The Sky Bet Football League Play-Offs begin on Thursday night, when Portsmouth take on Plymouth Argyle in the first Sky Bet League 2 battle.A packed-out Fratton Park will be the first-leg venue for the teams that finished sixth and fifth respectively in the standings, and the fixture will be screened live on Sky Sports – as will every game of the Play-Offs.
Read more: Sky Bet Play-Offs live on Sky Sports
The return leg, to decide which team will be joining Accrington Stanley or AFC Wimbledon at Wembley, will take place at Plymouth's Home Park on Sunday 15th May in a 6pm kick-off.
It is, of course, the third time the two clubs have met this season, with the travelling team picking up a 2-1 win on both occasions.
Two penalties put Pompey on their way to victory at Home Park in the second game of the season, before Gregg Wylde posted a late consolation. But Wylde would be the hero in the reverse fixture, netting an 86th-minute winner as the Pilgrims scored twice in 60 seconds – Jamille Matt scoring the other – to overturn Michael Smith's first-half effort.
The two clubs have met 58 times in their history, with the first encounter seeing the spoils shared in a 1-1 draw in 1920/21.
It's a relatively close call in the overall head-to-head record, but Pompey just have the edge with 26 wins to Plymouth's 23, while the teams have battled out nine draws over the years.
Only two sides in Sky Bet League 2 have not experienced the bottom half of the table in 2015/16 – and that's this pair. In fact, the two have spent just a combined 11 days outside of the division's top seven.
Plymouth made an exceptional start to the campaign and only eventual winners Northampton Town have spent more time at the top of the standings. Of their first 17 games, Derek Adams' men won 12 and drew three, but fell away slightly in the second half of the season.
Portsmouth have consistently performed throughout the season, with one stand-out feature being their ability to bounce back from defeat. On only one occasion did they lose two matches in a row – the aforementioned loss to Plymouth followed by a shock 3-1 reverse at York three days later.
Everyone talks about momentum as vital when coming into the Play-Offs, so how do these two fare?
Paul Cook's Portsmouth have won three of their last five, with the trio of successes sandwiched by losses to bottom club York City and champions Northampton on the final day.
For Plymouth, the form book reads three wins, one draw, one defeat. The solitary loss came at home in a shock defeat to Dagenham & Redbridge, but they picked up seven points from their last three away fixtures, and signed off the season with a 5-0 win over Hartlepool United in front of their own fans.
Match official appointments
Match officials have been announced for the the Play-Offs, with further appointments to follow this week.
Click here to see the match officials on Football League Play-Off duty
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