Hartlepool vs Portsmouth Preview

By Jim Bonner
Last updated : 31 March 2017

Pompey make the long trip to Victoria Park tomorrow to take on struggling Hartlepool.

Team News

Christian Burgess will replace Tom Davies in the starting line-up after serving his suspension from the Newport games. Eoin Doyle is injured and therefore Paul Cook must decide who replaces him up front.

Ex-Pompey keeper Trevor Carson misses out for the hosts with a shoulder injury whilst striker Billy Paynter is also unavailable for the match because of an Achilles problem.

The Match

Just sixteen points are required to absolutely ensure Portsmouth are promoted to League One and they'll be confident of picking up three of those points at Hartlepool tomorrow.

Dave Jones has taken over from Craig Hignett since the last time the teams played out a frustrating draw at Fratton Park back in December but there's no Trevor Carson to turn into Superman and save everything this time, whilst the attacking trio of midfielders in the Pompey team have been tearing teams apart in recent weeks.

Paul Cook's main conundrum will be who replaces Doyle up front. The obvious option is Conor Chaplin simply for his finishing and his ability to score a goal out of nothing. It's doubtful the manager would be willing to throw Nicke Kabamba into such an important game despite his scoring record for the reserves. Noel Hunt would be the only other credible option.

This is a match that Pompey will be expected to win given that the hosts have lost their last two games and still have minor relegation worries if Newport end up going on a run. Their defence is error prone and so the only real worry is if they sit back and play for a draw like they did in the reverse fixture.

The other key fixtures in the promotion race sees Stevenage take on Barnet at home whilst Luton and Blackpool play each other, so the opportunity is there to make it almost impossible for either the Hatters or the Tangerines to catch Pompey if they can win tomorrow.

Predicted Starting Line-Ups

Hartlepool

GK: Joe FRYER

RB: Liam DONNELLY

CB: Brad WALKER

CB: Scott HARRISON

LB: Nicky DEVERDICS

CM: Lewis HAWKINS

CM: Nicky FEATHERSTONE

CM: Michael WOODS

RWF: Nathan THOMAS

LWF: Lewis ALLESANDRA

CF: Padraig AMOND

Pompey

GK: David FORDE

RB: Gareth EVANS

CB: Christian BURGESS

CB: Matt CLARKE

LB: Enda STEVENS

DM: Michael DOYLE

DM: Danny ROSE

RM: Kal NAISMITH

AM: Carl BAKER

LM: Kyle BENNETT

CF: Conor CHAPLIN

Last Time: Hartlepool United 0 Portsmouth 2 (League Two - 30/04/2016)

Pompey's final away match in the league season ended in victory thanks to a cheeky backheeled goal from Kal Naismith and a typically instinctive finish from Conor Chaplin in the second half.

My Prediction

Allessandra and Amond have caused Pompey problems in the past but even if they manage to get on the scoresheet, the visitors should still have too much for Dave Jones' side.

Hartlepool United 1 Portsmouth 2

Portsmouth Match Reports

Sky Bet League One Sat 18th November 15:00

Portsmouth - - - Southend United

Last game - Match Centre


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