Middlesbrough vs Portsmouth Preview

By Jim Bonner
Last updated : 01 October 2010
Pompey make the longest trip of the season to Teeside to face struggling Middlesbrough, knowing that a win will see them leap their opponents in the Championship table.

Team News

Richard Hughes is available after his suspension but it seems likely that Steve Cotterill will select exactly the same side that has won the last two games.

Boro are likely to be without Julio Arca due to a groin problem but midfielder Kevin Thomson could be fit enough to replace him. Gary O'Neil is set to play against the club where he made his name.

The Match

After two successive wins things are starting to look up for Pompey but there still remains a concern over the away form, having lost every league game on the road so far.

Middlesbrough were the pre-season favourites to win the Championship as Gordon Strachan signed some of the best Scottish talent around, yet the likes of Kris Boyd have failed to deliver at the moment.

They still remain a force at the Riverside, however, having won their last three home games so despite our recent upturn in form it may be a little short-sighted of Pompey fans to believe that tomorrow's game is going to be easy.

Victory tomorrow will see Pompey claim their first hat-trick of consecutive league wins in three years. Such a rare feeling for Pompey fans will be welcome as we head into the international break but a draw wouldn't be the worst result in the world either.

I certainly don't want to be doing that six hour journey back from the North-East tomorrow after yet another away defeat, that's for sure.

Predicted Starting Line-Ups

Middlesbrough

GK: Jason STEELE

RB: Tony McMAHON
CB: David WHEATER
CB: Stephen McMANUS
LB: Joe BENNETT

RM: Gary O'NEIL
CM: Nicky BAILEY
CM: Barry ROBSON
LM: Mickal TAVAREZ

CF: Leroy LITA
CF: Kris BOYD

Pompey

GK: Jamie ASHDOWN

RB: Joel WARD
CB: Aaron MOKEONA
CB: Ricardo ROCHA
LB: Carl DICKINSON

RM: Liam LAWRENCE
CM: Michael BROWN
CM: Hayden MULLINS
LM: John UTAKA

CF: David NUGENT
CF: Dave KITSON

Last Time: Middlesbrough 1 Portsmouth 1 (Premier League - 14/03/2009)

Marlon King snatched a dramatic stoppage time equaliser for Boro after Peter Crouch gave Pompey a first half lead that they really should have built on, especially as Matthew Bates was sent off in the second half.

The home side may have even won it at the death as Afonso Alves' shot was saved just before the ref blew the whistle for full time.

My Prediction

Optimism is high around Pompey at the moment, but I am still not confident enough to predict that we can win at what will be one of the toughest venues to get a result this season. I can't see us losing though.

Middlesbrough 1 Portsmouth 1

Portsmouth Match Reports


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