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This Week's Opposition: Forest Green Rovers

Photo Credit: Forest Green Rovers

The Blues had to fight back to secure a 2-2 draw against Port Vale last Saturday. Let’s hope they can get back to winning ways as we head back to PO4 this Saturday to celebrate 125 years of Portsmouth Football Club, who take on bottom of the league Forest Green Rovers.

Earlier in the season in the reverse of this fixture, Pompey came out on top by scraping a 1-0 win at The New Lawn - That was the first and, to date, the only competitive meeting between the 2 clubs.

Time now to take a closer look into Forest Green and the next test for John Mousinho.

MANAGER

Former Scottish striker Duncan Ferguson, who started his career at Dundee United in 1990, is now at the helm of The Green.

Ferguson made a move to Rangers before spending the remainder of his playing career in England.

The 51 year old featured for Everton and spent a short stint at Newcastle United before retiring at the aforementioned Everton in 2006.

Taking on the managerial role only 2 months ago, Ferguson finally got his first win as manager last Sunday, pulling off the shock of the weekend to beat Sheffield Wednesday by a goal to nil in front of the television cameras.

ONE TO WATCHHarveyBunker_TWO

Our one to watch this weekend is midfielder Harvey Bunker (pictured), a local lad who grew up within a PO postcode.

Only 19 years old, he joined Forest Green and made his debut in November 2019.

Bunker came up with the Rovers this season from League Two and was awarded as the EFL Man of the Match in their most recent win against Sheffield Wednesday.

This performance came after he was recalled from his end-of-season loan spell at Scunthorpe United, who he had joined in February with the aim of getting some first-team minutes under his belt, though recently recalled by Duncan Ferguson to aid their survival attempts.

Last time we saw these 2 teams meet, Bunker made it his mission to keep Ronan Curtis under his wing, not letting him out of his sight. He didn’t allow Curtis to have a chance of making any advancements at The New Lawn back in October.

TOP SCORER

Midfielder Myles Peart-Harris is currently Forest Green Rovers’ leading scorer this season with 6 league goals to his name.

The highly-rated attacking midfielder came to Forest Green on loan from Brentford at the start of this season and has proved to be a key player in the starting 11 throughout the campaign.

The 20-year-old Bees loanee, who wears the number 25 for Forest Green, also has 1 goal in the Papa John’s Trophy this campaign.

CURRENT FORM

After meeting Duncan Ferguson’s side in Gloucestershire for the first time in League One back in October, the 2 teams have since kept quite a distance in the league table, with Pompey currently in 9th and Forest Green sitting at the bottom of the division in 24th - 15 places and 32 points behind the Blues.

Relegation back to League Two is looking likely to be round the corner for Rovers, who have in their last 10 league outings, secured victory just once whilst recording 2 draws and 7 defeats.

Duncan Ferguson’s side have collected just 26 points from a possible 114 so far this season with most of them being collected on home soil.

Winning their first match since December last Sunday against automatic promotion contenders, could this be a change around for the side and the start of an unlikely great escape?

Could they climb up the table just before the end of the season and keep their place in the 3rd tier, or can Pompey keep Rovers at the bottom of the table and continue their own march toward Play-Offs?

Tune in for all the unmissable action on Pompey Live, this Saturday (April 1st) from 2pm – Robbie James, Jake Smith and Jay Sadler wil; be providing full build-up, half-time analysis and post-match reaction LIVE from Fratton Park (3pm kick-off).

The Pompey Live team will also be joined alongside special guests throughout the afternoon’s coverage on Saturday as they join in with Portsmouth FC’s 125th Anniversary celebrations!

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