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The top-five tussle in Sky Bet League 2

22 January 2016

The race towards the top of Sky Bet League 2 is making for intriguing viewing this season, and this weekend is no exception.

Four of the current top five go head-to-head on Matchday 28 with league leaders Plymouth Argyle visiting in-form Bristol Rovers, and Portsmouth hosting Oxford United in a battle between fifth and third.

The remaining side in the top five, Northampton Town, will therefore have the opportunity to stretch their advantage over the teams around them – the second-placed Cobblers welcome Morecambe to Sixfields on Saturday.

Bristol Rovers v Plymouth Argyle


Over the last eight games, only the aforementioned Cobblers have a better record than Bristol Rovers. The Pirates have picked up 19 points from the last possible 24, and their most recent outing saw them notch an impressive away win at Oxford – a result which elevated Darrell Clarke's men into fourth place.

Plymouth remain at the summit having picked up five wins and a draw from their last eight, and have returned victorious from their previous three trips on the road. Derek Adams' troops have been exceptional on their travels – they boast a league-high 29 points from their 13 away fixtures.


The Pilgrims boast a superior head-to-head record, with 36 wins to Rovers' 30, while there have been 29 draws since the sides first met in 1921.

One of those stalemates came earlier in the season, after a dramatic finale at Home Park. Jake Jervis thought he'd given Plymouth the points with an 85th-minute effort, but Ellis Harrison had other ideas, equalising with a stoppage-time penalty for the Gas.

Portsmouth v Oxford United


Portsmouth have been firing in the goals over recent weeks, hitting the net 21 times in their previous eight outings. Pompey go into this match on a high after knocking Sky Bet Championship outfit Ipswich Town out of the FA Cup in midweek.

Oxford have had an inconsistent run of form recently, winning two, drawing two, and losing two of their last six matches. The most recent was that defeat to Bristol Rovers last Sunday, and they have slipped seven points behind Plymouth and Northampton at the summit as a result.


There has been 57 meetings between the pair prior to this weekend, and Portsmouth have the edge with 22 wins to Oxford's 18, along with 17 draws.

Like Rovers and Plymouth, these sides played out a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture, back in September. Liam Sercombe volleyed the U's in front, before Adam McGurk salvaged a point with a second-half stunner for Pompey.

You can see how these four get on – along with the rest of the Matchday 28 action – by following our divisional Twitter feed, via @SkyBetLeague2.

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