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Shrewsbury struggled through a largely disappointing 2016/17 campaign with a finish in the bottom half of the table and a points total of 51, just one more than the previous season when they finished 20th in the division. The Shrews have enjoyed a much more successful campaign this time around and they have already smashed their points total of last season with plenty of room to spare. As things stand, Paul Hurst’s men sit third in the League One table and an automatic promotion place is theirs for the taking should they continue in a similar fashion for the remainder of the season.
Shrewsbury face a pretty tough test when they travel to Fratton Park for this weekend’s clash with Portsmouth, however given that they head into this match on the back of a decent run during which they have lost just one of their last eight league matches – this run including a 2-0 win over Pompey last month – we don’t envisage their promotion hopes becoming derailed on Saturday afternoon.
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Portsmouth enjoyed promotion from League Two at the end of 2016/17 and while they are hardly setting the third-tier alight, they have nevertheless found their feet back at this higher level. It hardly seems just under eight years since Pompey were involved in an FA Cup final and the club have fallen a long way since then. They may have lifted themselves out of the bottom tier of the Football League last season but it is unlikely that they will be involved in back-to-back promotions given their inconsistencies this term, however there is always a chance of making it into the top-six should they manage to put together a decent winning run. This certainly won’t be starting this weekend however and we’ll be backing the visitors to run-out winners at the final whistle with the home side only managing a consolation goal for their efforts.
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