Sunderland vs Portsmouth betting tips: League One play-offs preview and predictions

Sunderland vs Portsmouth prediction: Sunderland 2-1 Portsmouth

A heavyweights clash as two giants of English football meet for a place at Wembley.

These two met in the Checkatrade Trophy Final just two months ago at Wembley in front of a record 85,021 crowd.

That day, it finished 2-2 before Pompey won the penalty shoot-out 5-4.

Who will be heading to Wembley once again?

Can Sunderland get revenge?

LONDON, ENGLAND – APRIL 27: Joel Asoro of Sunderland (2ndL) celebrates with his team mates after scoring his team’s first goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Fulham and Sunderland at Craven Cottage on April 27, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Sunderland vs Portsmouth: Who will win?

The Black Cats won 12 of their home league games this season and are 13/10 to make home advantage count here.

Portsmouth are 21/10 to leave the North East with an advantage.

A repeat of their draw at the Stadium of Light from 27 April is also 21/10.

Over 2.5 goals is 11/10.

Both teams to score is 5/6.

Sunderland to win and both teams to score is 4/1.

Max Power

GILLINGHAM, UNITED KINGDOM – AUGUST 22: Max Power of Sunderland battles for possession with Billy Bingham of Gillingham during the Sky Bet League One match between Gillingham and Sunderland at Priestfield Stadium on August 22, 2018 in Gillingham, United Kingdom. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

Aiden McGeady has scored 14 goals this season including 2 against Portsmouth in the EFL Trophy Final. He’s 11/2 to score first and 23/10 to net anytime.

Charlie Wyke has scored 5 goals for Sunderland this season. He is 9/2 to score first and 2/1 to score anytime.

Jamal Lowe is Pompey’s top scorer with 17 this season. He’s 5/1 to score first and 23/10 to net anytime.

Both Charlie Wyke and William Grigg to score is 8/1.

Both Charlie Wyke and Aiden McGeady to score is 9/1.

Both Jamal Lowe and Chris Maguire to score is 11/1.

Both Oli Hawkins and Brett Pitman to score is 16/1.

Sunderland vs Portsmouth: Match preview

After back to back relegations, Sunderland were always going to come into this season in League 1 as the favourites to go straight up.

However, it is never that easy.

They have not been in an automatic promotion spot since November and the play-offs always looked an inevitability.

However, after Christmas they went on a 19 game unbeaten run before an unbelievable 5-4 home defeat to Coventry all but ended their automatic hopes.

They come into this one off the back of two defeats including last Saturday’s 2-1 reverse at Southend.

Nevertheless, Jack Ross is positive but will feel his side will need a lead to take to Fratton Park for the second leg.

In their history Sunderland have lost at Wembley in the FA Cup Final, League Cup Final, Charity Shield, Championship play-off Final and, as of this season, the EFL Trophy Final.

Will they be adding the League 1 play-off Final to their impressive collection in a few weeks time?

They have to get their first.

Pompey on the rise?

Portsmouth meanwhile also come into this one in underwhelming form.

They were held to a 1-1 draw by Accrington Stanley last weekend so it’s now 3 games without a victory.

Nevertheless, it’s been an outstanding season for Kenny Jackett’s side.

As mentioned, they won the EFL Trophy in March beating Sunderland in the Final.

Also, they led the way in League 1 between 29 September and 29 January before eventually dropping down to finish fourth.

It must be noted, Portsmouth were champions of League 2 just 2 seasons ago as they continue their climb up the league ladder.

There were only 3 points between these two sides in the league table and there is unlikely to be much between them in this tie.

This match-up really is difficult to call.

Sunderland team news vs Portsmouth

GILLINGHAM, UNITED KINGDOM – AUGUST 22: Jack Ross, Manager of Sunderland looks on prior to the Sky Bet League One match between Gillingham and Sunderland at Priestfield Stadium on August 22, 2018 in Gillingham, United Kingdom. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

Jack Ross has a big squad and some big decisions to make for this humungous game.

He’s expected to make 6 changes from last weekend.

Goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin has been an ever present, starting all 46 league matches this season.

Luke O’Nien is expected to come back in for Adam Matthews.

At centre-back, Alim Öztürk has started the last 5 games so is likely to keep his place.

Denver Hume will drop out with Bryan Oviedo coming in at left-back.

In midfield, Lee Cattermole will come back in; he’s scored a career best 7 goals this season.

His partner will be Max Power with Grant Leadbitter and Lynden Gooch missing out.

Aiden McGeady and Celtic loanee Lewis Morgan will provide the width with George Honeyman through the middle.

Duncan Watmore is still out after suffering a horrific knee injury against Wycombe in November.

Up front, there was a massive overhaul in January.

Their plans were in tatters when Josh Maja, who’s still their top scorer with 16 goals, left for Ligue 1 side Girondins de Bordeaux.

However, they signed Will Grigg from Wigan on deadline day and he’s scored 4 league goals from the Black Cats.

He’s expected to get the nod up front ahead of Charlie Wyke.

Tottenham loanee Kazaiah Sterling could also be a threat off the bench.

Can this side guide Sunderland back to Wembley?

Portsmouth team news vs Sunderland

Kenny Jackett’s squad is nowhere near the size of Sunderland’s but it does possess really quality.

It’s anticipated he’ll name an unchanged side from last weekend.

Craig MacGillivray will be in goal; he’s kept 16 clean sheets in 53 appearance this season.

As always, Matt Clarke will be at centre-back; he’s started 98% of their matches this season.

He’s expected to be alongside Christian Burgess who had started 16 matches in a row before last weekend.

In midfield, Tom Naylor will offer protection for the back 4.

Out wide, Jamal Lowe will be a threat having scored 17 goals and provided 9 assists this season.

On the other side Ronan Curtis has 12 goals and 13 assists this season.

Impressive numbers.

The experienced Brett Pitman is expected to keep his place in the side.

That would mean Oli Hawkins, who scored the winning penalty against Sunderland in the EFL Trophy Final, will be on the bench.

David Vaughan, who spent last season at Sunderland, will be tasked with getting the goals against his old side.

Will this side leave the Stadium of Light with a lead?

Predicted Sunderland line-up vs Portsmouth

Predicted Sunderland line-up vs Portsmouth

Predicted Sunderland line-up vs Portsmouth.

Predicted Portsmouth line-up vs Sunderland

Predicted Portsmouth line-up vs Sunderland

Predicted Portsmouth line-up vs Sunderland.

The latest tweets from Sunderland pre Portsmouth

The latest tweets from Portsmouth pre Sunderland

All odds mentioned in this article are correct at the time of publishing and are subject to change.

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