|Portsmouth 3 v 1 Northampton Town|
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 30th December 2017 Kick-off 15:00
Will Blues be in the zone for the new year?
Friday, 29th Dec 2017 16:33 by pompey-fans.com staff
Pompey can end 2017 in the League One play-off places.
They head into the Fratton Park clash with Northampton level on points with sixth-placed Peterborough, so if they draw or win - and better Posh's result - they will be sitting pretty as 2018 is rung in.
Rotherham and Charlton, both two points behind on 36, could also have a say in who gets sixth place for the turn of the year.
Of course being in any position at this stage means little with so much of the campaign to go, but for Pompey to be on the fringe of the promotion race, a spot their form of the past seven weeks has earned, represents impressive progress.
The Blues were in the bottom half of the table just a couple of months ago but have lost only twice in the league since Bradford inflicted a home defeat on the final Saturday of October.
Northampton arrive at Fratton on Saturday in 22nd place, having been beaten 3-0 at Doncaster last time out, and having lost at Pompey in the League Trophy just a month ago.
Blues defender Christian Burgess says the trophy win over the Cobblers will have no bearing on the outcome of the league clash.
He told The News: 'You can’t read too much into that win with it being that competition. Players sometimes go out there with completely different mindsets so it will be a completely different game on Saturday.
'In the first game they were very ruthless. The first goal they scored, they took it very well and put us under pressure. But we’d probably blame ourselves more for the goals we conceded.
‘They did go on a little bit of a run when they first got their new manager but have since dropped off so we’ll be hoping to be ruthless, to apply pressure and get the crowd going. We’ve been really strong at Fratton so it’s in our best interest to keep that going.’
Stuart O'Keefe and Kal Naismith remain on the sidelines but otherwise Kenny Jackett should have a full squad to select from.
Matt Kennedy will hope for a start againat Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink's team after impressing from the bench in the Boxing Day win over AFC Wimbledon.
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