Following a week of trophy and cup action, League One football is back on the agenda for Pompey. A trip to Morecambe awaits for Danny Cowley’s side on matchday 16.
The Blues recently had a break from league matters and it was a break utilised well, securing progression to the next stages of both the Papa John’s Trophy and The FA Cup.
But it’s back to reality this week - The Mazuma Stadium the venue for Portsmouth’s return to league football, where they’ll be hoping to pick up only their 2nd win in 8 league matches.
We’ve provided a closer inspection into the names and numbers behind the Lancashire seaside club.
The Shrimps remain under the guidance of former Plymouth Argyle boss Derek Adams, who took post for the second time back in February, succeeding Stephen Robinson, who had left to return to Scotland to manage St. Mirren.
The 47-year-old, who led Morecambe to promotion to League One for the first time in the club’s history via the 2021 League Two Play-Offs, had left to take charge of Bradford City just days after the Wembley heroics.
Adams’ spell at Valley Parade had lasted just 8 months as he was sacked following a 1-0 defeat at home to Exeter City in February, with the Bantams 8 points adrift of the Play-Off places.
He was subsequently replaced by former Blackburn Rovers and Manchester City manager Mark Hughes.
ONE TO WATCH
Although he has yet to score for The Shrimps so far this season, we can’t ignore the presence of last season’s joint-3rd top goalscorer in League One, Cole Stockton.
The 28-year-old was Morecambe’s leading talisman last term by a country mile, bagging 23 league goals, just 3 shy of the golden boot winner Will Keane, who ended on 26.
Stockton has found game time difficult to come by this season due to the improved form of Kieran Phillips and Caleb Watts, spending the majority of his time coming off the bench to try and make an impact.
If he does player a bigger role this weekend or come on from the subs bench, keep an eye out for him, he’ll be wearing the number 9 shirt.
Whilst both Jensen Weir and Kieran Phillips are tied on 4 league goals each so far this season, it’s 20-year-old Weir who can currently claim to be Morecambe’s leading scorer, as in all competitions he has 5 to his name.
The midfielder, who last netted in the club’s 1-1 draw with Derby County 3 matches ago, bagged that extra goal in a 3-3 Papa John’s Trophy Group Stage stalemate with the Everton Under-21s, a tie The Shrimps went on to claim the extra point in via the resulting penalty shoot-out.
Weir is a regular part of Morecambe’s League One team, having played 14 out of 16 since his loan arrival from Brighton & Hove Albion in the summer.
Last time between Morecambe and Pompey at the Mazuma Stadium, Jonah Ayunga bagged a 93rd-minute equaliser to help secure the hosts’ League One status for this season, in doing so also condemning the Blues to another campaign in the 3rd tier.
Once again, The Shrimps find themselves battling relegation and they currently occupy 22nd position with just 13 points on the board after 17 played, 4 points off safety.
Whilst Morecambe have collected just 6 points from 5 league games, they have only lost once within that same timeframe, that a 1-0 defeat away at Cheltenham Town on October 25th.
Derek Adams’ side have played 2 games recently away from the league, losing 2-0 to both Sheffield Wednesday and MK Dons in the FA Cup and Carabao Cup respectively.
They are without a win in 5 in all competitions, last recording a victory at home to Barnsley on October 22nd.
Can Pompey collect all 3 points from this clash or will Morecambe become one of the latest sides to deny the Blues a victory?
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