A quick glance at our fellow-contenders
for promotion via the playoffs shows we have Wembley previous against two of the three – and it’s not encouraging. Portsmouth beat us there in the Checkatrade Trophy final in March and plenty of us will never forget the anguish of 1998 against Charlton.

So if hoodoos exist, they need to be broken. Here’s your chance to say whether and how we’ll make a start on Saturday night.

Act Four

For the semis, our wretched end-of-season run has at least meant we cannot play Pompey again in the final. For these games, read Stadium of Light and Fratton Park instead of Wembley. And all we have to do over two legs is what we’ve failed to do in three games so far this season.

Our route back to the national stadium would have seemed a lot less problematic had we avoided losing and drawing quite so often as the last day of the League One programme loomed. Doncaster are a likeable club but we’ve dominated them twice in the league and would have been clear favourites to coast to Wembley had they been this weekend’s opponents.

For the purposes of predicting scores, we will divide the playoffs into two or, as we fervently hope, three. Just treat each game as a one off and the first leg against Pompey presents you with a straightforward task of telling us the final score. The format will necessarily change for the second leg.

Enter, whoever you support. And don’t worry if you are new to posting comments here. If yours is held for moderation – a simple anti-spam device – we will know when it was contributed and, in the case of more than one readers posting the same prediction, who was first …

The usual mug awaits a Sunderland-supporting winner – be first to be right and have a UK delivery address – and something suitable would be found for a Pompey fan.

Almost certainly, another trip to Wembley for Sunderland would inspire Monsieur Salut to come up with a better prize.

A clean sweep of the five names available to each winner, as chosen here by Rob Hutchison; we cannot quite work out why all the Gary Rowells are wearing red shirts

There may or may not be a Pompey “Who are You?”. An invitation has gone out but we are very relaxed about whether a fourth of the season, let alone a fifth next week, is really necessary.

Have a go. And Ha’way the Lads.

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Salut! Sunderland is written, illustrated and edited by - and principally for - supporters of Sunderland AFC. The site aims to be sufficiently literate and entertaining to appeal to people who do not follow SAFC but enjoy good football writing.

16 Responses to “Sunderland vs Portsmouth: round one in the battle to face Doncaster or Charlton” Subscribe

  1. Paul May 7, 2019 at 10:45 am #


  2. Phil D May 7, 2019 at 11:15 am #

    1-0 to the Lads

    • salutsunderland May 13, 2019 at 7:20 am #

      Another mug heading your way, Phil

  3. Richard S May 7, 2019 at 11:20 am #

    3-2 Portsmouth

  4. David Miller May 7, 2019 at 11:47 am #

    Lots of petulance, attempts to get Sunderland players booked or sent off, and time- wasting.

    My ex-wife is from Southsea……I hope we destroy them but will go for 4-1 to the Lads.

  5. Richard K May 7, 2019 at 1:02 pm #

    A repeat of 2 weeks ago, 1-1

  6. David May 7, 2019 at 1:24 pm #

    2-0 to the lads.

  7. Bill May 7, 2019 at 1:44 pm #

    3-1 to the lads

  8. wrinkly pete May 7, 2019 at 2:31 pm #

    I think we have improved in our performances against Pompey as this season has progressed. Thus I predict a 4-3 win in both legs. (I am away for both and won’t be able to post)

  9. John Mac May 7, 2019 at 4:17 pm #


  10. Mel Bond May 7, 2019 at 9:42 pm #

    The eternal optimist says it’s fower nowt to the lads we owe them big time and it’s one play off final we won’t lose

  11. CSB May 8, 2019 at 7:48 am #

    Sunderland 4 – 1 Portsmouth, payback time!

  12. robert Currie May 8, 2019 at 3:18 pm #

    2-1 to the lads bob

  13. Mike May 8, 2019 at 10:55 pm #

    The Lads to win 4-2, we’ll get to the play off final.

  14. Edward May 9, 2019 at 1:24 am #

    I’ll go for 2-2 this game.

  15. Eric012 May 11, 2019 at 9:14 am #

    Zero Zilch Nada Nowt Naff All Each.

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