A brief introduction
Argyle head into this game in the lowest of spirits following a poor start to the season that has seen them dumped out of the League Cup as well as collecting only two points from a possible fifteen. Stalwarts of last season’s push towards the play-offs have been frozen out in favour of new recruits with mixed results. A series of missed chances in front of goal, poor decisions made and penalties conceded have proved a lethal cocktail for Argyle. It seems to be groundhog day for the greens as we very often take the lead in games before going behind and staying behind.

Portsmouth on the other hand have started their season in fine fettle with 13 points from their first possible 15. They’re tight at the back, conceding just three goals in their five games so far, but hardly mean going forward either. Andre Green and Joe Mason are both excellent signings for this level and the likes of Hawkins, Thompson, Lowe and Pitman are also far from to be sniffed at. Promotion will unarguably be their aim and you have to fear for an Argyle defence that is coming up against such an array of riches.

Games between the two sides have been tightly contested in recent years with most games only being decided by the odd goal. The pivotal moment between the sides is of course Peter Hartley’s header to send Argyle to Wembley but Pompey got their own back a year later by pipping Argyle to the League Two title at the post. Argyle haven’t beaten Pompey since that sunny evening in May 2016. This would be a great time to start.

Head to head
Argyle have won on two of the last nine occasions against the Hampshire side, one home and one away.

The two sides first met in 1921, with the game ending in a 1-1 draw.

Six out of the last twelve matches between the two sides have ended in a draw.

Predicted line-ups:
Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray, Walkes, Whatmough, Clarke, Brown, Thompson, Naylor, Lowe, Curtis, Green, Hawkins.

Argyle: (4-3-3): Macey, Riley, Edwards, Sawyer, Smith-Brown, O’Keefe, Ness, Sarcevic, J Grant, Taylor, Carey.

Writer’s view.
Games against Portsmouth always stir the emotions and I’d love to see us come away with all three points…but I really can’t see it. They have more class all over the pitch and seem better as a team unit. Portsmouth 4-0 Argyle.

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