Blackburn vs Portsmouth Preview

By Jim Bonner
Last updated : 06 November 2009
Pompey travel to Ewood Park knowing that a win would take them above Blackburn in the Premier League table and out of the bottom three for a couple of hours at least.

Team News

Paul Hart has a decision to make as to who plays at right back with Steve Finnan injured once again. He may keep Tal Ben-Haim at right back and play Nadir Belhadj at left or he could draft Anthony Vanden Borre into the team.

Aaron Mokoena is set to stay on the bench against his former club and Frederic Piquionne has recovered from concussion to take his place in the starting line up.

Sam Allardyce has a full squad to choose from barring an injury to midfielder Vince Grella. David Dunn should star in a midfield playing behind lone striker behind Franco Di Santo in a 4-1-4-1 formation with Nikola Kalinic, a player Pompey were so close to signing, on the bench.

The Match

After crushing Wigan last week, Paul Hart (and even Avram Grant) must surely realise that Pompey must be positive at Ewood Park to have the best chance of winning such a crucial game.

If Hart were to employ negative tactics like he did against Hull I can only see Blackburn beating us as they have completely relied on their home form so far this season having claimed all 10 of their points at Ewood Park.

But now we have some confidence I think we can take the game to a team lacking in quality and one that seems to be heavily reliant on David Dunn. If Michael Brown and the defence can keep him quiet then we have more than a fair chance of winning.

El-Hadji Diouf is also a player you always have to watch out for whilst Morten Gamst Pedersen seems to save his only goals of the season for us too. But then with Dindane and Piquionne finally hitting the net last week we have plenty up front for Blackburn's flimsy defence to think about.

I think the key battle will be if our midfield can outscrap theirs and it will be a big test for Boateng, O'Hara and Brown to show that they can reproduce their performances of last week away from home. Then of course our makeshift defence is going to have to cope with many long balls and the direct tactics that Big Sam has always been a fan of.

I hope Hart is thinking about going at them and keeping to the philosophy of playing good football, rather than doing a containing job because victory would mean so much tomorrow that it would give even the most negative Pompey fan the belief that we can survive in the Premier League.

I just hope we're not getting carried away with our mini-revival and we end up coming back to earth with a bump tomorrow, but I'm confident we'll go there and compete just like we have in all of our games and not roll over and let ourselves be beaten.

Predicted Starting Line-Ups

Blackburn

GK: Paul ROBINSON

RB: Pascal CHIMBONDA
CB: Ryan NELSEN
CB: Chris SAMBA
LB: Gael GIVET

DM: Steven NZONZI

RM: Brett EMERTON
CM: David DUNN
CM: Keith ANDREWS
LM: El-Hadji DIOUF

CF: Franco DI SANTO

Pompey

GK: David JAMES

RB: Anthony VANDEN BORRE
CB: Marc WILSON
CB: Younes KABOUL
LB: Tal BEN-HAIM

DM: Michael BROWN
CM: Jamie O'HARA
CM: Hassan YEBDA
AM: Kevin-Prince BOATENG

CF: Frederic PIQUIONNE
CF: Aruna DINDANE

Last Time: Blackburn Rovers 2 Portsmouth 0

Pompey turned in a dire performance as Morten Gamst Pedersen took advantage of David James' error to give Rovers the lead and Benni McCarthy scored a penalty after Hreidarsson handled in the box to make the score 2-0. John Utaka blazed over a late penalty for Pompey just to compound the misery of the travelling fans.

Pundit Watch

Lawro: Draw (1-1)
Sky Sports: Draw (1-1)
Soccernet: Draw

My Predicition: I'm confident we won't get beaten tomorrow but you can't underestimate Blackburn's home form and they will be favourites. Like most others, I'm thinking a draw is the most likely result and although that wouldn't be terrible, a win would be absolutely priceless!

Blackburn Rovers 1 Portsmouth 1

Portsmouth Match Reports

Sky Bet League One Sat 11th November 15:00

Blackpool 2 - 3 Portsmouth

Last game - Match Centre


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