Newcastle vs Pompey Preview

By Jim Bonner
Last updated : 02 November 2007
It's a well known fact that Pompey play poorly at St. James' Park (the last time we won there was in the 1949/50 season!) However, we're on a run of four straight wins away from home without a goal conceded so perhaps we can put that right tomorrow.

Unfortunately for us, Newcastle have won their last five games at home and given Harry Redknapp's poor record against Sam Allardyce, I'd take a point if it was offered before the start of the game.

We've stuttered a bit recently following a poor 0-0 draw with West Ham and an even worse cup exit to Blackburn on Wednesday. We need to put that behind us and get a result to continue our challenge for a UEFA Cup spot, though if Newcastle win tomorrow then they'll jump us in the table so it's important we avoid defeat.

Sulley Muntari and Hermann Hreidarsson are likely to miss out again so Pedro Mendes and Noe Pamarot are likely to deputise, although Djimi Traore or Matt Taylor could fill the left back role too.

We'll probably play the 4-5-1/4-3-3 system once again which has served us so well away from home. Kanu will probably have to settle for the bench again as Benjani will play as the lone striker once again.

Our defence will have its work cut out when trying to keep a clean sheet tomorrow as they'll be up against Michael Owen and Obafemi Martins as Mark Viduka is still injured along with Stephen Carr and Damien Duff.

Big Sam may have strengthened the defence during the summer but they are still a week point and if we can get at them with Utaka's pace and Kranjcar's trickery then there might be something there.

Sylvain Distin said that a lack of passion cost us the game against Blackburn as we just turned up and expected to win. That surely won't be the case tomorrow as Newcastle are favourites for the victory, which may work in our favour as there's far less expectation on our part whilst if we can frustrate the home side their fans will get restless and put the pressure on.

Still, I'm not expecting much from the game and I'd be happy if we avoided defeat. Call me negative, but given our record there I can see our run away from home coming to an end.

Please prove me wrong Pompey!

Predicted Starting Line-Ups

Newcastle

GK: Shay GIVEN

RB: Habib BEYE
CB: Claudio CACAPA
CB: Abdoulaye FAYE
LB: Jose ENRIQUE

CM: Nicky BUTT
CM: Joey BARTON
CM: EMRE

RWF: James MILNER
LWF: Obafemi MARTINS
CF: Michael OWEN

Bench: Steve HARPER, David ROZENHAL, GEREMI, Alan SMITH, Charles N'ZOGBIA

Pompey

GK: David JAMES

RB: Glen JOHNSON
CB: Sol CAMPBELL
CB: Sylvain DISTIN
LB: Djimi TRAORE

RM: John UTAKA
CM: Sean DAVIS
CM: Pedro MENDES
CM: Papa BOUBA DIOP
LM: Niko KRANJCAR

CF: BENJANI

Bench: Jamie ASHDOWN, Noe PAMAROT, LAUREN, Matthew TAYLOR, KANU

Last Time: Newcastle United 1 Pompey 0

Both sides played badly in a game full of injuries but we just happened to play worse than them and allowed Antoine Sibierski to score the only goal of the game to condemn Pompey to another St. James' Park defeat.

Pundit Watch

Lawro: Home Win (2-0)
Sky Sports: Draw (1-1)
Soccernet: Home Win

My Prediction: Home Win (2-1)

Portsmouth Match Reports

Sky Bet League One Sat 18th November 15:00

Portsmouth - - - Southend United

Last game - Match Centre


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