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Sunderland 1 v 0 Portsmouth

Saturday, 11th May 2019 Kick-off 19:30
Why Pompey have a better play-off chance in 2019 than in 2016
Wednesday, 8th May 2019 22:25 by pompey-fans.com staff

Christian Burgess says Pompey's 2019 play-off hopefuls have a big advantage over the 2016 counterparts - a home game in the semi-final second leg.

The central defender was in Paul Cook's side who lost 3-2 on aggegate to Plymouth in the League Two play-offs three years ago, with the first leg at Fratton ending 2-2 before a 1-0 defeat to a late goal at Home Park.

This time, having finished fourth, Pompey play away first - at the Stadium of Light on Saturday - and come back to Fratton Park for leg two, next Thursday.

Burgess told The News that was a big factor and said: 'Back then I remember saying that having the second leg at home wasn’t important, that it didn’t matter, but statistics will prove that wrong. From what I have seen, generally the team at home second seems to do better.

‘It’s not a forgone conclusion by the way, there are some years when it doesn’t happen, but over a period of time it has that trend. The year we lost at Plymouth in the second leg had its anomalies. We had a goalkeeping crisis, an injury crisis, all those factors didn’t help us, so I’m not sure about that second leg. You can never say how much it played a part.

‘I also think we did fairly well considering, it’s not like we got pumped and were never in the game. Alternatively, the atmosphere at Fratton Park was unbelievable, you remember that noise when Sparky (Marc McNulty) scored an early goal. Imagine if that was the second leg? I’m sure it will be a massive atmosphere at home in the play-offs.'

Pompey's home play-off semi is a sell-out but plenty of tickets remain for the Sunderland leg.

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