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Preview: Dons go in search of another Boxing Day victory at Fratton Park

Quotes from both camps and statistics ahead of Tuesday's game

25 December 2017

AFC Wimbledon will be aiming to make it two wins out of two during the festive period at Portsmouth on Boxing Day and the Dons will be boosted by the return of Harry Forrester after suspension.

Portsmouth's win at the Cherry Red Records Stadium in September was just their second victory of the campaign after promotion, but Kenny Jacket's men have since shown they are at home in League One by rising up to eighth place.

However, Shrewsbury proved too strong for Pompey on Saturday and at the same time Wimbledon earned an excellent victory against one of the promotion favourites Bradford. Three years ago, the Dons secured victory at Fratton Park, also on Boxing Day.

Below are quotes from both camps heading into this match, along with other relevant information.

Neal Ardley

"We have some big games coming up and we are having to stick together. Christmas is a time for families and we have to spend a lot of time together, so they will be sick of the sight of me by time we reach New Year!

"We've had two tough home games. If you looked at our fixture list beforehand with Wigan and Bradford at home, you would go, 'wow, we have to play well to win them'. Now we go away to Portsmouth and Gillingham, who are on fire at the moment. Away games are always tough and we have to play at our best with few errors in our performances. If we do that, we give ourselves a chance.

"We always try to play at our best, the boys always give everything. Sometimes the league is tough and we come up short, but we will give our best and try to win both games. Whether or not we do, we will have to see. There will have been just three days since our last game so we will assess the squad. It is a tight schedule so we will have to assess who plays and who doesn't. That's a problem for me to work out."

Kenny Jacket

"This is a period where you can pick up a lot of points in a short space of time, although everyone feels the same.

"I don't like forgetting about past results completely, but we must quickly turn our focus to facing AFC Wimbledon. We expect the side to be resilient, bounce back, learn and work hard to improve."

Team news

For the Dons, Harry Forrester is back available again after serving a one-match suspension. Paul Robinson is still doubtful with a back strain. For Portsmouth, Stuart O'Keefe is a doubt after missing the last two matches with an adductor injury, and Kal Naismith (knee) is also doubtful. Milan Lalkovic and Jack Whatmough (both knee) are long-term absentees.

Past visits to Fratton Park

Since AFC Wimbledon reformed, the Dons have visited Fratton Park three times. It's honours even in head-to-head clashes at the venue. Portsmouth earned a narrow 1-0 victory in February 2014, but in the December afterwards, the Dons triumphed 2-0 with goals from Frankie Sutherland and Matt Tubbs. That win was also on Boxing Day and not long before an FA Cup tie against one of the Premier League's elite – the narrow 2-1 defeat against Liverpool. Of course, the Dons face Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley in the New Year and another win at Pompey would certainly be welcome!

The last meeting ended 0-0 in November 2015, a season that ended in promotion for Neal Ardley's men.

Form guide (all competitions, starting with most recent)

Portsmouth LWWWWL

AFC Wimbledon WLLWLD

Last meeting

AFC Wimbledon 0-2 Portsmouth (9 September 2017)

Tickets

Wimbledon supporters will be able to pay on the day for this game. You can buy tickets from the ticket booth behind the Fratton End with cash and card payments accepted. Collections for tickets bought in advance will be from the away ticket booth by the entrance to the North Stand Car Park (PO4 8SX).


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