Injuries play havoc with derby preperations

Last updated : 20 December 2003 By Alex Dale
The signs are looking ominous. Southampton have a almost fully-fit squad to pick from following Graeme Le Saux's return to training, and are full of confidence following last week's win at Anfield. The only good news is that they were defeated in extra time by Bolton in a midweek Carling Cup tie which was sure to have an effect on the teams morale and physical fitness. Fitz Hall may deputise for Claus Lundekvam if he fails to make a full recovery by Sunday.

Portsmouth's problems, however, are well documented. Vincent Pericard, Svetislav Todorov, Nigel Quashie, Shaka Hislop and Amdy Faye are all injuried, Steve Stone, Arjan de Zeeuw and Patrik Berger are serving suspensions and Sebastian Schemmel somehow doesn't seem likely to be in the frame for a start.

The injury troubles mean that forgotten midfielders Carl Robinson, recently back from a loan spell at Rotherham, and Richard Hughes are back in the squad following over a year out and Robinson could start alongside Alexei Smertin in midfield.

Portsmouth squad: Srnicek, Wapennar; Foxe, Primus, Stefanovic, Zivkovic, Taylor, Schemmel; Robinson, O'Neil, Hughes, Smertin, Sherwood; Sheringham, Ayegbini, Burton, Roberts.