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Portsmouth 2 v 1 AFC Wimbledon
SkyBet League One
Tuesday, 1st January 2019 Kick-off 15:00
Downing the Dons will be no cakewalk for Pompey
Monday, 31st Dec 2018 14:22 by staff

Pompey begin 2019 top of the tree - but know any more slip-ups like the one that ruined Boxing Day will see one or more of their rivals pounce.

Their lead was cut to a point after the December 26 loss at Gillingham but increased again to three points when their win at Fleetwood on Saturday was coupled with points dropped by Luton and Sunderland.

New Year's Day brings a visit to Fratton of AFC Wimbledon and although Wally Downes' team are near the wrong end of the table they have shown signs of improvement under the man who recently replaced Neal Ardley.

Kenny Jackett expects a tough test to be set by Downes and his team. It's no surprise (they've picked up under Downes), he's a very experienced man," Jackett told Sky. 'Along with [assistant manager] Glyn Hodges I'm sure they'll prove to be excellent appointments. They know what the club is all about. Their task is to get the club out of the relegation zone, which I'm sure they're fully capable of.'

Fans will be keen to see who of the players brought into the side on Saturday will keep their places. Anton Walkes certainly will, having come in at right back for the injured Nathan Thompson and scored a cracker to put Pompey 3-2 up in the second half.

Brandon Haunstrup seems set to stay at left back after coming on for the injured lee Brown in the first half at Fleetwood, while Ben Close and Brett Pitman will be confident of keeping their places after replacing Gareth Evans and Oli Hawkins.

Jackett told the Pompey website: 'I’m looking forward to the game and it comes off the back of a very good performance at Fleetwood at the weekend. We have to make sure that we take that into this match and that we don’t underestimate – or overestimate – any opposition.

'A big thing for us is putting on a performance of quality and passion that brings our supporters into play. AFC Wimbledon are under new management now and have had some positive results lately – there are no easy games in this division.

'I’m sure it will be a close and competitive contest on New Year’s Day and we have to get the details right to win it. If people look like they need a break to restore their energy levels then that’s what you have a squad for.'

Pompey won at Wimbledon earlier in the season so are looking to complete their second league double inside four days.


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