Ipswich vs Portsmouth Preview

By Jim Bonner
Last updated : 08 January 2016

Pompey travel to Portman Road for an FA Cup third round tie for the third time in ten years, only this time they will be the underdogs against Ipswich Town.

Team News

Paul Cook has said that Michael Doyle will be rested for the game with either Ben Close or Nigel Atangana to take his place. Matt Clarke cannot play against his parent club so Adam Barton looks set to deputise at centre back once again.

Mick McCarthy has already named his starting line-up for the match in a press conference today and has made seven changes from the side that drew 0-0 at Burnley last weekend. Ex-Pompey striker Luke Varney will start up front for the hosts.

The Match

Many Pompey fans will remember David Nugent scoring the only goal in the last FA Cup tie at Ipswich in 2008 as Pompey went on to win it. Fewer supporters will remember another 1-0 win at Portman Road courtesy of Dario Silva in 2006 but this 2016 tie will be much different.

The straight talking Ipswich manager has said he has picked a side that should be able to beat a League Two side and a front two of Varney and ex-Bournemouth striker Brett Pitman should cause problems for a Pompey defence missing arguably their two best centre halves.

However, if Pompey fans travelling to Suffolk need some hope then they may know that former Scummer Bartosz Bialkowski is prone to an error or two whilst some of the other players starting haven't had much game time and will be out of practice.

Not only that, but the pressure is all on the home side and Pompey have already beaten Championship opposition in Derby this season and have also ran Reading close. Speaking of Close, it looks like young Ben will get the nod to replace Doyle in centre midfield so we shall see what he can do.

This will undoubtedly be a tough game but it's the FA Cup and a shock result isn't unthinkable. Pompey will have to take their chances, which player-of-the-month Gareth Evans has been doing lately. If Caolan Lavery isn't available to play then it's another chance for Conor Chaplin to make his mark.

But if Pompey do get knocked out as expected then at least they can fully concentrate on the league.

Predicted Starting Line-Ups

Ipswich

GK: Bartosz BIALKOWSKI

RB: Piotr MALARCZYK

CB: Luke CHAMBERS

CB: Paul DIGBY

LB: Jonas KNUDSEN

RM: Tommy OAR

CM: Luke HYAM

CM: Cole SKUSE

LM: Ainsley MAITLAND-NILES

CF: Luke VARNEY

CF: Brett PITMAN

Pompey

GK: Brian MUPHY

RB: Ben DAVIES

CB: Adam WEBSTER

CB: Adam BARTON

LB: Enda STEVENS

DM: Ben CLOSE

DM: Danny HOLLANDS

RM: Gareth EVANS

AM: Marc McNULTY

LM: Kyle BENNETT

CF: Conor CHAPLIN

Last Time: Ipswich Town 1 Portsmouth 0 (Championship - 11/10/2011)

A single Keith Andrews strike in the second half was enough to defeat Pompey and send the visiting fans back home miserable on a cold Tuesday night.

My Prediction

The defence worries me against the pace of Varney and Pitman should be able to take advantage of direct balls over the top, too. Pompey will put up a fight and could scrape a draw but this looks like being a narrow defeat.

Ipswich Town 2 Portsmouth 1

Portsmouth Match Reports


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