Everton vs Portsmouth Preview

It has been a rollercoaster seven years following Pompey in the Premier League. There have been plenty of highs and a fair few lows too but it will all come to an end after Sunday's match at Goodison Park.

Team News

Avram Grant may hand a surprise recall to Jamie O'Hara after he returned to training this week but with so many other players carrying injuries, it is doubtful that the team that takes to the field tomorrow will not be the same as the team that plays at Wembley.

David Moyes only has a few injury concerns as Johnny Heitinga, Marouane Fellaini and Dan Gosling are missing. Sylvain Distin and Yakubu could well start against their former club.

The Match

I'm sure that anyone who travels to Merseyside tomorrow will simply be going for a good day out and to give our men the send off they deserve for not throwing in the towel and giving up despite administration and relegation.

Pompey are in very good form for a team that is bottom of the league. One defeat in five Premier League games is a respectable record for us, though our opponents are unbeaten in ten.

With no pressure on either side, I expect an entertaining game played with a good atmosphere tomorrow. We'll be going there in good spirits knowing that our season has been extended by one game, whilst Evertonians will be happy to be sure of 8th place after such a dreadful start to the season.

It could be our last game in the top flight so we should enjoy it as much as we can. But my message to the Pompey players is a simple one...

Please, please do NOT get injured or sent off tomorrow!

Predicted Starting Line-Ups

Everton

GK: Tim HOWARD

RB: Phil JAGIELKA
CB: Joseph YOBO
CB: Sylvain DISTIN
LB: Leighton BAINES

RM: Leon OSMAN
CM: Phil NEVILLE
CM: Tim CAHILL
LM: Mikel ARTETA

CF: Louis SAHA
CF: YAKUBU

Pompey

GK: David JAMES

RB: Steve FINNAN
CB: Joel WARD
CB: Ricardo ROCHA
LB: Lennard SOWAH

DM: Michael BROWN
CM: Jamie O'HARA
CM: Papa BOUBA DIOP
AM: Kevin-Prince BOATENG

CF: Frederic PIQUIONNE
CF: Aruna DINDANE

Last Time: Everton 0 Portsmouth 3

Jermain Defoe gave Pompey an early lead after turning in the box and firing past Howard. Glen Johnson soon doubled the advantage after playing a neat one-two with Defoe as David James kept Everton at bay with a string of top class saves, including one from Yakubu's penalty.

The match was sealed when Defoe's lob was adjudged not to have crossed the line and so Peter Crouch nodded the ball in to be sure. Oh how far we have fallen in such a small space of time...

Pundit Watch

Lawro: Home Win (2-0)
Sky Sports: Home Win (2-0)
Soccernet: Home Win

My Prediction: This is a pretty meaningless game in truth and I expected our diluted to side to be narrowly beaten here. However, the most important thing is that none of our key players get injured or do something stupid and get sent off. We need to be full strength for Chelsea.

Everton 2 Portsmouth 1