Manchester United vs Pompey Preview

A midweek game against the Champions may seem like a good thing but I don't think many Pompey fans will be too optimistic about our trip to Old Trafford tomorrow.

In my opinion, Pompey haven't played at their best since our away in at Aston Villa back in December. Our only wins since then have been against 10-man Reading, 10-man Ipswich, a Plymouth side who deserved a replay and Derby County who speak keep setting themselves a new low every week.

If we play like we did against Plymouth tomorrow, then we can expect a thrashing from the champions who have been firing on all cylinders recently, especially Cristiano Ronaldo who just can't stop scoring. The only points United have dropped at Old Trafford this season was when Reading held them to a 0-0 draw on the opening day of the season.

Still, there is a glimmer of hope for us as Sol Campbell should return to play United for the first time in a Pompey shirt and Milan Baros will be given his debut and hopefully he will make a scoring start. Our away record is something to be proud of and if Fergie's men have an off day then you never know...

However, this is a game I just want out of the way to be honest. I know I sound negative but the bottom line is that we haven't played well since the African Nations Cup started and we're playing a team who just don't get beaten at home and usually have been scoring for fun in recent weeks.

On a final note - as long as my computer is working and doesn't get invaded by spyware or something then I'll be running a live text commentary from about 7:30 onwards, so be here for that if you can't watch the game.

I hate to sound too much like Harry and Jamie Redknapp but anything we get from this game really is a bonus.

Predicted Starting Line-Ups

Manchester United

GK: Edwin VAN DER SAR

RB: John O'SHEA
CB: Wes BROWN
CB: Rio FERDINAND
LB: Patrice EVRA

RM: Cristiano RONALDO
CM: Owen HARGREAVES
CM: Michael CARRICK
LM: Ryan GIGGS

CF: Carlos TEVEZ
CF: Wayne ROONEY

Bench: Tomas KUSZCZAK, Danny SIMPSON, Paul SCHOLES, NANI, ANDERSON

Pompey

GK: David JAMES

RB: Glen JOHNSON
CB: Sol CAMPBELL
CB: Sylvain DISTIN
LB: Hermann HREIDARSSON

RM: BENJANI
CM: Sean DAVIS
CM: Pedro MENDES
CM: Lassana DIARRA
LM: Niko KRANJCAR

CF: Milan BAROS

Bench: Asmir BEGOVIC, Lucien AUBEY, Noe PAMAROT, Arnold MVUEMBA, Richard HUGHES

Last Time: Manchester United 3 Pompey 0

This game was over before it begun as three of our first-team defenders were out. When it did start we were behind almost straight away as Rooney went down easily in the box and Louis Saha scored the resuling penalty.

Andy O'Brien was then punished for a clumsy challenge outside of the box as Ronaldo curled in a free kick to put United 2-0 up within ten minutes. Nemanja Vidic added a third in the second half and we would have conceded more if not for David James.

Pundit Watch

Lawro: Home Win (2-0)
Soccernet: Home Win
Footy-Mad: Home Win

My Prediction: Home Win (2-0)