ellis Harrison.

Sunderland are without Denver Hume and Arbenit Xhemajli, although Hume is close to returning after featuring for the Under-23 side on Monday.

After such an impressive performance against Cheltenham, Johnson is likely to name an unchanged side for Saturday's game.

Portsmouth possible starting lineup:
Bazunu; Freeman, Raggett, Williams; Romeo, Tunnicliffe, Morrell, Brown; Hackett-Fairchild, Curtis, Harrison

Sunderland possible starting lineup:
Hoffmann; Winchester, Wright, Flanagan, Huggins; O'Nien, Evans, Broadhead, O'Brien, McGeady; Stewart

We say: Portsmouth 1-3 Sunderland

Portsmouth could not face a tougher test in League One as they look to return to winning ways and we think Sunderland will have enough to get the victory on Saturday, which would keep their promotion push in full flow.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting an away win 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.Away Win:data

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