Manchester United vs Portsmouth Preview

By Jim Bonner
Last updated : 21 April 2009
Nobody is expecting Pompey to get anything at Old Trafford tomorrow but an unlikely win would mean almost guaranteed safety from relegation for the blues.

Everton destroyed United's hopes of winning all five major honours on Sunday at Wembley but they still hold a commanding position in the league and will bring back the big guns after playing a weakened side in the cup semi.

That means the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and co. will return to their starting line-up although Wayne Rooney will face a late fitness test before the match. Darren Fletcher could start in place of Michael Carrick who is rated doubtful for the match.

Niko Kranjcar is certain to miss tomorrow's game after his injury against Bolton but Paul Hart has been dealt another blow with the news that Younes Kaboul will miss the match with a thigh strain.

That means Glen Johnson will drop back into the right back position, Jermaine Pennant will play right midfield and Hart must decide whether to play 4-4-2 and play Kanu after his Saturday heroics or play it more cautiously and go 4-5-1 and play an extra midfielder such as Angelos Basinas.

After seeing his side get knocked out of the FA Cup, Sir Alex Ferguson will want his side to come out all guns blazing but Pompey have only been beaten once under Paul Hart and that was a narrow defeat against Chelsea.

If we concede early then I fear for the worst but if we can frustrate them and keep it tight then we may take advantage of United's slightly fragile confidence and nick a goal.

Predicted Starting Line-Ups

Manchester United

GK: Edwin VAN DER SAR

RB: Gary NEVILLE
CB: Rio FERDINAND
CB: Nemanja VIDIC
LB: Patrice EVRA

RM: Cristiano RONALDO
CM: Paul SCHOLES
CM: Darren FLETCHER
LM: Ryan GIGGS

CF: Wayne ROONEY
CF: Dimitar BERBATOV

Pompey

GK: David JAMES

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

RM: Jermaine PENNANT
CM: Sean DAVIS
CM: Richard HUGHES
CM: Hayden MULLINS
LM: David NUGENT

CF: Peter CROUCH

Last Time: Manchester United 2 Pompey 0

Cristiano Ronaldo slotted the Red Devils into an early lead and then scored a stunning free kick to double the lead and effectively seal the win. Of course, that was in the league and we all know what happened when we went back to Old Trafford in the FA Cup....

Pundit Watch

My Prediction: A defeat wouldn't be the worst result in the world if it's narrow. With Liverpool dropping points United will go all out for the win and their quality will probably too much for us. But then I expect we all said that last season for the cup game...

Manchester United 2 Pompey 0

Portsmouth Match Reports

Sky Bet League One Tue 20th February 19:45

Fleetwood 1 - 2 Portsmouth

Last game - Match Centre


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