Charlton Athletic hold a 2-1 lead over Doncaster Rovers ahead of the second leg of their semi-final League One play-off clash at The Valley on Friday and they seem well-placed to book a spot in the final at Wembley.
The other tie is finely poised, as Portsmouth trail Sunderland 1-0, with their second leg to come at Fratton Park on Thursday.
Pompey are winless in four overall but with their season on the line they can end that run when the Black Cats visit.
A victory may not be enough to progress to the final, with extra-time and penalties a real possibility, but they can at least give themselves a chance with a win.
The south coast club managed 12 wins in 23 attempts during the regular season and can make home advantage count against Sunderland.
The Wearside club boasted the second-best away record in League One – behind their hosts – but recent results have been less impressive and they are winless in three on their travels ahead of Thursday’s second leg.
Sunderland lost just three games after a 3-1 defeat at Fratton Park in December and all of those losses were by one goal, and a Portsmouth win by that margin looks a solid bet in this clash that may well go the distance and end with spot kicks.
Charlton already have one foot in the final after a win in Doncaster and they can seal their spot at Wembley with a convincing win.
The Addicks won 16 of their 23 home games in League One in the regular season and have won their last six at The Valley. Charlton have beaten a one-goal handicap in all three of their most recent home games – including a 3-1 win over champions Luton – and can claim a comfortable win over a Rovers outfit who don’t travel well.
Doncaster missed their chance by losing the home leg as on the road they managed just seven wins in 23 games this season, and Charlton can finish the job in style on Friday.
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