Doncaster vs Portsmouth Preview
By Jim Bonner
Updated Friday, 13th April 2012
At least one team will be relegated tomorrow - but who?
Pompey travel to Doncaster tomorrow knowing anything less than a win could well confirm relegation to League One.
Ricardo Rocha is fit despite suffering a midweek injury but Tal Ben-Haim is still out with a calf problem. David Norris is a doubt as he missed training with a flu virus yesterday.
Dean Saunders is set to test some of Doncaster's youth team after dropping many of the "big names" last week. Frederic Piquionne won't play against his former club as he will be leaving Rovers and Pompey villain El-Hadji Diouf may also miss out.
Let's just go over the permutations quickly, shall we?
A win for Pompey will mean that they will be mathematically safe from relegation until Tuesday at the earliest, whilst sending Doncaster down.
A draw will also see Rovers relegated and Portsmouth will go with them if Bristol City win at Birmingham, who also play at 3pm.
Defeat for Pompey will mean that they will be certain for relegation if the Robins get a draw or a win at St. Andrew's. If they do, then Donny will also drop.
So, those are the permutations but let's be honest, we're both doomed. Tuesday's defeat to Millwall has effectively condemned Pompey to the drop and realistically, all we can hope for is not to finish at the bottom.
There is still something to play for. If we go down, we should at least ensure that we would have survived without the ten point penalty to salvage some pride.
It's a very winnable game as Donny are winless in nine and have the worst attack and defence in the division. Of course, our away record is so dreadful that it would not surprise me if a "new look" Rovers side recorded their first win in ten against us.
Kudos goes to anyone attending the relegation party tomorrow. I'm not going myself as I have prior engagements but it should be a good game with both sides playing with freedom and nothing to lose.
Predicted Starting Line-Ups
GK: Gary WOODS
RB: Mustapha DUMBUYA
CB: James O'CONNOR
CB: Sam HIRD
LB: George FRIEND
RM: James COPPINGER
CM: Simon GILLETT
CM: John OSTER
LM: Fabien ROBERT
CF: Chris BROWN
CF: James HAYTER
GK: Jamie ASHDOWN
RB: Joel WARD
CB: Ricardo ROCHA
CB: Jason PEARCE
LB: Karim REKIK
DM: Greg HALFORD
CM: Scott ALLAN
CM: Kelvin ETUHU
AM: David NORRIS
CF: Luke VARNEY
CF: Chris MAGUIRE
Last Time: Doncaster Rovers 0 Portsmouth 2 (Championship - 12/02/2011)
Pompey's first visit to the Keepmoat Stadium was a successful one as Dave Kitson bravely headed the ball (and a Doncaster defender's foot) from close range to give his side the lead just before half-time.
Joel Ward then doubled the advantage after the break with a lovely chip over Gary Woods to effectively seal Pompey's first win in ten matches, even if Jonathan Hogg was harshly sent off for a second bookable offence late on.
Doncaster are rubbish but we're not much better. I'll go for a score draw here but I can't see Bristol City winning at Birmingham, meaning Pompey can wait until Tuesday before relegation is confirmed.
|12 Apr 2012|
|The Opposition View: Doncaster|
|10 Apr 2012|
|The Fat Lady Sings|
|Team lineups: Portsmouth v Millwall 10 Apr 2012|
|09 Apr 2012|
|Portsmouth vs Millwall Preview|
|08 Apr 2012|
|Did The Bubble Work?|
|07 Apr 2012|
|Stunning Strikes Salvage Point At St. Mary's|
|Team lineups: Southampton v Portsmouth 07 Apr 2012|