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After narrowly avoiding relegation from League One last season, AFC Wimbledon again find themselves battling for survival this term, having picked up just 26 points from 23 outings and winning just six of those.
The Dons looked to have turned a corner before the turn of the year, stringing five games together unbeaten, including league wins over Crewe Alexandra and Accrington Stanley, an FA Cup triumph over Cheltenham Town and commendable draws with Wycombe Wanderers and Fleetwood Town, but their form has since taken another dip.
Mark Robinson‘s men have now failed to win any of their last five matches, with a cup defeat to fifth-tier Boreham Wood being particularly damning, while a goalless draw with 21st-placed Morecambe on Saturday has left them no further from the drop zone.
AFC Wimbledon remain just two points above the side they drew with in the relegation zone, and, with four teams dropping to League Two, they have a tough task if they are to steer clear, with all four sides below having Robinson’s squad in their sights.
AFC Wimbledon will remain without forward Aaron Pressley due to an injury, with Ollie Palmer again set to lead the line with support from wingers Ayoub Assal and Jack Rudoni.
However, they will be boosted by the return of Nesta Guinness-Walker, and the left-back should take his starting spot straight back after serving a one-game suspension.
Goalkeeper Nik Tzanev and centre-back duo Ben Heneghan and Will Nightingale will come in with renewed confidence after seeing out a clean sheet last time out.
Paul Downing remains Portsmouth’s only absentee through injury, as the centre-back continues a spell on the sidelines.
After a relatively slow start to his loan spell from Leicester City, forward George Hirst has netted two goals in the last three games, and he will likely lead the line with Ronan Curtis, who recently became Pompey’s top scorer since the turn of the century with his tally of 45 goals in 169 appearances.
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AFC Wimbledon possible starting lineup:
Tzanev; Alexander, Heneghan, Nightingale, Guinness-Walker; Woodyard, Marsh; Assal, McCormick, Rudoni; Palmer
Portsmouth possible starting lineup:
Bazunu; Freeman, Raggett, Ogilvie; Romeo, Morrell, Williams, Hackett-Fairchild; Harness; Curtis, Hirst