After Monday night’s 2-0 victory over Bolton Wanderers at Fratton Park, the Blues sit 6 points clear at the top of League One. They’re back on the road this weekend and it’s Shrewsbury Town who play the role of hosts.
The last time these 2 sides met back in April, a 1-1 draw was shared at New Meadow, where Marlon Pack rescued the point for Pompey in the 82nd minute following a Shrewsbury opener through Rob Street 30 minutes prior.
He’s no longer with The Shrews, but let’s take a look into the names that are, as well as the key facts and figures behind the team facing John Mousinho’s table toppers this weekend.
Shrewsbury are now managed by former Portsmouth hero Matt Taylor, who played for the Blues between 2002 and 2008.
Taylor was appointed as Shrews head coach back in June, succeeding ex-Blues boss Steve Cotterill.
His instalment as head coach at New Meadow served as the first time Shrewsbury have named an appointee as head coach, rather than manager. This comes after the creation of a director of football role at the club, with that position currently held by Micky Moore.
The 42-year-old previously had a 9 month tenure in charge of League Two outfit Walsall, where he was relieved of his duties in February 2022 with his side having suffered 7 consecutive defeats, leaving them just 4 points above the relegation zone.
They had been approaching a Play-Off place just prior to the New Year so the sudden downfall was met with an immediate response from the powers that be to remove Taylor from the dugout.
Taylor had 16 months away from management before being approached by Shrewsbury this summer.
ONE TO WATCH
32-year-old striker Ryan Bowman has been labelled as our ‘One To Watch’ this weekend.
Standing at 6 feet and 2 inches, the Carlisle-born forward adopts a position up-top for Shrewsbury alongside Daniel Udoh and does so by wearing the number 9 shirt.
So far this season, Bowman has scored just 1 league goal and that came on the opening day of the season in a 1-0 victory over Cheltenham Town.
The former York City, Motherwell and Exeter City man has however scored 4 more goals in cup competition this campaign - 1 in the EFL Trophy and 3 in The FA Cup.
Bowman’s hattrick away at Notts County on December 1st single-handedly sent The Shrews through to the 3rd Round of the oldest cup competition in world football, where they’ll face Wrexham in January.
With 3 goals and 3 assists to his name in the league this season, 27-year-old Daniel Udoh is the club’s leading scorer at this stage.
The Nigerian forward, who wears the number 11 shirt, last netted in a 2-1 victory over Port Vale at New Meadow on November 25th.
Udoh has been a Salopian since May 2019, which was when he signed from local rivals AFC Telford United for an undisclosed fee. He made his league debut for Shrewsbury 3 months later, coming off the bench to score an 89th-minute winner in a 3-2 win away at Accrington Stanley.
The former Ilkeston and Crewe winger has also bagged 1 goal in The FA Cup and 1 in the EFL Trophy this season too.
Much like Pompey, Shrewsbury are without a loss in their previous 3 league games and their last defeat was inflicted by Blackpool by a scoreline of 4 goals to nil.
Those last 3 games have included 2 wins and a draw, most recently seeing out a 1-0 victory away at Wycombe last weekend.
Amongst this recent string of results in the league, Matt Taylor’s side also secured progression to the 3rd Round of The FA Cup, thanks to a 3-2 win away at Notts County.
In the league standings, The Shrews are in 11th position on 27 points, though both Northampton and Bristol Rovers below them played fewer games.
Only 2 sides in League One have scored less goals than Shrewsbury’s 13 this season - Exeter City have netted 12 while Cheltenham have only managed 11.
They have also conceded 27 goals, the joint-most of any team sitting 14th or above, with 15th placed Wycombe having let in 28.
Both sides are unbeaten in their last 3 league matches, so will it be a 4th consecutive win for the Blues, or can Shrewsbury keep up their own run of form and claim a result against the leaders?
Join the Pompey Live team to find out and catch all of the unmissable action as Portsmouth take on Shrewsbury Town away from home, this Saturday (December 16th) from 2pm.