Cambridge vs Portsmouth Preview

By Jim Bonner
Last updated : 28 October 2016

Pompey fans will travel to the Abbey Stadium tomorrow wondering just what sort of performance they will get from their erratic team.

Team News

Enda Stevens is fit to start tomorrow despite coming off with a hamstring strain last Saturday. Matt Clarke, Drew Talbot and Adam Buxton are all fit again and may be included in the squad at least.

Adam McGurk and James Dunne are set to face their former club tomorrow but midfielder Luke Berry is suspended.

The Match

Who knows what to expect from Paul Cook's men at this current moment in time? They're good enough to score goals against Cambridge but their defending leaves a lot to be desired. If Clarke is 100% fit tomorrow, he'll surely play ahead of Tom Davies.

If Pompey fans want reasons to be optimistic tomorrow then they'll remember that their team are a bogey side for Cambridge, having won every match against them since their return to the Football League. Not a single striker has scored for them either, with McGurk being as lacklustre as expected and perennial danger man Barry Corr out injured for tomorrow's match.

However, Shaun Derry has turned things around recently and his team have won four out of their last six games after a terrible start to the season. Ex-Pompey man James Dunne has been a key part of that revival and so Michael Doyle and his defensive midfield partner must make sure they get the better of him tomorrow.

There will surely be goals at both ends during this one. Let's just hope Pompey score more as anything but a win will surely see Paul Cook under more pressure than he would expect following the defeat to Notts County thanks to the fickle nature of football fans.

Predicted Starting Line-Ups

Cambridge

GK: Will NORRIS

RB: Brad HALLIDAY

CB: Leon LEGGE

CB: Mark ROBERTS

LB: Greg TAYLOR

DM: James DUNNE

DM: Max CLARK

RM: Piero MINGOIA

AM: Adam McGURK

LM: Harrison DUNK

CF: Uche IKPEAZU

Pompey

GK: David FORDE

RB: Gareth EVANS

CB: Christian BURGESS

CB: Matt CLARKE

LB: Enda STEVENS

DM: Michael DOYLE

DM: Amine LINGANZI

RM: Gary ROBERTS

AM: Carl BAKER

LM: Kyle BENNETT

CF: Conor CHAPLIN

Last Time: Cambridge United 1 Portsmouth 3 (League Two - 10/10/2015)

Robbie Simpson gave the hosts an early lead with a goal that should have been ruled out for offside but the turning point of the match came at half-time when Cambridge captain Mark Roberts was sent off for a scuffle with Leam Richardson who was eventually escorted away by the police.

Pompey's luck turned in the second half as Leon Legge sliced a clearance into his own net for the equaliser and then Matt Tubbs gave the visitors the lead just a minute later. The striker then took advantage of a fortunate ricochet into his path to put the result beyond doubt and restore Portsmouth's position at the top of League Two.

My Prediction

Some of the players who Cook will never drop (such as Roberts and Doyle) really need to get back to their best if Pompey are to win this. Cambridge are a little blunt and brittle at the back and given previous history between the two clubs, I am backing the Blues to narrowly win a tight affair.

Cambridge United 1 Portsmouth 2

Portsmouth Match Reports

Sky Bet League One Sat 21st October 15:00

Blackburn Rovers 3 - 0 Portsmouth

Last game - Match Centre


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