In a repeat of the 2019 Checkatrade Trophy final, Kenny Jackett’s Portsmouth make the long journey to face Jack Ross’ Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on Saturday afternoon.
Three points in the penultimate match of the season could, if Barnsley are beaten by Blackpool, be enough for Pompey to move into second place and the automatic promotion spots ahead of the final day, five points in front of the Black Cats of fourth position.
How will they line up?
With the use of the above graphic, we have predicted Jackett’s starting Xl for the crucial fourth vs third matchup in the north east.
Rewind back to Easter Monday lunchtime, it’s half-time at Fratton Park and the hosts trail lowly Coventry City by a single goal – the gaffer decides to vitally substitute winger and striker Gareth Evans and Ollie Hawkins for Ronan Curtis and James Vaughan.
These alterations change the game on the south coast, leading the home side to turn things around through Tom Naylor and Brett Pitman strikes, keeping their automatic promotion hopes alive and well.
This is why we’re expecting Jackett to make those same two changes he opted for at the break on Bank Holiday Monday, replacing Evans and Hawkins with Curtis and Vaughan and sticking with the 4-2-3-1 formation, desperately hoping for a performance like the second half last time out.