The EFL League One match coming up this Saturday, 4 May 2019, between Accrington Stanley F.C. and the Portsmouth F.C. will take place at Fratton Park in Portsmouth, England. It is the last match of the regular season for both teams, and a fairly meaningless one for Accy, who secured their place in League One with last week's win over Plymouth Argyle F.C..
Sitting on 54 points, and 13th in the standings, and 7 points clear of the cutline. An impressive debut season in League One for the historic club with the lowest budget in the league. Pompey sits 3rd in the table on 87 points, and cannot catch Barnsley F.C. or Luton Town F.C. above them for an automatic promotion. This is still an important game for them in terms of playoff seeding, as Sunderland A.F.C. sits on 85 points in 4th, and look to overtake Portsmouth for the top seed in the postseason.
This is a game that looks like a bit of a mismatch, especially in terms of club size and budget. To make things even more difficult for Accrington, it is a long trip down south to Portsmouth. Accy doesn't have anything to play for in this game, while it is a must win for the visitors. Everything appears to point to an easy Pompey victory here, but one must not overlook the snappiness of the John Coleman lead squad from up North. Accy has a new leading scorer this week, after veteran midfielder Sean McConville bumped his total up to 14 on the year, with a hat trick last week. McConville has 4 goals in his last 2 games, and also has 8 assists this year. Winger Jamal Lowe leads the way for Portsmouth, having scored 15 goals, and added another 8 assists on the year for Pompey. Lowe has been in good form of late, having scored 4 times in his last 8 League One matches.
Portsmouth F.C. vs Accrington Stanley Vital Information
This match can be viewed on iFollow (which must be purchased from the Portsmouth website) in the United States, and on iFollow in the UK at 11:30 AM ET/5:30 PM GMT.
Scott Duncan will be the referee in the middle of the park along with assistants Akil Howson and Andrew Fox. The fourth official will be Antony Coggins.
This will be the 11th meeting all time between Portsmouth F.C. and Accrington Stanley F.C. In the previous 10 meetings, Portsmouth has won 4 times, Accrington has won 2, and there have been 4 draws. It was a draw in the most recent of those, 1-1, over at WHAM Stadium in Accrington, back on 27 October 2018.
Five Points That Shouldn’t be Overlooked
The travel distance from Accrington to Portsmouth is a sizable 272 miles, making this one of the longer travels in League One. This is roughly a 6 to 7 hour bus ride. (Distances are city to city per Google Maps)
This is a bit of a mismatch on paper, as Pompey boasts a goal difference of plus 32, while Accrington is at -16. This adds up to a net differential of 48 between the two teams. Portsmouth has also put the onion in the bag 82 times this season, good for second in the league. Accrington has scored just 50 goals comparatively.
Portsmouth has had a bit of an up and down season in spite of sitting 4th in the table. They didn't lose for the first time until their 12th match of the season on, 6 October 18 against Gillingham F.C.. From 12 January 2019 to 23 February 2019 they went 8 consecutive games without winning. Recently, they won 7 in-a-row, at streak that came to an end over the past 2 weeks with a draw against Sunderland, and a loss to Peterborough United F.C. last Saturday 27 April 2019.
In addition to McConville, Accrington will be looking for Billy Kee for offense. Kee snapped out of his recent slump in the Plymouth game, netting his 13th of the season. Kee and McConville have 27 of Accrington's 50 goals on the season, which is good for 54% of their offense.
While Jamal Lowe leads the way 15 goals, Portsmouth has spread the scoring around a bit more. Ronan Curtis and Brett Pittman with 11 apiece, and Gareth Evans with 10 goals, are all in double digit scoring for Pompey this season.
Portsmouth F.C. vs Accrington Stanley Prediction
Accrington is a team that consistently punches above its weight to even be in League One to begin with. Having secured a mid-table finish is even more impressive, and proof that you can throw away all the stats when they come to town. That being said, their season essentially ended with last week's win. Portsmouth is not only the better side on paper, they simply need to win this game more, and they have it at home. Anyone who watches Accrington on a regular basis wouldn't be surprised to see an upset here, but I just don't think it happens on this day. I believe that Portsmouth will not only win tomorrow and get the number one seed, but that they will be playing in the EFL Championship next season.
Prediction – Portsmouth 3 Accrington 1