Following Tuesday night’s uninspiring defeat, Derek Adams faces a tough test against promotion chasing Pompey to secure himself more time in the job. The tides have been slowly turning and if results do not start to come soon in more consistency, then the Shrimps will be forced to face the music of relegation for the first time in their history.
Portsmouth have secured just 6 points from their last 6 league games, a run of form that has seen them drop from title challengers to promotion candidates. Many of the wins that Pompey have gathered this season have come against sides in the bottom half of the table and were only able to muster draws against Sheffield Wednesday and Shrewsbury Town. This should worry Morecambe as Portsmouth have shown they can steamroll teams that are supposedly smallerthan them, but it is the big games in which they tend to struggle. As a side that currently sits in 22nd in the league table, Morecambe will in no doubt be classed as the underdogs for this game even when including the recent form of both sides.
Danny Cowley has set up his side in a very uniform 4-4-2 formation with the focus on using the two forwards to bring other players into the attack when countering. This is notably done using Colby Bishop and Dane Scarlett up top. The tactical consistency can be a doubled edged sword at times. On one hand the players are used to the set up and have confidence playing in the system. However, the stubbornness to stick with this style and formation has cost Cowley and Portsmouth in recent games as they play the same way every week.
Player to Watch
Owen Dale- The right midfielder has been a key aspect of this Portsmouth side this season. With 1 goal and 4 assists, Dale has been contributing well toattacking numbers following the beginning of his loan move to the south coast from Championship side Blackpool. Many fans have requested the club fork out the money to make dale’s move permanent which is telling of the lad’s ability at this level.
In the 10 previous games between the two sides, Morecambe have win two games and Pompey 3 leaving the other 5 as draws. The most memorable of these draws came back in 2016, as then GK and current GK coach Barry Roche rose from a corner in the 94th minute to secure a vital point for the Shrimps.
Even with Portsmouth struggling in their current league campaign, most of their wins have come against opponents in the bottom half of the table, therefore, I am predicting Morecambe to lose out on the day to stringer Pompey side to a score of 2-1 to the visitors at the Mazuma Stadium.