Marcus Braddock previews tomorrow's game against Portsmouth
After another exciting week we're on the road again and headed to Portsmouth, statistically one of the best home teams in the division with just three defeats and two draws at Fratton Park this season. The games are coming thick and fast with barely any respite although Portsmouth have spared themselves further cup games and have had seven days since their last game. We played on Tuesday but Paul Hurst has tried to offset that with judicious rests and substitutions of key players. Portsmouth really need to win this if they are to keep the pace with the play-off chasing pack but you could say the same about ourselves although with Wigan in the Cup this weekend there is a chance for both Blackburn and Shrewsbury to close the gap.
Top Scorers (sub appearances in brackets)
Brett Pitman 13 from 22(1) games.
Oliver Hawkins 6 from 16(5).
Conor Chaplin 3 from 7(11).
Matthew Kennedy 3 from 16(5).
Jarmal Lowe 3 from 23(3).
Christian Burgess 3.
Matthew Kennedy 3.
Jarmal Lowe 3.
Six at home and three away.
Points per Game
Portsmouth at home 2.1
Shrewsbury away 1.6
Portsmouth have failed to score at home in just 14% of games but Town have failed to score in just 21% of away games.
Portsmouth finish both halves well with six goals in the 15 minutes leading to half time and five in the final fifteen of the game. Town also score more heavily in those periods with four and five scored respectively.
Their weakest period of the game appears to be the 15 minutes after half time with five goals conceded although they have scored four in the same period. Unfortunately that is also our weakest point in terms of goals conceded with five conceded in that period all season.
David Coote from Nottinghamshire. Games this season: 22. Yellow cards: 80. Red cards: 3.
Assistants: Adam Matthews and Nigel Lugg.
Fourth official: Lee Collins.
No new injury worries for Portsmouth but Kenny Jacket has Midfielder Gareth Evans available after a Hamstring injury.
Paul Hurst has no fresh injury worries.
I'm sick of starting this bit by saying that this is another difficult game but that is unfortunately the case again. Pompey have been very good all season at home and haven't lost since Bradford beat them 1-0 in late October. This is our 9th game in 28 days, that's one every 3.1 which sounds quite tiring but I've barely heard Paul Hurst mention it, unlike his Premiership counterparts. Resting the likes of Abu Ogogo and Alex Rodman looks a good move although the latter played a very important cameo role on Tuesday. I'd love to see a win from this one but I cant help feeling that to come home with a point would be sufficient, all things considered. Having said that, this team has been surpassing my expectations regularly, so another unanticipated away win isn't impossible.