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27 January 2024 Venue Vale Park Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

Match Preview | Port Vale vs Portsmouth

26 January 2024

The Valiants are back in action this weekend as we welcome table toppers Portsmouth to Vale Park.

It's been a strange few weeks for the vale with Andy Crosby’s side only playing 16 minutes of football over the past fortnight after our abandoned fixture at Reading and then last week's postponed fixture against Wycombe Wanderers.

So far in the transfer window, Vale have had three new arrivals. Jensen Weir, Rhys Williams and Dan Gore have all joined on loan for the remainder of the season from Brighton and Hove Albion, Liverpool and Manchester United respectively.

In terms of outgoings, Ollie Arblaster, Alfie Devine, Josh Thomas and Kofi Balmer have all left Vale Park and returned to their parent clubs. Tom Conlon has also departed the club following more than 150 appearances for the Vale, before leaving to join National League side Oldham Athletic.

Crosby’s comments: 

Here’s what the gaffer had to say ahead of tomorrow’s fixture

“It’s a great game to come back into. We’ve found it difficult in my time at the club to beat the big boys in the league at home, we beat Blackpool the other week, and we’ve obviously won away at Oxford this season. We beat Plymouth and Derby away last year. I want us to have that scalp at home.

“The supporters are as frustrated as we are that we’ve not played for two weeks so be here in the numbers on Saturday, we need to create a really energetic atmosphere. I’m sure Portsmouth will bring a lot of fans here as well and it’s a great game for us to go toe-to-toe with the league leaders and try and take them on.”

The Opposition

Portsmouth are currently top of Sky Bet League One, one point ahead of Peterborough United who occupy second place. Pompey come into the game with two wins in the last seven fixtures.

In their last three games, they have been defeated by Cheltenham Town and Leyton Orient, before getting back to winning ways in their last outing after beating Fleetwood Town 1-0 at Highbury thanks to Abu Kamara’s 25th-minute goal.

Who’s in Charge?

They are managed by John Mousinho who took over from Danny and Nicky Cowley midway through last season. The 37-year-old officially retired from football last season when he left Oxford United to join Portsmouth.

Mousinho made over 450 appearances in his career, winning promotion from League Two on two separate occasions. Firstly with Stevenage in the 2010/11 season when they beat Torquay United in the Play Offs final, and then with Burton Albion in the 2014/15 season when they won the league. Mousinho took over the reins at Fratton Park in January 2023 and has since been in charge for 38 games, winning 18 of them.

Mousinho also used to be the Chairman of the PFA but he stood down from this role when he joined Portsmouth.

Player to Watch - Colby Bishop

Bishop is enjoying life on the south coast this season, he has found the net 13 times so far and also picked up two assists. Bishop picked up twenty goals last season after joining from Accrington Stanley in July 2022.

Another player to keep an eye out for is Paddy Lane. The Northern Irishman joined from Fleetwood Town in January 2023 and is enjoying a bright start to the season. The left-sided midfielder has scored four times and picked up seven assists in 25 league games so far this season.

Fixture Throwback

Port Vale 2-0 Portsmouth, Saturday 1st April 2000

The Valiants took the lead in the 15th through Ville Viljanen. Two minutes before the break, Tommy Widdrington doubled Vale’s lead from the penalty spot to give his side the lead going into half time.

In the second half, Portsmouth had both David Waterman and Adrian Whitbread sent off as the Valiants saw the game out and ran out 2-0 winners.

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