Portsmouth midfielder Tom Naylor has this prediction ahead of clash with Sunderland
Portsmouth midfielder Tom Naylor believes picking-up three points against Sunderland would aid his side’s promotion push.
Naylor, who was a target for the Black Cats in the summer of 2018, has predicted that both sides will be in contention for automatic promotion come May.
And he is keen to see Pompey take a positive step towards the League One summit by claiming victory at the Stadium of Light on Saturday (August 17).
The meeting at the Stadium of Light will be the sixth time the two sides have met in just nine months.
But after their most recent meeting – in last season’s play-off semi-final – became a heated affair, Naylor claims his side are prepared for a ‘feisty’ encounter in the north east.
Not that the 28-year-old believes it will pray on the minds of his teammates, who he insists are focused solely on clinching a third successive win in all competitions.
“We played them a lot last season and it’s usually feisty,” said Naylor, speaking to the Portsmouth News.
“We need to go there with the mind set it’s about the three points and not think about anything else.
Sign up to our Sunderland AFC newsletter
The i newsletter cut through the noise
“I presume we will both be there or thereabouts so it will be nice to pick up three points against them on Saturday.
“We’ve got them and then another hard game against Coventry.
“It’s Sunderland we’re looking at next and we’re up for it.”
And while Naylor believes both the Black Cats and Pompey will be in the race for promotion at the end of the campaign, he believes the race for the title is too close to call.
“It’s a tough one to call but we’ve got a lot of good players,” he added.
“Everyone will expect us both to be up there and hopefully we can be.”
The bookmakers agree too, having made Sunderland and Portsmouth equal favourites for the League One title at 4/1. Pompey’s odds have shortened in recent weeks after some positive results and the eye-catching signing of striker John Marquis – who could feature on Wearside.