Skipper set to provide massive relegation boost

Ben Chorley could return on Saturday. Picture: Joe Pepler

Ben Chorley could return on Saturday. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Ben Chorley is set to give Pompey a massive relegation boost and return against York.

The Blues skipper is winning his battle to overcome the Achilles problem which kept him out of the Fleetwood defeat.

It is anticipated he will train with Richie Barker’s squad tomorrow as they prepare for Saturday’s vital fixture.

If there is no reaction, Chorley will go straight into the side for what is undoubtedly a must-win match for Pompey at Fratton Park.

Northampton’s home defeat to Rochdale on Tuesday means they are four points behind the Blues having played the same amount of games.

And with Barker’s men heading to Spotland to face the league leaders on Tuesday, anything less than a win against York before that is unthinkable.

Yet they will undoubtedly be buoyed by the potential return of Chorley, who has emerged as Barker’s finest signing to date.

The captain’s nine matches so far have yielded six clean sheets, while his battling qualities and leadership credentials have shone through.

There is not such positive news on Romain Padovani, however, who has still to train after picking up a calf problem against Burton.

It kept him out of the 3-1 loss at Fleetwood – along with Chorley – as Barker made four changes to his team.

Jack Whatmough impressed in roles in both defence and midfield during that fixture, although Rhys McCabe is expected to come straight into the team against the Minstermen.

Andy Barcham is continuing to be assessed, while long-term absentees Danny East (ankle), Simon Ferry (back) and Tom Craddock (knee) are definitely out.