Portsmouth and Sunderland will face off at the Wembley Stadium in the EFL Trophy final. Both sides are looking to win the competition for the first time in their history.
There is not much to choose between the sides, as just a point separates both of them in League One. Both of them are looking to gain promotion to the Championship at the end of the season. Portsmouth are third with 74 points, and Sunderland are just one spot below them.
This will be Portsmouth’s first trip to Wembley after Chelsea beat them 1-0 in the 2010 FA Cup final. Since then they have fallen down the order, and gaining promotion this season will halt that. They have won six straight games in this competition, and have kept three clean sheets in the last three EFL Trophy games.Embed from Getty Images
Only Luton Town have a better attack than Portsmouth in League One, and the goals have been spread throughout the team. They have lost just one of their last five league games, and their form is top notch. Jamal Lowe and Omar Bogle will be the key players for Portsmouth in the final.
Sunderland are on a run of their own, and they are undefeated in their last 19 matches in all competitions. Incidentally, their last defeat came against Portsmouth in the league last year. The Black Cats have suffered back to back relegation, but they seem to be on the right track now. Jack Ross will be hopeful of taking his side back to the Championship next season.
They are unbeaten in their last five league games, but the goals have dried of late. Josh Maga was sold to Bordeaux in January, which has been a major loss. But their defence has been strong, and only two sides have conceded fewer goals in League One than Sunderland.Embed from Getty Images
Portsmouth vs Sunderland Preview and Prediction
Portsmouth hold the upper hand in the head to head record, and they are unbeaten in the last seven meetings. Their last match ended in a 3-1 win for Portsmouth. Sunderland last visited Wembley in 2014, when they lost 3-1 to Manchester City in the League Cup final. Despite their loss in 2010 to Chelsea, Portsmouth have not lost any of their other four games at the new Wembley Stadium.
Both sides are in good form, but Portsmouth are slight favorites for the game. They won their last game 2-0 against Shrewsbury, as Ben Close and Brett Pittman got the goals. Sunderland won their last game as well, beating Walsall 2-1 courtesy of goals from Lee Cattermole and Will Grigg.
The match is a great opportunity to grab silverware, and both sides will be up for it. Winning it will provide a great boost to go on and achieve promotion to the Championship. Goals will be hard to come by, and the total goals should be under 2.5 in the game. It can be a tense game, with neither side overexposing themselves.
Portsmouth vs Sunderland Preview and Prediction: Total Goals: Under 2.5 @ 1.70 at Pinnacle Sports