Sports Mole previews Tuesday’s League One clash between Portsmouth and Rotherham United, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
At a time when the Millers have lost ground in the promotion race, Portsmouth are now out of contention for the playoffs, capping a disappointing campaign for the South-coast outfit.
Such has been Rotherham’s drop in form of late that they almost blew the chance to win the EFL Trophy last weekend, Paul Warne‘s side requiring a last-gasp equaliser against Sutton United before prevailing 4-2 after extra time.
When all was said and done, the Millers’ players, staff and supporters could enjoy the celebrations that followed, but Warne knows that concentration cannot be lost during the closing stages of the season.
Although they sit in third spot and trail MK Dons by three points, Rotherham still have two games in hand, but a 1-0 home defeat to Charlton Athletic on Saturday has further knocked their confidence.
Just five points have been collected from their last six league fixtures, although Warne will point to Rotherham’s outstanding away form as a reason why they can get back to their best.
They have gone seven games in all competitions without suffering a defeat on their travels, and that record will be put to the test at Fratton Park.
Portsmouth have endured a dismal recent run of results, collecting just three points from five outings and failing to win any of those fixtures.
Those three draws have come against Ipswich Town, Wycombe Wanderers and Bolton Wanderers, solid results in isolation, but Danny Cowley will recognise that it has been another season of under-achievement.
Despite having at least one game in hand on the teams above them, Portsmouth are 13 points adrift of the playoffs with six matches left, a scenario which effectively leaves them out of the running for a return to the Championship.
Holding a six-point gap above 12th place, Pompey do not look in any danger of dropping into the mid-table spots, but Cowley will not be satisfied unless the South-coast outfit return to the top 10.
On a more positive note, Portsmouth are unbeaten in their last six home fixtures, collecting 14 points from those contests.
Portsmouth League One form:
Rotherham United League One form:
Rotherham United form (all competitions):
Defender Angus MacDonald remains sidelined for Rotherham as he continues to serve a three-match suspension.
Portsmouth possible starting lineup:
Bazunu; Romeo, Carter, Raggett, Ogilvie; Jacobs, Tunnicliffe, Morrell, Curtis; Hirst, Walker
Rotherham United possible starting lineup:
Johansson; Harding, Wood, Ihiekwe; Ogbene, Rathbone, Barlaser, Wiles, Osei-Tutu; Kayode, Smith
We say: Portsmouth 1-1 Rotherham United
With neither team firing on all cylinders of late, do not expect this contest to be full of quality. However, both clubs possess a strong desire to get back on track, and it could lead to a competitive share of the spoils being played out.