Crystal Palace vs Portsmouth Preview

By Jim Bonner
Last updated : 31 October 2011

Pompey face a tough test at Selhurst Park tomorrow evening as they still search for their first away win of the season.

Team News

Greg Halford is a major doubt for this match due to the shoulder injury he suffered at Pride Park on Saturday so Joel Ward should deputise.

Abdul Razak will be pushing for a start after his bright cameo at Derby whilst Benjani will be given a late fitness test as he also bids to return to the starting XI.

Dougie Freedman has no new injury concerns heading into this game and may bring Darren Ambrose back into the starting line-up after settling for a place on the bench against Reading on Saturday.

The Match

The optimism I had going into Saturday's game was crushed within half an hour at Pride Park following some woeful defending, so I'm going to Selhurst Park tomorrow expecting nothing.

The Eagles are flying high in third place in the Championship thanks to a stern defensive record and some exciting young players that are capable of doing damage at the other end of the pitch.

Palace have kept five clean sheets in a row and will be confident of keeping their sixth given that Pompey have failed to score away from home in their last four games, losing them all.

Perhaps it is time for Stuart Gray and Guy Whittingham to take a risk and play Razak from the start after his display in the thirty minutes he had at Derby.

Ryan Williams also seems to have been forgotten about so maybe it is time to give him an opportunity to show us what he can do. He surely cannot be worse than what Liam Lawrence has been recently, the man who was so good when he signed for us in the summer of 2010 but he seems a pale shadow of the player he was now.

Of course, the major problem with our team is the defence and I would hope that Gray and Guy have had ample time to get the team well organised and I also hope they read the riot act after failing to win any second balls on Saturday. They must simply work harder.

Football is a funny old game and whilst I won't be expecting anything other than disappointment, you never know, do you?

Predicted Starting Line-Ups

Crystal Palace

GK: Julian SPERONI

RB: Nataniel CLYNE

CB: Anthony GARDNER

CB: Paddy McCARTHY

LB: David WRIGHT

RM: Wilfried ZAHA

CM: Dean MOXEY

CM: Mile JEDINAK

CM: Darren AMBROSE

LM: Sean SCANNELL

CF: Glenn MURRAY

Pompey

GK: Stephen HENDERSON

RB: Joel WARD

CB: Ricardo ROCHA

CB: Jason PEARCE

LB: Tal BEN-HAIM

RM: Liam LAWRENCE

CM: Abdul RAZAK

CM: Hayden MULLINS

LM: Erik HUSEKLEPP

CF: Luke VARNEY

CF: Dave KITSON

Last Time: Crystal Palace 4 Portsmouth 1 - Championship - 14/09/2010)

James Vaughan opened the scoring when Andy Dorman got the better of Ward and teed him up for a good finish but Pompey equalised in comedic fashion when Gardner headed the ball over Speroni who was in no-man's land, gifting Kitson an easy tap into an empty net.

The second half saw Pompey fall apart at the back as Vaughan beat the offside trap and lobbed the ball over Ashdown before doing the same later in the game to complete his hat-trick.

Pompey's misery was complete when Michael Brown was harshly adjudged to have fouled Neil Danns in the box, with the "offended" player scoring the resulting penalty.

Click here for the Fratton Faithful Crystal Palace Championship Profile page.

My Prediction

I am not very hopeful, which usually means Pompey surprise me. I sincerely doubt we'll get any joy tomorrow, though.

Crystal Palace 2 Portsmouth 0

Portsmouth Match Reports

Sky Bet League One Sat 21st October 15:00

Blackburn Rovers 3 - 0 Portsmouth

Last game - Match Centre


Trending on the boards