Marcus Braddock looks ahead to this weekend's trip to Portsmouth
As storm Dennis menaces the population, Shrewsbury Town's team bus heads down south to Fratton Park, home of Portsmouth. Pompey, are in a bit of a run of form at the moment having won nine of their last eleven games. However, the eleventh game in that run, the one that ended it, was away to Coventry on Tuesday in a 1-0 defeat. The two looked likely to share the points with the score stuck at 0-0 deep into the game but Matt Godden managed to find space between the defenders to slot home a looped ball into the box. It was a hard-fought game between two sides that could well win automatic promotion. Both Coventry and Portsmouth have games in hand on the teams above them which could yet prove decisive come the end of the season.
Ronan Curtis 11 (2)
John Marquis 6 (5)
Ellis Harrison 4(5)
Marcus Harness 4(2)
Ben Close 3 (3)
Gareth Evans 5
Ronan Curtis 5
Marcus Harness 4
John Marquis 3
James Bolton 3
Brandon Haunstrup 3
Eleven. Seven at home and four away.
Most recent clean sheet: 8th February 20202, Tranmere 0-2 Portsmouth.
Last home clean sheet: 1st February, Portsmouth 2-0 Sunderland.
Clean Sheets in last 10 games: 4. Last five games: 3.
Pompey Home stats
Portsmouth have only conceded five times in the first half of games in League One and all five of them were conceded in the first fifteen minutes. The other seven goals they've conceded at Fratton this season have all been scored in the final fifteen minutes of the 90. This effectively means that for a 45 minute period (15th to the 60th) Portsmouth have been immaculate in terms of defence this season.
Their best period of the game in terms of goals scored is the first fifteen minutes of the second half, during which they've scored six times.
Pompey's points per game at home is quite high at 2.3, well above the league average of 1.7.
They've not lost at Fratton Park all season but have drawn over a third of their home games.
Lee Swabey from Devon. First League season: 2015/16.
First game in charge of Town: October 10th 2015, Town 4-2 Colchester Utd ( 4 yellow, 0 red cards). Mr Swabey has never sent a Shrewsbury Town player off.
Games this season: 24. Yellow cards: 79. Red cards: 5.
Kenny Jackett and Sam Ricketts have both talked about managing the squad effectively with so many games at this time of the season. Town will be without Shaun Whalley, Ollie Norburn and Brad Walker.
When you look at our form and that of Portsmouth, you get the impression that this could be a bit of a one-sided affair. Portsmouth have just finished a good run and will be wanting to start another against a Shrewsbury Town who are feeling the fatigue of a cup run. They're not the only team suffering, Pompey have done well in the F.A. Cup with Arsenal still to face in a couple of weeks but when you're on form, it doesn't seem so debilitating. I know the chances of a Town win this time is unlikely but odder things have happened and I know we can beat Portsmouth because we did it at the start of the season. We just have to find that motivation and try and grind out a result.