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Match Previews

PREVIEW | Portsmouth vs Rovers

16 October 2020

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Rovers return to league action when they take on Portsmouth at Fratton Park this weekend.

Darren Moore’s side are looking to get back to winning ways after losing 1-0 at Wigan Athletic in their last Sky Bet League One fixture. 

Portsmouth’s early season form 

Pompey began their league campaign with back-to-back goalless draws. After drawing a blank at home to Shrewsbury on the opening day, they were forced to settle for a point once again at Rochdale a week later – despite having the most of the chances in that game. 

They were beaten by Wigan Athletic in their final game in September, before picking up a much needed first league victory at Burton Albion on October 3. A 4-2 win against the Brewers set them up nicely to pick up another three points with a hard-fought 2-1 win at home to MK Dons last time out. 

 

The man in charge 

Former Swansea and Millwall manager Kenny Jackett was appointed as Portsmouth manager in June 2017, replacing Paul Cook in the dugout at Fratton Park. 

After an eighth-placed finish in Jackett’s first season, his second campaign was arguably his most successful at the club so far. Despite being beaten in the Sky Bet League One play-off semi-final by Sunderland, he guided his side to EFL Trophy glory when they beat the same opponents at Wembley a few months earlier. 

Last season saw Pompey once again fall short in the semi-final stage, this time being beaten in a penalty shootout by Oxford United. 

Since taking the job, Jacket has been in charge of 176 Portsmouth games, winning 91, drawing 38 and losing 47, giving him an overall win percentage of 51.7%. 

 

Ones to watch  

Tom Naylor 

The Pompey captain, Naylor joined the club at the start of last season from fellow Sky Bet League One side Burton Albion.  

After starting his career at Mansfield Town, the versatile midfielder did enough to earn a permanent move to Derby County in January 2012. After loans with the likes of Bradford and Grimsby, he followed Nigel Clough to Burton initially on loan in 2015.  

He made the move permanent a few months later and scored six goals in 41 appearances as the Brewers won promotion to the Sky Bet Championship. He featured 33 times in the second tier but couldn’t prevent his side from being relegated, before joining Portsmouth that summer. He played 43 times in all competitions throughout his first season at Fratton Park. 

 

Ronan Curtis 

The 24-year-old Irish winger signed for Portsmouth from League of Ireland outfit Derry City in the summer of 2018 for an undisclosed fee. He attracted the attention of plenty of clubs after impressive performances in the Europa League for Derry, where he netted in the first qualifying round against Danish side FC Midtjylland.  

Curtis netted an impressive 12 goals in his first season at Fratton Park, and followed that up with an even better tally of 14 last season. His creativity from the flanks is a real outlet for Kenny Jackett’s side. 

 

John Marquis 

A man who needs no introduction to Rovers fans, Marquis was re-united with former manager Kenny Jackett after leaving Rovers for an undisclosed fee last summer. 

After starting his career with Millwall, the striker spent plenty of time out on loan before signing a permanent deal with Rovers in the summer of 2016. The 28-year-old hit the ground running in South Yorkshire and quickly became a prolific goal-scorer for the club, scoring 26 goals on the way to securing promotion back to Sky Bet League One in his first season. 

The goals continued to flow for Marquis who played a key role in helping Rovers reach the play-offs in his final season with the club. A move to Portsmouth and the chance to be closer to his family came about that summer, and he departed the Keepmoat Stadium having scored 63 goals in 157 appearances in a red and white shirt. 

 

Last time out  

Portsmouth scored late at the Keepmoat Stadium to earn a 2-1 victory when the two sides last met back in September 2019. Gareth Evans had given the visitors the lead on the hour-mark, before Reece James looked to have levelled a point for Rovers with eight minutes of normal time remaining. That was until Ellis Harrison looped a header over Seny Dieng in stoppage-time to seal all three points. 

 

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