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Three To Watch: The trio of Portsmouth players that Sunderland need to be wary of this afternoon

A tricky winger, a holding midfielder, and a forward finding the back of the net - are these the Portsmouth players that could help to end Sunderland’s unbeaten run?

Portsmouth FC v Barnsley FC - FA Cup Fourth Round Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

Ronan Curtis

19/20 Games/Goals: 29/12

After a highly impressive start to the 18/19 season, winger Curtis tailed off towards the end of the last term, but the Irishman has found his feet again at just the right time for Pompey.

Tall, pacey and agile, Curtis has all the attributes to perform at a level much higher than League One. His form over the past few months has helped rocket Kenny Jackett’s side back into promotion contention after a difficult beginning to the season.

He’s likely to line up on the left-wing, meaning Luke O’Nien faces a huge challenge keeping the in-form winger quiet.

Lincoln City v Portsmouth - Sky Bet League One Photo by Chris Vaughan - CameraSport via Getty Images

Ben Close

19/20 Games/Goals: 36/6

The midfielder may not have shone as brightly as the likes of Curtis in recent weeks, but the local lad has performed consistently throughout Pompey’s season, keeping out the highly rated Ross McCrorie in the centre of the park.

The holding midfielder has also found his goal-scoring touch this season, and notched Pompey’s opener in the 4-2 win over Barnsley in the FA Cup last week.

With Max Power’s form improving vastly in the past few weeks, the battle in the centre of the Fratton Park pitch is likely to have a huge say in who comes out victorious this weekend.

Portsmouth FC v Barnsley FC - FA Cup Fourth Round Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

John Marquis

19/20 Games/Goals: 30/8

It was a difficult start to life on the South Coast for last season’s League One top goalscorer, but, gradually, Marquis has turned in the performances many Portsmouth fans had hoped he would when he joined back in August.

He’s not been anywhere near as prolific as he was last season but of the eights goals he’s scored for Pompey, most of them have come in the past few weeks as Jackett’s side have begun to look the real deal when it comes to teams that are likely to get promoted.

Portsmouth FC v Barnsley FC - FA Cup Fourth Round Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images