Pompey will go into their match at Colchester on a high as they have forced their way into the automatic promotion places for the first time this season after a 2-0 victory over Crawley in midweek. While Luton have a game in hand over the Blues, they must make the most of the lift this will give them and ensure they do not drop out of the top three before the end of the season.
The U’s have recovered from a shaky start to the season and are now serious play-off contenders, sitting three points and two places outside the top seven. However, their form has slowed of late and they have picked up just three wins from their last ten league games. Colchester will also have a slight advantage as far as freshness is concerned as, unlike the Blues, they did not have a game in midweek.
One to watch:
Colchester have a number of good players among their ranks, none more so than Ben Dickenson who has registered nine league goals so far this term. The 24 year old has found himself as one Colchester’s prized assets this season and I would expect there to be interest in him in the summer.
The U’s tend to line up with a 4-2-3-1 system which sees Chris Porter leading the line with Ben Dickenson, Tarique Fosu-Henry, and Sammy Szmodics in support. The hosts will probably play a reasonably entertaining brand of football as, having come down from League One, their players will be used to keeping the ball on the floor more often than not.
We’ve seen you before…:
A familiar name in the Colchester ranks will be Alex Wynter, who spent a season on loan at Pompey in 2014-15. The attacking full-back found it difficult in a poor side which failed to achieve the success which it should have done under Andy Awford, but did show moments of personal talent while at the club.
As I said earlier, Pompey have finally managed to work their way into the automatic promotion places and will be desperate to stay there until the end of the season. Last Saturday’s match against Crewe saw one of the worst performances in Paul Cook’s tenure and raised questions about the team’s home form, but on their travels the Blues have been solid for most of the season.
Two changes were made for the trip to Crawley, with Danny Rose replacing Amine Linganzi and Carl Baker replacing Gary Roberts. I would expect both players to keep their places in the side, although Jack Whatmough is unavailable with a hamstring injury. Linganzi is also fully recovered so he is likely to claim a spot on the bench, and Enda Stevens should keep his place after recovering from a dead leg. I’m predicting an unchanged team.
The Blues will need to kick on if they are to stay ahead of Luton in fourth, so will be going into tomorrow’s match wanting to win. I will go for another clean sheet on the road, and a 1-0 victory.
Man of the match prediction:
Kyle Bennett has hit a rich vein of form recently and scored a deserved goal on Tuesday night. Hopefully he can keep on improving and show how valuable an asset he is to the club with another great performance.