The match coming up this Friday, 19 April 2019, between Burton Albion F.C. and Portsmouth F.C. (Pompey) is a must win for both teams. The game this week will take place at Pirelli Stadium in Burton upon Trent, England, and 3 points will be necessary for either team's promotion aspirations. Things are looking bleak for Burton to return to the EFL Championship next year. The Brewers were relegated to EFL League One after last season, and are likely to remain there. They currently sit 9 points out of the 6th and final playoff spot. A loss Friday will mathematically eliminate them. Things are looking brighter for visiting Portsmouth who currently site 4th. However, if they hope to pass up Sunderland A.F.C. and Barnsley F.C. for the second automatic promotion place then 3 points against Burton are imperative.
Portsmouth is currently sitting on 80 points, which is 2 points behind Barnsley (currently 2nd). Sunderland, also with 80 points currently sits 3rd by virtue of a +33 goal differential, compared with +31 for Portsmouth. It is also worth noting that Portsmouth and Sunderland both own a game in hand over Barnsley and league leading Luton Town F.C. (87 points). To have any chance of making the playoffs Burton will need to not only run the table (away Southend United F.C., home Luton, away Peterborough F.C.), but they will need to have the 6th place Doncaster Rovers F.C. to come away with only 2 or less points out of their last 4 games. Lucas Akins leads Burton in scoring with 11 goals to go along with an impressive 8 assists. Pompey is lead by the 2 headed monster of Jamal Lowe (14 goals) and Ronan Curtis (11 goals), both of whom also have 8 assists apiece.
Burton Albion vs Portsmouth Vital Information
This match can be viewed on ESPN Plus in the United States, and on iFollow in the UK at 9:55 AM ET.
Craig Hicks will be the referee in the middle of the park along with assistants Matthew Parry and Richard Woodward. The fourth official will be Alan Young.
This will be the 6th meeting all time between Burton Albion and Portsmouth F.C. In the previous 5 meetings, Burton has won 1 time, Pompey has won 1, and there have been 3 draws. The most recent meeting between the two teams was a 2-2 draw at Portsmouth back on 23 October 2018.
Five Points That Shouldn’t be Overlooked
Both teams come into the match on a pretty good run of form. Portsmouth has won 5 in a row and 6 of their past 7. Burton has been nearly as impressive, winning 4 out of their past 5, and 5 out of their last 7.
Portsmouth has been an extremely hot and cold team this season. They opened the season with 4 consecutive wins, and that turned into an 11 game unbeaten streak to start the year (8 wins, 3 draws). They didn't lose their first game this year until 6 October 2018 against Gillingham F.C. However, from 12 January 2019 until 23 February 2019 they went 8 consecutive games without winning. During that time they had 3 losses in-a-row, followed by 5 consecutive draws before finally breaking through with a 6-1 thrashing of Bradford City A.F.C. on 5 March 2019.
A promotion for Portsmouth would mark the former Premier League club's first return to the second tier since 2012. During that period they have been relegated as far as EFL League Two, but have enjoyed a resurgence since former Walt Disney CEO Michael Eisner took over as chairman in 2017.
While Burton may currently sit 9th in the League One table, don't let that fool you, these guys can beat anybody on any give day, well except perhaps Manchester City. In this year's Carabao Cup, they went all the way to the semi-finals before finally being knocked out by Man City. During that run they knocked off Premier League side Burnley F.C., and Championship sides Aston Villa F.C., Nottingham Forest F.C., and Middlesborough F.C..
Portsmouth's Jamal Lowe has recorded a goal in Portsmouth's last 2 League One matches, and 4 in their past 7. He also scored in the Checkatrade Trophy final against Sunderland, meaning he has scored in each of his last 3 matches and 5 of his past 8 across all leagues. Burton's Lucas Akins has been playing with good quality recently as well, and has an impressive 6 goals in Burton's last 7 matches.
Burton Albion vs Portsmouth Prediction
While this is an important game for both teams, it means a little bit more to Portsmouth with Burton already on the ropes, and unlikely to make the postseason. Portsmouth has 7 wins more, and 7 losses fewer than Burton this season, plus net goal difference advantage of 19 over Burton. That being said, Burton is scrappy squad (remember their run in the Carabao Cup) with a still impressive +12 goal difference in the league season. They are also playing at home. Both of these teams are capable of finding the back of the net, and what are expected to be warm and humid conditions should be offense friendly. These two teams have a history of draws, and I think we see another one tomorrow, although 1 point won't do much good for either of these squads.
Prediction – Draw 3-3