A magnificent win on Saturday against Luton mean that Pompey go into their televised match against Doncaster full of confidence.  Doncaster, meanwhile, go into the match in first place after their win over Stevenage at the weekend.  It has all the makings of a great match in front of the Sky cameras, and hopefully Pompey will be able to get the three points.

The opposition:

Recent form:
Rovers have suffered just one defeat in their last ten league games and go into the match in brilliant form.  However, they only just managed to get past Stevenage on Saturday after a late own goal from Fraser Franks so if the Blues play their cards right they can definitely get a result.

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Image courtesy of HITC

One to watch:
Liam Mandeville has garnered a reputation as being the next star of Doncaster’s side.  The 19 year old has registered seven goals already this season, including several spectacular efforts.  However, the attacking midfielder is an injury doubt for the game tomorrow and he may struggle to get back to fitness in time.

Tactics:
Doncaster are likely to line up with a 4-3-3 formation which will see James Coppinger and Conor Garant playing on either side of John Marquis to form a formidable front three.  The two full-backs are likely to push on high up the pitch, especially on the left where Matty Blair is naturally a winger and will be looking to get forward whenever the opportunity presents itself.

We’ve seen you before…:
John Marquis was one of a long list of ex-players to come back and score at Fratton Park when he scored in the fixture at Fratton Park this season, and he is well capable of scoring again tomorrow night.  Marquis enjoyed a reasonably successful loan spell at Portsmouth in 2013 but has since been a journeyman who has not spent long at any of his clubs.  He is unlikely to get the warmest welcome from the travelling fans.

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Image courtesy of Zimbio

Pompey:

Recent form:
The result on Saturday was a brilliant one for Pompey and they will undoubtedly want more of the same under the lights tomorrow.  Luton and Doncaster are two of the Blues’ main promotion rivals so to get six – or even four – points from the two games would be a very impressive haul.  Pompey haven’t lost on the road since the 3-1 defeat to Blackpool so will be confident on that front.

Tactics:
Saturday saw Paul Cook revert to his favoured 4-2-3-1 formation and also saw Kyle Bennett return to the starting eleven after being rested against Newport County and Yeovil.  The major talking point ahead of the match as far as the Blues are concerned will be whether or not Gary Roberts makes a return to the lineup after a spell on the sidelines.  He came on at the weekend and proceeded to miss a penalty, so if he does play he will certainly want to improve on that.  Personally I think he probably will come back in for Kal Naismith, who can feel hard done by if he does lose his place.  Here is my predicted lineup:

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Predictions:

Score prediction:
Unfortunately I can’t see Pompey getting anything out of tomorrow’s game and think they will go down to a 2-1 defeat.  It should be a good game between two sides which will go for the victory and play good football.

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Image courtesy of Doncaster Free Press

Man of the match prediction:
Important games are so regularly decided by the key players from each team and how they perform on the night, and Tommy Rowe could well be the key for the hosts.  If he performs he could be too much for Pompey as he is the driving force in the Rovers midfield.

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Image courtesy of Portsmouth FC

First goalscorer prediction:
Although I think Pompey may lose, I expect them to go in front.  Michael Smith is on a reasonable run without a goal and he could easily break that tomorrow if the right chance presents itself.  He came close to finding the net a couple of times on Saturday so may be close to scoring a couple.

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