Match Preview | Portsmouth v Argyle
There are very few examples of Portsmouth v Argyle matches which are not cracking contests.
Seven of the last 12 games between the sides have finished in draws, including three 2-2 scorelines in the last two seasons.
Both of Argyle’s last two visits to Fratton Park have ended in a shared four goals. Two seasons ago, a Luke Jephcott double put The Pilgrims 2-0 up, before Pompey responded with goals in the 86th and 87th minute, the latter scored by James Bolton, who is now with Argyle.
Last season, it was Ryan Hardie scoring twice, putting Argyle 2-1 up following an early Lee Brown goal. Again, Portsmouth scored a heart-breaking late leveller, this time from defender Sean Raggett deep into injury time.
Argyle fared better at Home Park later in the season, though, with Hardie grabbing the only goal of the game in the second half.
Portsmouth are yet to lose this season in Sky Bet League One action. They began with two draws: 3-3 at Sheffield Wednesday and 0-0 at home to manager Danny Cowley’s old club Lincoln City. Following this, Pompey have won six in a row, beating Cheltenham Town, Cambridge United, Bristol Rovers, Port Vale, Peterborough United and Burton Albion.
In the cups, they won at Cardiff City in the Carabao Cup before losing at Newport County, and in the Papa Johns Trophy had a 2-2 draw at Crawley Town followed by a penalty shoot-out extra point.
Manager Danny Cowley is assisted, as usual, by his brother Nicky, with the duo having taken over at Fratton Park in March 2021. Last season, in their first full season in charge, they steered Portsmouth to a 10th-place finish in League One.
Prior to arrival on the South Coast, Cowley began his management career with Concord Rangers and Braintree Town before making his name at Lincoln. He steered The Imps to promotions from the Vanarama National League and League Two, both times as champions, as well as a run to the Emirates FA Cup quarter-finals.
He left Lincoln in September 2019 to join Huddersfield Town, but was dismissed at the end of the season.
This summer, Portsmouth have signed numerous players, with a pair of forwards perhaps the two most eye-catching arrivals. Colby Bishop has signed from Accrington Stanley, and has scored five goals in his first eight games for the club. He has been playing in a front pairing with Tottenham Hotspur loanee Dane Scarlett, a teenage prospect who has scored three times.
Marlon Pack, 31, after a decade of playing in the Championship with Bristol City and Cardiff, has joined to offer some experience to the midfield, while 34-year-old Michael Morrison, who has played over 100 games for Reading, Birmingham City and Charlton Athletic, adds even more to the defence.
“They brought in 12 players, I think, over the summer, so a big turnaround. They’ve changed the system a little bit, and how they are playing. We know it will be the same old tough game. Every time we have been there over the last few years, especially last year, it was a tough game, but an enjoyable one.”
Mickel Miller, Conor Grant, and James Bolton are expected to miss out with injuries that have prevented them from playing this season so far. Otherwise, Steven Schumacher reports an fit squad to select from.
Our allocation of tickets in the Milton End of Fratton Park is completely sold out. Please do not travel without a ticket. If you any questions about ticket collections, please click here for this useful resource.
There will be a minute’s silence and playing of the National Anthem before kick-off, in memory of Her late Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.
Audio commentary of the game is available for £2.50 in the UK, and live video streaming is available for overseas supporters. Click here to see what is available in your region.