There is value in a repeat of the 0-0 scoreline played out on this ground last season.
Portsmouth v Mansfield - Saturday 15:00
Portsmouth continue to make a heavy weather of a division they ought to be blitzing. The Hampshire side boast a staggering 64 per cent shot ratio but have emerged victorious in only seven of their 15 league matches and were dumped out of the FA Cup at home to lowly Wycombe last weekend, so it’s hard to make a case for them prevailing at a best-priced 4/6 here.
The patience of the Fratton Park crowd is liable to be tested once again by a relatively-unambitious Mansfield side. The Stags have reached the interval without conceding in each of their last five away trips, eventually conceding four goals in total and never twice in the same game. If they gain a similar foothold here, Pompey are liable to become flustered and lose composure.
On balance, the draw looks like the best play at 29/10. Adam Murray’s men have played out seven stalemates already this season and it could easily be double figures but for last-minute goals to secure unlikely wins against Newport, Leyton Orient and Mansfield. My ratings indicate this fixture as no less likely to end level than the average League Two game, about 12/5.
Recent meetings only strengthen the case. Together at this level for the past three seasons, five of the six head-to-heads have finished all-square. Indeed, with respective shot data generating a total goals expectancy of just 1.89, there’s also value in a repeat of the 0-0 scoreline they played out on this ground last season. Throw in the no goalscorer bet at 9/1.