Shrewsbury v Portsmouth preview
Last Updated: 22/12/17 2:22pm
Shrewsbury remain without long-term absentees Zak Jules and Junior Brown for Portsmouth's visit to Shropshire.
Defensive pair Jules (hamstring) and Brown (knee) continue to be some way off a return for a Shrews side still flying high in League One. Boss Paul Hurst replaced Ben Godfrey and Stefan Payne with Byrn Morris and Carlton Morris for the victory over Blackpool last weekend and has options if he decides to rotate again.
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Oli Hawkins has recovered from a hamstring problem ahead of Portsmouth's trip to New Meadow. The forward was utilised as a centre-half before injury struck against Plymouth last month, but with Matt Clarke and Christian Burgess available again is likely to revert to his regular position.
Last season's top scorer Kal Naismith remains sidelined by a knee injury, so Hawkins, Conor Chaplin or Kyle Bennett will feature alongside Brett Pitman up front. Midfielder Stuart O'Keefe picked up a knock against Bury last weekend, with Ben Close set to deputise should he fail to recover.
Shrewsbury have won each of their last three games against Portsmouth, after losing the previous four; this is their best ever run of wins against Pompey in the Football League.
Pompey have won just two of their 10 away games against Shrewsbury in the top-four tiers (D2 L5), losing their last game there by a 2-1 score line after taking an early lead in October 2014.
The Shrews have dropped 11 points in their last six league games (W2 D1 L3) - they only dropped eight points in their opening 15 games of the season (W11 D4).
Portsmouth have won five of their last six League One outings (L1), with each win coming by a one-goal margin. In fact, four of those wins were by a 1-0 scoreline.