Adrian Clarke (25/40 +63% on the season) is very much liking a League 1 goals angle on Good Friday!
We are just two games into Danny Cowley’s reign at Fratton Park but there’s already been a noticeable shift in positivity.
Winning both matches 2-1 has raised spirits of course, but that’s not it.
Pompey’s players have looked visibly recharged by the managerial change, performing with greater energy, control and as much as it might hurt Kenny Jackett to say it…enthusiasm too.
As we approach that all-important ‘business end’ Portsmouth appear to be enjoying their football again. That six-point haul has pushed them back into the play-off picture and everybody down there will be looking at the run-in with renewed optimism.
Between now and the end of the season Pompey do not face a side that is currently ranked above 12th. They really shouldn’t blow it.
Bottom-placed Rochdale are up next and it’s a contest the hosts will attack with vigour.
Top scorer John Marquis is unavailable through suspension but Cowley still has a number of other talented forwards who are capable of carrying the goalscoring burden. Marcus Harness (7 goals), Ronan Curtis (6 goals) and Ryan Williams (3 goals) are all playing well enough to ensure Dale don’t have an easy ride on the south coast. If anything the new-look front line could be viewed as an unpredictable positive.
Portsmouth tend to be involved in a lot of exciting games against the bottom half teams.
In 10 of the 15 matches, Pompey have played against sides ranked 13th or lower, at least three goals have been scored. Eight of them have featured at least four.
When you look at Good Friday’s opposition Rochdale, it’s not going to put you off backing goals either.
Away from home, 61% of Dale’s games have seen Over 2.5 goals land and knowing they need wins to escape the drop I would expect Brian Barry-Murphy to take an attack-minded approach in this one.
He almost always does, anyway.
You can never count Rochdale out, such is their sense of spirit and adventure, but they are undeniably vulnerable when tested at the back. A rejuvenated Portsmouth packed with quality should create plenty against them.
My selection here is Over 2.5 goals at 1.95 with Matchbook.
It’s a clash that matters greatly to both clubs, but I don’t see either of them approaching it in a cautious manner.
- Portsmouth v Rochdale Over 2.5 goals 1.95
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