Shrewsbury Town vs Portsmouth preview: How to watch, kick-off time, team news, predicted lineups and ones to watch
(Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images)

Portsmouth can move into the League One play-off places this weekend if they avoid defeat to Shrewsbury Town and results elsewhere go their way.

Four straight league defeats in recent weeks saw Kenny Jackett sacked after four years in charge. The club appointed Danny Cowley until the end of the season on March 19, and he won his first game 2-1 the day after against Ipswich Town. They enter the contest in ninth-place but could climb to fifth with a win, while a point could see them go sixth.

The Shrews are 17th in the table but are in good form. They are unbeaten in their previous four and have tasted defeat just twice in their last 11 games. Steve Cotterill's men had an impressive 2-1 win at Burton Albion in midweek after respectable draws with Charlton Athletic and Hull City beforehand.

  • Team news

Shrewsbury will be without captain Oliver Norburn as he completes his two-match suspension after picking up a 10th yellow card of the season against Hull.

Defenders Aaron Pierre and Donald Love are close to returning from their respective injuries, but this fixture comes too soon.

Goalkeeper Matija Sarkic is on international duty with Montenegro.

Pompey top scorer John Marquis is expected to be absent due to his ankle injury.

Alex Bass (foot) and Ellis Harrison (knee) remain unavailable, while Callum Johnson could feature after returning to training.

Ronan Curtis is on international duty with the Republic of Ireland.

  • Predicted lineups

Shrewsbury Town

Burgoyne; Pennington, Ebanks-Landell, Williams; Daniels, Davis, Goss, Vela, Ogbeta; Chapman, Main. (3-5-2)

Portsmouth

MacGillivray; Bolton, Whatmough, Raggett, Brown; Harness, Naylor, Cannon, Jacobs; Williams, Hiwula. (4-4-2)

  • Ones to watch

Harry Chapman – Shrewsbury Town

The Blackburn Rovers loanee has made 13 league appearances since his move in late-December. He has scored six goals so far, including a brace against second-placed Peterborough United and the decisive goal against Burton on Tuesday.

Marcus Harness – Portsmouth

In the absence of Curtis and possibly Marquis, Harness could be the man to help his team secure a second straight win. He has nine goals and seven assists across all competitions this campaign and scored the winner against Ipswich last weekend.

  • Previous meetings 

The sides played out a goalless draw at Fratton Park in September in their opening league fixture.

Shrewsbury won 1-0 at home last season, which is their only success in the previous five encounters, with Portsmouth winning two of them.

Earlier in the season...

  • How to watch

The match starts at 15:00 GMT and is available to watch through the Shrews' or Pompey's iFollow channel, with passes costing £10.

  • What the managers have said

Shrewsbury's first-team coach David Longwell spoke to the media as Cotterill continues to recover from Covid-pneumonia.

Longwell via shrewsburytown.com:

"It's always a little bit more difficult going up against teams that have had a managerial change recently. The Cowley brothers have gone in and they've got a good track record. They got a good result last week and those points will give them a lift.

"We have watched the last game to see if we can pick up on little bits but we always focus on ourselves. We look at what we can do and how we can pick up points. We will make sure we're ready for the game whilst being respectful of the opposition.

"Portsmouth is a big club and they have some good players. Respect will be given but we are going into the game with confidence to try and get a result. They won their last game and they have good players - it will be a tough test.

"We have to be aware that the new manager will change the system and personnel. We have to be aware and make sure what we come across. We need to make sure we go out there with the right mind-set. If we do that, we give ourselves the best chance of winning."

Cowley via portsmouthfc.co.uk:

“On behalf of everyone at Portsmouth Football Club, I’d like to wish good health to Steve. I can only imagine what he’s been through in recent times.

“It’s a credit to him, as well as his staff and players, that they’ve performed as well as they have in challenging circumstances.

“We will respect our opponents in each of these next 11 games and Shrewsbury have beaten some big teams.

“But we’ll always set our side out to try to win and let’s put all our energy and focus into what we can control.”

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