Thursday evening, at 19:45, Portsmouth receives Sunderland’s return to the Promo League’s play-off semifinals in League One. The hosts are favorites to win, although they lost the first hand with 0-1 on the Stadium of Light.
Sunderland did not finish the regular season, but he was lucky enough to win the tour against Pompey, thanks to the goal scored in the second half of Maguire (’62). Immediately after the goal, the Turk Ozturk was eliminated from Sunderland, which greatly complicated the defense of the white-reds. Portsmouth attacked the van and the hosts resisted for an important success, but not enough to qualify for the play-off final. Sunderland has 1.40 to qualify for the Wembley final.
For Sunderland it was the first win after a series of four consecutive brilliant results: 0-1 with Southend and Fleetwood, 1-1 with Portsmouth (regular season) and Peterborough. So, Sunderland has received a goal with ease lately, and the Fratton Park atmosphere will put pressure on the visiting team. Neither is Sunderland in a great form: four consecutive non-winning matches in the championship. We notice, therefore, that the two teams have some difficulties lately, and the important stake of the second hand will definitely lead to a cautious and tactical game in the first half.
Sunderland avoided failure in the last two games with Portsmouth (1-0 and 1-1), but this time it has a hard job. The fans of Portsmouth will storm the stadium and the whole city puts great hopes in a good development for Kenny Jackett’s students. The dream of promotion was well maintained in southern England, and Portsmouth missed direct promotion. White-blue ended the season in fourth place (83-51), just three podium points. Sunderland was ranked 5th (80-47 Golaveraj), paying tribute to a slow start of the season. The two bands will be difficult to separate and visitors will defend with any means the advance in the first hand. We were expecting a closed match, decided in the second half.
PREDICTION: Both teams to score / YES @ 1,94