Plymouth a sure fire bet to take three home points against Pompey
Only League Two leaders Wycombe Wanderers have won at Plymouth Argyle across any competition in normal time this season. Contrast that with Portsmouth’s woeful away form, and it’s easy to see why Coral make the hosts of this south coast derby 6/5 favourites for three points.
Victory will take John Sheridan’s Pilgrims to within two points of the fourth tier summit. Wycombe don’t play until Monday and their battle with Burton Albion, who are under new management with Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, is also a live on TV affair, with Coral experts also covering that encounter.
Having only beaten Oxford United on their travels in the league, Pompey start as 9/4 outsiders for an upset victory at Home Park. A draw is presently priced the same.
Andy Awford’s visits must be wary of Plymouth top scorer Reuben Reid. He has nine in all competitions this term, and four in his last six league games. Reid is thus an even-money chance to net again, having done so in the previous Pilgrims battle with these rivals, in the anytime market.
Fellow forward Lewis Alessandra is an attractive alternative at 21/10, while defender Peter Hartley has been a surprise source of recent goals. The former Hartlepool United player has two in his last four, and is a 6/1 shot to score again.
Sheridan will be without midfielder Bobby Reid, as he has returned to parent club Bristol City following a loan spell at Argyle. Oliver Norburn should be promoted into the XI.
Plymouth will not have this derby all their own way, however, thanks to the fine form of Portsmouth pair Danny Hollands and Jed Wallace. Winger Hollands hit a hat-trick in the last meeting between these sides on the final day of last term. A repeat performance here comes in at a massive 150/1.
While that prospect appears remote, Hollands is a tempting 5/1 anytime chance after two in as many previous outings this term. Attacking midfielder Wallace, meanwhile, has three in four and is Pompey’s penalty taker. Odds of 7/2 say he will score again anytime.
Although the visitors will be without James Dunne, ruled out until the New Year after undergoing knee surgery, there have been signs in recent outings that Craig Westcarr (13/5) is forming a decent strike partnership with Miles Storey (14/5).
Portsmouth boss Awford has options aplenty in attack, including former Ghana international Patrick Agyemang. The well-travelled striker is an 11/4 anytime chance. Pompey’s wretched form on the road means a home win looks a dead cert here. A 2-1 Plymouth victory rewards punters with odds of 9/1.